How it started

 My name is Oleksandr Tovstonoh and I am the initiator of the FriendsOfp project. What is it? I will tell you a little bit later.

I started my career way back in 1999, when after graduating from the Kharkiv Aviation Institute, I came to the ANTK Antonov.
I was a leading flight test engineer there and I had more than 30 test flights completed, some of them in the crew with the first Hero of Ukraine - A.V. Galunenko.
n November 2005, I left the aviation industry and joined the Toyota Center Kyiv Avtosamit as an intern. After 3 years, I became the deputy director of sales. I was involved in retail and corporate car sales and was also responsible for advertising and marketing. I have two titles of the best Toyota dealer in Ukraine (Toyota Ichiban 2008, 2009), which are awarded by Toyota Motor Corporation to the leader in sales and after-sales service in one`s own country.
We also took the constant 1st place among all Toyota dealers in Ukraine, having sold more than 10,000 new cars in 8 years.
In 2013, I became the General Director of the official KIA dealer - the Promavtotechservice company, the team of which was awarded the "Platinum Prestige 2014" award - the best KIA dealer in terms of sales and service in Ukraine.
The final big position in the official car business was the Sales Director of the ViDi group of companies in 2018 - 14 car brands and 16 car showrooms.
At the end of 2018, I left this position and opened my own company, UniMotors, which is engaged in the selection and delivery of cars from the USA. We worked for a little more than 3 years until February 24, 2022, when the lives of all Ukrainians turned upside down with the beginning of a full-scale invasion of russian troops into Ukraine.

My family and I were forced to leave our hometown – Irpin. I returned to it immediately after the town had been liberated from enemy occupation.

I was one of the first to return to Irpin at the beginning of April, when there were still almost no people. I lived alone in a 10-story building with 54 apartments, where there was no electricity, gas, or water.
My apartment is on the 6th floor - two shells flew towards my neighbors, and three apartments burned completely. There I decided that it was time to help my hometown and its residents.

I created a public fundraising initiative - "Good afternoon, we are from Irpin", in which we collected funds for the reconstruction of our house on the Universitetska street, 2/1, building G.
We made and sold T-shirts with this inscription and invested a significant part of the funds to the house repairing. At this time, we finished the main exterior work and started the interior renovation.
n July 2022, I became a Red Cross volunteer and worked in various projects that helped residents who lost their homes or jobs during hostilities.

There, I saw with my own eyes how much pain and sorrow the war brought to our land. I will tell you about this in the next article. Back then I had already decided to organize some big project that could help more people.

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