Mariupol: Active Youth for A Democratic Future
From April 22 to 23, the Ukrainian NGO "Youth of Eastern Ukraine" and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom hosted the training "Civic Activity of Youth" in Mariupol, within the framework of the project "Public Education for Youth in the East of Ukraine". During the training thirty participants from Mariupol learned more about how to initiate and follow-up on projects for society, uniting around shared values.
Maksym Koliesnykov, FNF-project manager, talked with the participants about the aims and activities of the Foundation for Freedom, the principles of democratic society building, and emphasised how local changes may significantly influence the developments in society.
Nataliia Kryvoruchko, Head of Department for Investment and International Activities of the Executive Committee of the Berdyansk City Council, presented some successful cases of local youth projects. During group work the participants identified urgent needs of young people and proposed some mechanisms of solving civil society problems involving youth. The most urgent challenges defined by the participants were the poor legal culture, corruption and the ecological environment.
In two days and together with the coaches from Ternopil Maxim Cherkashyn and Rustam Erheshov the active youth of Mariupol learned how to turn an idea into a project! The participants moreover became more familiar with the concept of "fundraising" and discussed how to find and team-up with suitable project partners. Further topics were organising team work, calculating a budget and accounting, all illustrated with concrete examples and real stories of the youth organisation "Fine City", which the coaches represent.
The group work, interesting activities, the sincere and open atmosphere of the training encouraged participants to work actively, take part in heated discussions and weigh effective solutions for social problems through the implementation of small-scale regional projects.
Maksym Borodin, City Councillor of Mariupol and Chair of the NGO "Initiative Group ‘Razom’ (Together)”, and Oleksandr Solontay, leader of the political party "Syla Lyudey", motivated the participants to assume responsibility and actively work on own ideas and projects.
As follow-up, the participants are going to develop their own projects and take part in a competition organised by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom together with “Youth of Eastern Ukraine” in June 2017 – for more high-quality youth work in the region.