Youth Teams from Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts to Receive UNICEF and EU Grants for Development of their Communities

14 February 2019
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UNICEF

Twenty-eight youth teams will receive small grants worth up to UAH 50,000 each to implement their initiatives in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. After a long selection process, the winners were announced during a festival on 8-10 February in Sviatohirsk as a part of the Young Energy of Communitiesproject, funded by UNICEF and the EU to support the civic engagement of youth in Eastern Ukraine.

The Young Energy of Communities project aims to involve adolescents and youth aged between 14 and 19 in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the development of their local communities. The ideas suggested by the young people will address tasks such as fostering dialogue for social cohesion, promoting peaceful coexistence and non-violent means of conflict resolution and reconciliation, promoting innovative ways of self-expression for youth, raising awareness about risks for teenagers, and promoting gender equality and social inclusion.

“Our project involved a large number of active young people from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts: we have been receiving application letters non-stop,” says Oleksandr Kashlakov, head of Zadzerkallia Slavic Cultural Centre NGO. “The expert commission received a total of 270 applications from people living in 76 towns and villages.”

Forum participant Tetiana Kolesnykova shared her impressions: “Going to the forum, we had mixed feelings, and we didn’t know what to expect. It turned out that we will not only get to present our projects, but also find out many things about public speaking, doing business, leadership and success. Presenting our projects was a rather challenging task for us, because we have never done anything like that on that scale. However, we managed, and had a lot of fun in the process.”

According to Laura Bill, Deputy UNICEF Representative in Ukraine: “Youth only feel they are part of the community when they invest their ideas and effort into it. We believe that having a small project of their own that is useful for the community is one of the most effective ways for adolescents to learn active citizenship, leadership and project management skills. Developing practical skills and supporting youth leaders means developing the community, not in the future but right now.”

Young Energy of Communities project is a part of a large UNICEF programme “Strengthening the Resilience and Civic Engagement of Adolescents and Youth in Conflict-affected Eastern Ukraine.” The project is being implemented with financial support from the EU.

This is the second wave of projects funded by the EU and UNICEF to support youth initiatives in eastern Ukraine. The first selection took place in August 2018, and as a result 28 teams have already received funding and are implementing their initiatives. The projects implemented in the first wave include: creating a skating park, opening an electronic music and DJing school, organizing talks about the environment and installing containers for sorting rubbish, organizing a festival to raise awareness of the problem of HIV infection among adolescents and young people, and many more.

Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine

Additional resources

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Youth Energy Festival in Sviatohirsk

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