26 April 2024

Youth-run community clubs encourage Ukrainians to speak up

On Sundays, a group of 20 young people gather on the checkered carpet of a historic building in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Seated in a circle, they exchange greetings, smiles and stories. They may seem like old friends, but many of them are meeting for the first time. In this speaking club, everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard. "Every…, “UNICEF provided funding to organize meetings”, The club was created by a group of young students from Kharkiv, who took part in the UPSHIFT youth innovation programme run by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and received support from the Norwegian Government. Artur and his two ‘Cultural View’ teammates – Liza, and Anton – all study theatre and share a common dream of a modern,…, “War affects everything”, Today is the fifth gathering of the Cultural View team's speaking club. The guest speaker, famous Kharkiv film director Artem Vusyk, has attracted an unexpectedly large crowd. The UPSHIFT team says that the popularity of the project is touching and inspiring, especially considering the air alerts and explosions often heard in Kharkiv. Yet, people…, “I feel in touch with my city”, Sofia, a 20-year-old student currently living in Poland, always attends the club's meetings when she is back home in Kharkiv. "In Poland, I use Polish more than Ukrainian in my daily life,” she says. “So, for me, these meetings are a connection to my home. I feel in touch with my city. It's fascinating to see how strangers come together around…