Five Youth Teams Received Grants from UNICEF and the EU for Social Initiatives

17 December 2018
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UNICEF

Kharkiv, 17 December 2018
On 16 December, the winners of the new wave of the UPSHIFT Ukraine international innovation programme funded by UNICEF and the European Union were announced at Karazin Kharkiv National University. The five teams from Kharkiv that were selected as winners each received UAH 60,000 to implement their projects.

The ideas that received financial support and will be implemented in the city in the next three months included projects on sorting rubbish, opening sports clubs for children with autism, teaching how to behave in emergencies, measures to prevent psychological disorders, and learning sign language.
The event brought together 42 participants who made up ten teams of schoolchildren and students from Kharkiv schools, vocational colleges and universities. Each team presented their plans for social entrepreneurship projects.

Kostiantyn Loboichenko, the Deputy Mayor on Family, Youth, and Sports, took part in the awards ceremony. “Your ideas, projects and endeavours are very important for the city of Kharkiv. And it is our goal to bring you closer to implementing your ideas in real life, to make Kharkiv even better. And of course, none of this would happen without your effort and your unity. That is why the most important thing is that you do is to not stop dreaming and to work to improve yourselves,” Loboichenko said.

“We are pleased to see the youth of Kharkiv create this number of socially useful projects. It is hard to choose a winner, as every project submitted is worth attention. We are ready to support schoolchildren and students who want to become agents of change in their communities, and address urgent and pressing issues,” highlighted Laura Bill, Deputy UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

The UPSHIFT global project is aimed at developing social entrepreneurship skills among vulnerable adolescent and youth groups. This UNICEF programme, which is being implemented in 22 countries around the world, began in Ukraine in August this year thanks to the EU funding. Kharkiv was chosen as the pilot region for implementing the programme because of the large number of universities and socially engaged youth.

“Our team was impressed by the engagement of Kharkiv youth and the importance of the ideas that they brought into the project. Young people are concerned about the environment in our city, want to improve the lives of persons with disabilities, and want to establish spaces for healthy and safe leisure without space for bad habits. And these are only a few examples of the issues being addressed thanks to participation in UPSHIFT Ukraine,” said Iryna Fomenko, Chair of the Board of the “Professional Development of Kharkiv” Fund NGO.

During the period of programme implementation, there have been four rounds of selections, and over 187 team applications submitted for youth projects. In the course of four months, over 120 young people from Kharkiv received professional development training and assistance from mentors, as well as funds to implement their ideas of a total of over UAH 1 million.

UPSHIFT Ukraine programme will continue working until the end of February – schoolchildren and students will be able to take part in two more waves of the programme. To submit their applications, the teams should fill out a registration form at: bit.ly/UPShiftUA_Apply . Applications for the fifth wave of the project are accepted until 5 January 2019. According to the eligibility requirements, submission is open to teams of three to five citizens of Kharkiv aged between 14 and 21.

Reference information:

Social entrepreneurship combines commercial activities with addressing important social problems. Although social entrepreneurs intend to earn incomes, the main focus of their activities is on making social or environmental change.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

“Professional Development of Kharkiv” is a Ukrainian non-governmental organization that has been operational since 2013 and has the goal of raising the capacity and material well-being of Ukrainian citizens by assisting them with employment and self-employment.

For additional information, please contact Liudmyla Kutsenko, ludmila.kutsenko.ukr@gmail.com , or by phone +38 097 92-91-668

Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine
Address: 101, Volodymyrska St.
01033, Kyiv, Ukraine
Tel.: +38 044 39 08 010
Fax: +38 044 39 08 015

The European Union is made up of 28 Member States that have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

Media Contacts

Nina Sorokopud

Chief of Communication

UNICEF in Ukraine

Tel: +380503882951

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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