Kharkiv Hosts Youth Festival of Social Entrepreneurship

01 February 2019
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Unicef

The first DemoDay festival of youth projects on social entrepreneurship in Ukraine took place in Kharkiv on 31 January. Twenty teams that received grants from UNICEF and the European Union as a part of the innovative UPSHIFT Ukraine programme presented their successful cases aimed at improving life in the city.

“We are happy that thanks to this project youth in our city have an opportunity to show what they are capable of, show what they are interested in, and implement their wishes,” said Alina Pomazan, Deputy Director of the Family, Youth and Sports Department of Kharkiv City Council.

The presented projects included a sex education programme for youth, theatre performances against violence, environmental initiatives, and inclusive programmes for persons with disabilities.

“Our global goal is to promote psychotherapy services among Ukrainian youth. We want young people to settle their problems not through computer games, for example, but by asking for professional help. We want to help young people find themselves and live in harmony with themselves,” Khrystyna, one of the project participants, whose team initiated the Dream Space psychological consultation centre, explained.
The event featured Kharkiv entrepreneurs who already run their own businesses and are ready to support youth initiatives.

“When we were developing this project, we knew it was going to be incredible, but we did not imagine to what extent,” said Iryna Fomenko, Chairwoman of Board of the “Professional Development of Kharkiv” Fund NGO. “We are pleased that the participants are supported not only by their mentors, but also by the heads of education facilities.”

UPSHIFT Ukraine programme is being implemented by “Professional Development of Kharkiv” Fund as part of an UNICEF and the EU endeavour to support youth in eastern Ukraine. It is aimed at developing entrepreneurship skills among adolescents and youth as agents of social change, as well as providing them with opportunities to implement their own social entrepreneurship initiatives. The programme includes workshops, long-term mentorship, and financial support for social projects at early stages.

“Since the programme was launched in August 2018, we have had five selection waves, and a total of 25 teams received funding of UAH 60,000 each from UNICEF and the European Union. Some of these projects have already been implemented, and some will be launched in upcoming. We are pleased to see how enthusiastically the youth are participating, and to watch how they find solutions for their own problems,” emphasized Herve Morin, Programme Coordinator for UNICEF in Ukraine.

Applications for the final, sixth wave of the project will be accepted until 13 February. Teams consisting of three to five Kharkiv citizens aged between 14 and 21 are eligible to apply. For more detailed information and to apply, see: bit.ly/UPShiftUA_Apply.

Reference information:

Social entrepreneurship combines commercial activities with addressing important social problems. Although social entrepreneurs aim to earn incomes, the main focus of their activities is to bring about 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

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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