in Europe
English

YOUNG CITIZENS – Community engagement of young people in East Ukraine

2020-12-18

Young people in Eastern Ukraine are motivated to participate in their communities’ life, but they often lack skills, time and supporters among peers and adults. Through its YOUNG CITIZENS project, Terre des hommes (Tdh) supports young people to be active in their communities by enhancing their interaction with stakeholders and decision-makers at local and regional level and by empowering them to lead their communication campaigns and collaborative initiatives.

As a result of the project:

  • Nine youth groups are supported to implement their community initiatives
  • Takeover Day initiative and website launched
  • 200 youth benefit from learning on civil education

According to a poll done by USAID in 2017, Ukrainians have a high interest in local community engagement and almost every second citizen believes that such activities will lead to an improvement of their livelihood conditions. The Ukrainian authorities have listed civic education as one of the national priorities in the "National Strategy on Civil Society Development for 2016-2020" and in the "Youth for Ukraine 2016-2020" state targeted programme.

"YOUNG CITIZENS" implements a model that combines civic education, practical learning and exercising community action in order to provide adolescents with understanding of the environment and knowledge and experience of how to influence it. The project will create valuable opportunities for dialogue between civil society organisations, local authorities and youth and will encourage collaborative efforts and consensus-building initiatives. As a result, the participation of young people in decision-making processes will increase. 

Developing teachers’ capacity for civic education

Based on the best European practices of youth participation and a Tdh methodology developed and implemented in Moldova, we train professionals who work with young people to promote and support civic engagement. Trainings include topics such as democracy, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, journalism and communication skills. Using the acquired knowledge, educators will then train at least 200 young people in formal or informal ways.

Young people are involved in decision-making

Through this project, we will launch the Takeover Day initiative in Ukraine, which Tdh has organised in Romania since 2012. The initiative promotes children’s and young people’s right to choose their future and to express their opinion. Various organisations and professionals will invite young people to take over their roles for a day. Young people will have the chance to explore their vocation, learn from mentors, experience the world of work and gain an insight into it.

On the other hand, the organisations will engage directly with the young people who access their services and will benefit from a fresh perspective on their work. Young people can be involved in decision making and influence policies for the development of better services. We want young people to be challenged and inspired by the opportunity to influence meaningful decisions that can have a lasting impact.

Empowering youth to address the challenges of their communities 

Young people who participated in the civic engagement training and the Takeover Day will be supported to develop and lead communication and advocacy campaigns at community level. Their initiatives will aim to improve the lives of young people in the community. With our continuous mentoring and dedicated workshops, young people will express themselves and influence change through art works, social media and video messages.  

***

Project duration: October 2, 2020 – October 11, 2021

Donors: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Partners: Chemonics International Inc.