Training sessions within the Active Citizens project have come to an end. The work of trainers and participants resulted in new experience and skills, contacts and the networking of the like-minded. There have also emerged interesting ideas as to the development of ambitious projects. The essential output, however, according to the International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI), which is realizing the project together with the British Council, is an ability to offer the society the ideas that can unite the community.
“A Step To Peace” is a project reflecting a timely striving of the society for a dialogue and peaceful existence. Within the project the trainees offer to run movies featuring the resolving of world-famous conflicts in three cities Kharkov, Derhachi and Lozova. The aim of the project is to familiarise the audience with their history, the course of events and, most importantly, the experience in conflict resolution, interaction and seeking the compromise. The authors are eager to make people give it a thought, do away with indifference and not to be taken in by blatant propaganda. An impetus to the dialogue, which the society has been waiting for…
Another project idea suggested by a group of young people concerned about the issue of employment for young graduates is to set up an employment center for the youth on the grounds of Kharkiv National University named after Karazin. The program minimum is to teach all those willing to learn certain job search skills, such as making a CV and passing a job interview. The authors agreed with the facilitator on the point that the project would be more true-to -life if it expanded to graduates from other alma-mater.
There is one more group that offers to join the efforts of active youth in an All-Ukrainian School of Leadership. This ambitious project could involve the oblasts with highest concentration of youth. Including Kharkiv, the city of students. Leaders need to teach leadership, that is the theme and the aim of the project.
– I like the fact that the Active Citizens project is a real hands on programme. Young Ukrainians are very active, however, this enthusiasm lacks practical implications. І understand that self-identification should come first, which has been talked about during the training. Then there emerges a need for a dialogue between an individual and the society. The quality of people’s lives is our full responsibility. The training gives us an opportunity to make a big step in this direction, for we have now developed a feeling that the balls and chains are all gone: one should stop being scared, one should start acting. Here is the School of Leadership titled Most (the Bridge) and we would like to take the project to the national level. I believe the techniques we have learned about during the training will help us in project realization, – says Olga Chichina, the organizer of the School.
– The session on understanding of your identity was useful. Today the society is living in the atmosphere of conflict, for people are not ready to harmonise their demands with their opportunities. The world we are living in is the projection of our inner state. That was the first thing I discovered at the training. The second discovery was that it is only us that are responsible for changes that are taking place in the society. It felt very nice to be among young, active people, ready to take mature and independent decisions. This programme inspires the participants for serious conclusions and ideas. With the colleagues we discussed the project that actually offers the community dialogue for peace, initiating the conversation between the people of different generations and opinions, – says Olena Kopina from the Local Democracy Fund.
– The training enabled us to structure and refresh our knowledge and acquire new knowledge,- says Olena Meshkova from G5 entertainment. – I do not have much experience in creating of big projects, however, I understand now what and how can be done today. Project “Most” is very inspiring. It is interesting that the project is close to Active Citizens. It’s centered on leadership building. Here we learn, build up contacts and experience. For that reason, I find this project has certain perspectives.
The idea of Active Citizens is a road from a spring to a big river. Initiatives spread, joining people’s efforts, creating a platform for intercultural dialogue in the society. The students of today may become facilitators and develop leadership qualities of people in their communities. Will the projects that were voiced be realized? Let us say that they have the right to be. There is a perspective that young leaders will find strength, time and patience. However, the most important thing is to acquire skills in project development and gather the like-minded people – the team. The Active Citizens programme has been created to develop a large network of like-minded people. Despite of problems different people, states and cultures face, active citizens are always ready for dialogue and that is the closest way to peace and harmony. Both in the community and in one’s personal life.
– People that interacted at the training are young. It is great that those young people are capable of giving thought to things. This is the generation that sees no obstacles on the way to their goal. They have ideas and seek ways for their realization. They are very energetic. They have worthy potential for the development of the society and that is inspiring, – says Olha Huzhva – the facilitator. – The ideas that caught their attention reflect the needs of modern society – the striving for peace, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and community development. Young people understand that it is impossible to stay indifferent and for that reason they try to be active in social dialogue due to interesting ideas and projects. Some of them have been voiced today. Good luck to the participants!
For more information on the realization of the project visit Active Citizens – British Council