Despite drastic political climate over the past few months in Ukraine, we continue transformational work with young people leaving care even in the areas of the armed conflict on the border with Russia.
This is a “Youth 4 Youth” map of Ukraine: 26 youth trainers, 13 regions of Ukraine, 440 young people attending 87 training sessions since the start of the project. During the trainings youth in formal care have been learning about their personalities, how to plan and to achieve their goals. Also, they have been exploring their abilities to work in a team, to lead and to cooperate, enhancing socialisation, communication and adaptation skills – everything that is needed for a better position and a smooth transition into independent living. On 16 May 2014 our trainers have been officially certified as youth trainers. In addition, 5 of the regional trainers have applied and successfully received mini-grants to continue peer-to-peer work with the care-leavers in their communities (marked with the green flags on the map).
“The best way to help young people deprived of parental care is to share your time and knowledge with them, offer encouragement and support, listen and make them feel to be heard”, says Alla Kiriiak, a youth trainer from Odesa. “In many instances, youth in care owe their success to a “right person” whom they met on their road to independence. I believe that those unconditional grains planted in their hearts at the start will yield a fruitful harvest of success in the end”, she adds.
“I strive to become a confident person. I hope to meet like-minded friends”, says 15-year-old Danyl from Smila. “Our training is not over yet, but I already keep looking for another meeting. You [trainers working with care leavers] are incredible for being open-minded, listening to us and guiding us towards independence, success and confidence”, adds 16-year-old Alina from Odesa.
Starting from September, a peer-to-peer work using training course handouts which nurture young people’s new-found capacities will begin. In July, the most active of the young leaders will take part in the International Youth Summit to share their experience on the way from care to independence. As for June, the YouthSpark Bonus Day is right around the corner – which means on June 25th any donations to support Ukrainian orphans will be 100% matched.
When telling us her story, 17-year-old Anya from Drogobych said: “I would be wrong if I say I am not afraid of my future, but with “Youth 4 Youth” I learn how to fight and to win”. Isn’t it something we all wish for the young people these days? If so, please continue to support us now and into the future.
We thank you!
Dear Youth 4 Youth Project supporter,
We are pleased to share our first report on the transformational journey of 300 young Ukrainian orphans in becoming active, empowered and contributing citizens of society. So far, we have managed to reach over 10% of the funds needed. During November 2013 - January 2014, there was a first series of 40 training sessions held in 12 regions across Ukraine (all represented equally geographically), covering 243 young people between the ages of 14 to 18.
Training to develop leadership potential and life skills that young care leavers will need for their transition into independence has become the first phase of the three-stream interconnected project stages. The other two will be scheduled for later this year and will include peer-to-peer work using training course handouts, which nurture young people’s new-found capacities and participation of 20 of the most active young leaders in the Youth Summit.
“Informal training of the young 15-16 year olds who spent their entire lives in the repressive system of orphanages is something that happens to many of them possibly for the first time in their lives”, - says Valentyna, one of the youth trainers from Zhytomyr, a city in the north-west of Ukraine. “To imagine, that someone could talk to those children about their personalities, positive self-awareness, leadership, contribution to the community or empowerment is something far beyond their imagination.” – she adds.
“I couldn’t believe that most of the boys and girls in my group could not find any positive characteristics of themselves, resorting to some rather harsh descriptions as “freaks from the orphanages” – admits Olga, another youth facilitator. “This is where along with motivation and coaching, de-stigmatisation of youth in care comes in handy.”
As for the young care-leavers themselves, these are just few of their reflections after the first phase of the training:
As you can see from the recent events on the streets of Kyiv, inspired youth aspire changes, when thousands of young people rise up striving for their democratic rights and liberties, freedom and democracy. Imagine, what would it be if, instead of fighting for their rights, young people get empowered with opportunities for education and employment? This Wednesday, February 12 2014 young Ukrainians can get a chance to become active and contributing citizens by getting equipped with leadership and professional skills through education, training and volunteer activities. Today GlobalGiving will provide a 30% match to donations made on-line beginning at 9:00 AM EST / 1:00 PM GMT until available matching funds are spent. Please help us spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues who would like to make the kind of difference that you have made by supporting Ukrainian unprivileged youth through education, training and volunteer activities. Your generosity will allow 300 Ukrainian orphans become empowered with an opportunity to serve as the agents of social change in their communities. Just go to http://goto.gg/15531.
Together we can create brighter futures!
With many thanks for your support,
Partnership for Every Child Director & Project Leader
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