warm spring greetings from Ukraine to you all.
Today we want to share some motivating video with you. It was made by the participants of Smila youth club “How to become successful”, which was founded in 2014 by your support within the framework of the “Youth 4 Youth” project. This video is about How to Prevent Tuberculosis. You can hear list of recommendations, such as eating well, wash hands, get the BCG vaccination, exercise often and lead a healthy lifestyle. And in the second part of the video you can see how young people spend their time and work together during the youth club meeting.
On behalf of all young people, who are able to change their lives because of well-timed support, we thank you all and want to remind that today is the YouthSpark Bonus Day. All your sincere donations will be matched 50% up.
We believe that together we are changing lives and grateful to you again for the happy beginnings and support. And let’s the young enjoy and develop themselves while they can.
Stay tuned because our further updates are on the way!
In the previous report we told you about the preparation of «Youth 4 Youth» project participants to creation of youth clubs and regular workshops in accordance with training program «How to become successful».
Properly after the end of basic preparation project participants started creating youth clubs in their communities and preparing project proposals in order to get funding for providing their activities. Thick and fast cheerful messages on founding clubs in different parts of the country have appeared in the project participants’ Facebook account. And the first three participants who provided the training on program «How to become successful», got presents from the Partnership for Every Child.
One of the pioneers in youth clubs creating, Dmytro from Voznesensk describes his experience in such a way: “Then everything was (held) according to the plan. We didn’t postpone. We negotiated on room (space) in the cafe «B-Club». I invited participants. Children from the orphanages and I held an interesting meeting, distributed invitations. In the college (technical school) we just informed students deprived from parental care. Everybody expressed his interest. The first meeting was held successfully.”
But who became club participants? First of all, trainers engage youth of vulnerable categories, such as: children being nurtured in orphanages, homeless care-leavers, youth in conflict with the law, internal displaced children and youth. Trainers also invited active young people to the end that participants from vulnerable youth meet with them and take over patterns of behaviour, different from theirs and develop new positive social ties.
Trainers tried to choose the most optimal meeting locations and agreed time of such meetings with the participants. So, sometimes such locations were space of a city club, library, social service or civil organisation office or college. At the initial stage some chairmen of orphanages were cautious about the idea of providing activities for their pupils external to the orphanages, but eventually they admitted the advisability of such approach. It is important that a young man attends club meetings on his own, he looks for an opportunity to take part instead waiting for specialists to visit an orphanage or any other location of his permanent residence in order to provide some developmental activities.
Club lessons, as a rule, take place every week and last 2-4 hours. They are aimed at the development of vital skills for the youth, enhancing self-assurance, rising awareness on the social rights and recognising of opportunities of their realization in an everyday life. Among other matters, participants study to analyse their actions and to design their way of life; to interact with surrounding people; to build relations with a person of the opposite sex; to settle complicated life situations; to plan a budget; to manage a household; to use time rationally. Significant attention is also paid to planning the further professional education and career.
By the 20th of March 2015 youth trainers of the project «Youth 4 Youth» have provided more than 100 workshops, which covered more than 200 young people in 12 regions of Ukraine. Thanks to your support the Partnership for Every Child have provided grants for realisation of 12 projects in 10 regions of the country at the total amount of 70000 UAH. The money a trainer spends on coffee-breaks, stationery and on the other necessary measures. And the common interesting leisure (bowling, skating and so on) helps to support participants’ motivation to visit club meetings regularly.
Soon the Partnership for Every Child will invite all trainers to the second supervisory meeting. It is planned(expected) that trainers will analyse results of youth clubs activities, will be given tips by the project experts on the settlement of complicated situations during workshops and on the motivation of the youth to active participation. And in early summer the most active participants from all clubs will gather for the final three-day camp!
Stay tuned! More fun ahead!
With the festive season just around the corner, we would like to wish all our supporters happy holidays and all the best in 2015. On behalf of all the young people from “Youth 4 Youth” project, we send our warmest thanks (or Diakuiu, as we say in Ukraine) for your generosity and continuous support of this project. Your donations helped us to reach 50% funding threshold and to achieve incredible results which we are proud to report you on.
First of all, at the start of the new school year in September 2014 the project transferred into the second phase: preparation of the young people for a peer-to-peer work in the communities. To facilitate this process, 5-module workbooks and training manuals have been developed both for youth trainers and their peers. The aim was to help and to guide young people in learning and interaction with their peers, nurturing leadership skills and potential. Written in a friendly language with bright illustrations and design, the handouts have been piloted in the regions during peer-to-peer sessions in the summer and received a very positive feedback.
Secondly, to utilise the best European practice of raising youth awareness on social rights that would suit the needs of Ukrainian youth, we have outsourced and will adapt an interactive game on social rights "Enter Dignityland" that was developed and freely distributed by the Council of Europe (CoE). In November 2014, active young people with alternative care experience participated in additional workshop within “Youth 4 Youth” Project conducted by the Youth Department representative, Council of Europe. In that way, project participants who wish to support peers in fulfilling social and human rights received a deeper insight into the subject, existing policies and advocacy fundamentals.
To support training efforts, a Facebook group have been created as a platform for conversation and sharing experience. Based across 13 different regions of Ukraine, youth participants have actively joined the members-only group and initiated multifaceted discussions on the issues that matter. Introducing social media into achieving project results has helped towards constant, accessible and efficient communication and interaction.
Finally, we would like to hear your feedback: what inspires you to support us? Do you, like us, believe that inspired youth aspire changes? If the answer is yes, why not like our cause on Facebook and spread the word why it matters to support young people without parental care in their transition into independent, successful life.
Their future selves will thank you immensely.
With best wishes for 2015,
Vasylyna Dybaylo, Project Leader
The key to success is preparation. This, more than anything else, can relate to the young Ukrainian care leavers who participate in our project “Youth 4 Youth: Building Skills, Transforming Lives”. To ensure a smooth transition into independent living, 149 young people in formal care, orphaned youth and young people from the vulnerable families – with the invaluable help of your generous donations – attended 71 training sessions during this summer season. For many of the 15 to 18-year-olds such meetings have become an eye-opening, transformational experience. “Young people I work with revealed keen interest and desire to change their lives for better, they liked to be in the youth club, and they are looking forward to starting peer-to-peer work in September”, said Olga, youth trainer from Zhytomyr, the North West region of Ukraine.
“I believe the key to success is a happy family. I am grateful for telling us how to achieve balanced and happy relationships. I will apply new knowledge in building a stronger relationship with my partner in the future, because I do not want to have such relations as my parents used to have...”, echoing Olga’s words 18-year-old Sergiy. During the informal trainings, young participants have been discussing their uniqueness and personalities, talking about inner resources needed to achieve a better position in life. Positive self-awareness, new patterns of behaviour, empowerment and motivation – these are the topics youth have been mostly focused on at the youth club meetings. “Training has helped me to realise that if I truly want to achieve a goal, I have to become more focused on my studying”, - says 15-year-old Victoria from Drogobych. Other discussions included time management, finance management, career advice. “It was interesting to see how I use and distribute my own inner resources and time. Experimenting with sand and stones today proved that by wasting my time on small details I cannot see a bigger picture on how to spot and how to overcome a problem lying ahead” (Ivanna, 16, Drogobych). "Even though I was struggling with making my monthly budget [during a training session], I realised that this [activity] will help me in the future when I will be left on my own" (Artur, 15, Smila).
Thanks to your continuous support to this project, we can proudly reflect on the first fruits of labour, a partnership between the GlobalGiving and the grassroots communities. Youth club events have been taken to the streets and communities of their native towns: “Picture me emotion”, “A city through my eyes” and a charitable event for under 5s in Odesa city orphanage have mobilised not only youth project participants but their mentors, friends and peers. As 16-year-old Ania from Odesa said: "It is so important to be useful". Without exaggeration, by preparing disadvantaged youth as the leaders today, we can create a real impact for a better tomorrow.
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!
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