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Conflict vs Connection: A Training for Young Peace Builders in Armenia

From 10 th to 17 th of April, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) in partnership with TeachSurfing

(Germany) hosted 45 youth workers from 12 different countries; Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia,

Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. They were hosted in Armenia to

participate in the eight-day international training course “Conflict vs Connection: A Training for Young Peace

Builders”.

The implementation of this international Training Course in Armenia was due to the existing conflicts in

the region, which in their turn negatively impact both Armenia’s and the neighbouring countries’ development. The

course focused mainly on the topics of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building and conflict

management, which are very relevant in the participating countries. As a result, participants of the course have

learnt to consider cultural, ethnic and religious diversity as an opportunity and not an obstacle.

The ambition to build peace has been among the political and diplomatic circles of the participating

countries. However, many of the conflicts are still unresolved, influencing young people living in those countries.

More often, young people are the ones who become victims of violent conflicts and wars.

Within the project, a public “Human Library” event was organized. Local and international participants of

the event had heard a lot about Muslims, Buddhists, people of different nationalities and groups, but never had a

chance to meet and talk to them, ask them about their daily life, ambitions, aspirations and concerns. “Human

Library” was a great opportunity. Human Library works as an ordinary library: readers came to the library, choose

a book and read it. The only difference is that books are humans, and the reading is a real conversation.

During the Training Course, 45 participants had the chance to participate in lots of interactive exercises

and non-formal educational activities, identifying the reasons of conflicts, possible solutions and the role that

young people can play in conflict resolution processes. Additionally to discussing the cross-border and

international conflicts, they discussed also interpersonal conflicts and learnt about effective strategies to

overcome them.

The International Training Course was organized by Armenian Progressive Youth (Armenia) and

TeachSurfing (Germany). It’s been a unique project with its wide geographical scope and the relevance of the

subject. The project was funded under the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

 

End of the semester SCHOOL OF CHANGES 2016

Throughout the fall, The Society Initiatives Institute implemented an educational project called “School of Change,” which aimed to develop new skills and competencies in students. This semester we held classes in five schools in Lviv, namely SPC “School-Lyceum “Oriyana”, Secondary School of Oriental Languages and specialized school №5. Ivanov and Ilya Kokorudziv, Vynnykivske boarding school and LNVK.

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Participants learned about and discussed how a civil society can be influenced by people such as themselves. They learned about the global objectives of sustainable development and how to write a project on their own.

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On December 23, the official closing of the semester took place and participants presented and defended their projects in front of the main trainers of the program. Those whose projects were determined the best, received certificates of graduation with honors and help to fund their ideas. Very soon the city will have a school workshop for manufacturing jewelry (the raised money will be donated to charity and also used to help make other students’ project ideas a reality) a project about BookCrossing, a school club for viewing movies and more. Also, all graduates of the program are able to take place in our new projects that will start in February 2017.

The team is now planning to have a new SII “School of Change” and is working to make the project even better!

The project was supported by the British Council in Ukraine and by “Time of justice” and was implemented in partnership with AIESEC LVIV, feminist workshops, Lviv city council, Lviv regional youth center and PeaceCorps.

New Year – New Opportunities!

Holidays just ended, and we already have for you some EVS vacancies in several countries. Please note that the filing deadline will arrive soon 🙂

Lithuania

In the capital of Lithuania looking for a Ukrainian to work with children and youth. The beginning of the project – in February 2017.

More about the project:
https://vk.com/doc245164214_440708165?hash=cdd9f0bd5c585b9d46&dl=f486ab49c9385673a5

Poland

If you want to be an assistant on cultural issues for the Foundation “Ukraine” and no where else, but in the Wroclaw, you will find information here:
http://fundacjaukraina.eu/portfolio-item/evs/

Searching for a Ukrainian! The beginning of the project in June 2017, filing deadline – 25.01.17

Poland

2 more vacancies in a neighboring country! Beginning – September 2017

For those creative types:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9kvm79w82V7WnlsT3B3Vk91QzA

For those interested in sports:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9kvm79w82V7bmtNdzRSUzhId0U

Iceland

As much as 5 projects in Iceland, beginning – August 2017.

Details here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IU3bTjfV0vn5BPTCWoFDJ6IhxkLN7j_9i3VFez_a824/edit

Deadline submission – 01/15/17

And for dessert, two EVS vacancies with our partners!

Our Polish partners gladly take Ukrainians on this project:

The beginning of the project – June 2017. Please note that the host organization asks you to please to send short video presentation instead of a cover letter.

https://europa.eu/youth/volunteering/project/1231_pl

If you want to spend 5-6 months or even a year in sunny Malta, well now you have an opportunity. The project from our Maltese partners:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9kvm79w82V7QmdDT20wRm45alk

If you have questions please contact: evs@sii.org.ua

The City of Vynnyky became a city of ENERGY

Today we want to tell you about the implementation of a project, named “Consume and Use Energy Wisely,” which was the implemented by the NGO “Institute Active Community.”

More than 700 students from 4 schools conducted 40 interactive sessions in which students learned about how the rational use of energy and water in the home. There were interesting discussions on issues of energy efficiency, the impact of traditional energy on the environment and the development of green energy in the world and Ukraine.

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During the project, there were distributed leaflets in the participating schools with advice on ways to help save using heat, electricity and water at home.

After the lessons were conducted a survey among students found a high level of understanding of the need to lower consumption. Most of the students were ready to apply the recommendations of the rational use of energy in practice and save money in their family, pay more attention to energy classes such as Consumer Electronics and more.

The project was implemented within the framework of Active Citizens British Council in Ukraine and in partnership with the Institute of Social Initiatives.

TRAINING FOR INCLUSIVE FRIENDLY EMPLOYEES IN OSCHADNYBANK

The Inclusive Friendly project is developing rapidly and already striding confidently across the country! Our project focuses on training in communication and working with people with disabilities.

We, along with colleagues, conducted a training under the program “Inclusive Friendly” for staff and partners of OschadnyBank in the Odessa region! The Odessa winter took us warmly and gave us another 30 people for the inclusive family.

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The Odessa region is home to more than 8% of people with disabilities in Ukraine. For their sake, managing departments and representatives of the public gathered and adopted the philosophy of inclusiveness. After each of our trainings we are distributing pamphlets to participants with basic materials, so they do not forget key points and always have them at the workplace. Every time, we meet participants even more inspired to work and change society. This time, the most memorable moment was when one of the participants received a booklet and said: “Colleagues, we were given the opportunity to not only listen but to also take something tangible, in this our duty is to tell and pass on the knowledge to at least 10 other people. And then inclusively we will welcome 20 people and then 200 people, and then we will really have changed ourselves and the people around us.” It’s nice when you are understood and supported, it is nice when the philosophy of inclusion spreads like a virus in the community.

Us – those who are making a step forward! A special thank OschadnyBank and our partners:

NGO “Feel”, NGO “Seeing heart” because of “The Right to Happiness!”

Active citizens of Truskavets

Now in Truskavets, there is an intensified community that is ready for positive change in society, because in this small town, we conducted another “Active Citizens” training on November 19-20.

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For two days, we discussed ideas that will continue to escalate into long-acting projects – namely, creating space for young people, where one can exchange ideas and inspire each other, a kind of “Open Space”. Playgrounds were another interesting idea discussed. The “look beyond your nose” psychological training was performed for everyone to learn to communicate and listen to each other, which helps to establish trust and tolerance in a community for sustainable development!

We wish good luck to the new Truskavets active citizens, since their projects will compete for mini-grants from the British Council!

We hope for another meeting soon!

IMPRESSIONS FROM MARY ON AN EVS PROJECT IN POLAND

Nearly three months from my year EMU project in Warsaw are gone. What are my impressions? I’m happy!

I love working at the Robert Schuman Foundation, which engages in the promotion of the European Voluntary Service. I help to organize projects, write articles, attend Polish school for lectures and lessons with children. Apart from work, I was also on two projects in different parts of Poland. And of course I have been traveling! I visited Kielce, Krakow, Tarnow and am already planning new trips in the country and abroad.

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From time from the time there are situations in which I find it difficult to adapt. Sometimes something annoying happens in a new and unusual life. But I know I did the right thing in this life by changing everything completely. To those who are hesitant to go or not, I advise nothing but do not fear, just do it!

Think globally, act locally!

The main principles of The National Training for civil society activists and students from different parts of Ukraine under “Active Citizens” by the British Council, held October 20-24 in Ternopil, were Intercultural interaction and communication between different communities, sharing best practices in local projects.

Over the course of 5 days there was a variety of activities, productive, and fun. “We are helpers in terms of encouraging the citizens initiative” – says the manager of the project “Active Citizens” Vitaly Tihonovich. The training in Ternopil was attended by 30 representatives from different parts of Ukraine and two youth workers of SII – Piotr Kujawski and Valentin Gutsal.

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“We had 30 participants from Kyiv, Lviv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Vinnytsia, Kropivnitskogo, Kramatorsk, students of Lugansk and Donetsk that are currently living in other cities and activists of the Ternopil region. In addition to training, we had a meeting with the City and the region, during which we discussed replicating the experience of Ternopil region.”- Says the coordinator of the project in Ternopil, Marian Hevko.

The program for activities is extremely busy, combining in itself important educational aspects and various recreational activities. An important aspect of learning is active interaction between the public and the City. The head of Ternopil, Sergey Nadal, met with activists and spoke about the best practices for cities in terms of the development of civil society. A day later a similar meeting was held with representatives of the Family, Youth and Sport Department of The Ternopil Regional State Administration.

“The Ternopil city youth, considered to be approximately 45 thousand strong, are students of

Ternopil Universities. Therefore, initiatives of youth and students greatly affect the life of the city, its development, implementation of social projects and social infrastructure. For example, the city has a Youth City Council that is actively involved in social and political life of the city.” Stressed the mayor.

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To complete the picture of Ternopil, there were also very interesting meetings with the public and exciting excursions to Bershad.

A special part of the visit was to visit Ternopil Historical and Memorial Museum of Political Prisoners. “Who does not know his past – cannot build the future” affirmatively assured the participants of the importance of the museum.

Knowledge is a tool which helps all of us together perform conversion, love, friendship and support. It is the driving force behind these changes, leading to all important components of social change; and only the combination of these components will allow us to actively implement these necessary changes, and this we have learned in Ternopil.

We finished the training and visit, but for us, this is just beginning!

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“Active Citizens” in Drohobych

In Drohobych, October 22nd-23rd, the training “Active citizens” under the auspice of the British Council in Ukraine, was organized by the NGO "Institute for Social Initiatives”.

It was visited by the citizens of Drohobych and they received certificates of international standard. For two days, our new facilitators Julia Romanchuk and Irina Voloschak, conducted a training in the field of intercultural dialogue and social development, they showed the scheme of and how to write projects for funding by the British Council.

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“This is an informal educational program using nonstandard training techniques that are creative, because it involves the community of active citizens of Ukraine. We are also the driving force that is ready to make changes. Who, if not us? When, if not now?” – a summary of what Julia and Irina told the new active citizens of the city of Drohobych.

The subjects of future projects, included discussion of a space for children with disabilities and their parents, a center for volunteers and training courses on the project “Colored Town,” which designs drawings of the city residents.

The NGO “Institute for Social Initiatives” expresses gratitude to the leadership of the City Library, Chornovil, for providing a reading room for two days of a training.

Active Sykhiv

This weekend, despite the cold weather in Lviv, we were warmed from the heat of training “Active Citizens” by the British Council and NGO “Institute for Social Initiatives!” On October 15-16, the library at 33 sihiv and our family joined another 20 active members of different communities of the city.

A quote from one of the participants describes the basic goal of our work, “I came here with thoughts and ideas going on.” The training was filled with a variety of games, innovative methods of project management training and what is and what is not a project of social action, all of which are the fruits that you will soon be able to see in Sykhiv and in various communities Lion City!

The Council holds a philosophy of unity and strength of the community and looks forward to new participants in the program “Active Citizens!” Follow our page to follow the trainings!