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Beyond Eyes 

Sometimes on your life path you meet people that don’t care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They seems to soften their heart only in specific situations, with specific people. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don’t see beyond their ability to judge who is trying all his efforts to be kind and compassionate.
At See Beyond I finally met some people who gave me the feelings of caring for others. People who accept and are sincere with their own emotions and therefore can perceive and embrace others’ emotions.
I have always known that people who are not afraid of showing their weaknesses and their feelings are the stronger ones, and I got the confirmation of this during the Art Residence. I saw people who took off their clothes and showed everyone their (inner) scars, someone who cried in front of a window and others who just followed their istinct. I really needed to meet people who do not have masks, whose eyes are sincere and express their own world. People who reply to your kindness with other kindness; people who appreciate you and tell you about that.



I love to see beyond eyes. But this is possible only with certain people. Through performance, I understood that some people are “naked” in showing themselves, others have a mask of naivety which has no audience, other than their own kind. The curious thing is that this mask takes on a different colour according to the situation, the only thing that remains is the steady hand to hold the mask up.

At SEE BEYOND I took my shyness off and I enabled my soul to see beyond . Beyond my own world, beyond my guilts, beyond my insecurities. To see myself through others’ eyes.
I saw through others’ eyes  and I discovered new worlds. I found out new words.
I undestood that everyone has a story to tell, but when you read it through the eyes it worth twice.

LVIV MUN 2018: final reflections

From 13th to 15th of April we had the pleasure to be involved in LVIV Model UN, held at the Ukrainian Catholic University.

What is it exactly Model UN about? It is a simulation of the United Nations where delegates take on the roles of diplomats and ambassadors, and discuss how to address some of the world’s most pressing issues.

It constitutes a unique opportunity for young people to obtain a multilateral view on world affairs, enhance their conflict resolution capabilities and develop their public speaking skills. Indeed, during these 3 days young delegates from all over Ukraine were divided in 4 committees, where they took their skills to the next level:

UN Security Council

-Commission on Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention

-The UN General Assembly on Disarmament and International Security

– Reykjavik International Conference 1919

In these committees every delegate represented a country and protected the country’s views during the many debates. At the end they got to a compromise with other “governments” and created a resolution, aimed at addressing the committee’s main topic. But Lviv MUN was not only about taking part in discussions within the Committees, it was especially about people. That is the reason why most of our young delegates came for.

To exchange experiences and visions with people from all over Ukraine, thus enhancing their opportunity to challenge current global issues. Indeed, most of them are really fond of international politics and are willing to address several problems that are affecting Ukraine and the all world. But how?

Lviv MUN was for sure an opportunity for them to acquire new skills, that would constitute an asset when it comes to work in the international dimension.  And we are sure that very soon we will see our young delegates pursuing their dream career jobs and have an impact in current global challenges.








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


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.


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.


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 🙂


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:


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:

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


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

For those creative types:

For those interested in sports:


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

Details here:

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.

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:

If you have questions please contact:

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


“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.


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!