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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