Director's Diary: Together in Kyiv
The team is gathered in Kyiv doing activities and getting closer to having a building!
Finally in Kyiv! After a long process of moving out of my apartment in Copenhagen, a month of waiting in Assens in Southern Denmark and many hours in the home office and on Teams, I am happy to be here in the chestnut city. And most importantly, our wonderful team can gather physically in our very cool office in Peremoga Space. It feels very good to have my colleagues around after so many months of working from home.
Since last time, we have gotten quite a few things done! We are still just our small team, but it is very clear that everybody cares a lot about this project and want to create a great Youth House.
We did two
Law Shifters-workshops in the Poltava Region, which were a great success. Roman has written this nice text about the concept and what the participants thought about it. And they were very happy - even to participate online! So we are very happy too - and thank you Stine Marie Jacobsen and Kateryna Militsyna for facilitating this.
On April 29, the Red Cross Youth of Denmark facilitated a
Sprint-training. Aske from the Red Cross Youth presented Sprint, which is a project planning method that allows young people to break down big, complex problems into manageable issues that can be handled with micro-actions in your local area. For example, the two groups in the workshop identified the following problems in their local area:
#1 Loneliness and isolation among youth, especially because of the covid-19 pandemic, and #2 Perfectionist culture among young people not allowing for mistakes in school, at work or in life.
One group went on to develop a “smiley-wave” (see the photo) that they decided to use in the local town the following days to be able to smile through their facemasks and show care through the pandemic. And another group planned for a career fair with local companies, where young graduates can share their different types of mistakes openly as experiences they have learned and grown from.
Charlotte, Malthe and Michala from the Danish Youth Council Ambassadors for Dialogue program were flown to the Youth House – at least virtually – to discuss what it takes to actively listen and have constructive dialogue between people of different backgrounds or opinion. Around 20 participants from both Denmark and Ukraine, shared different situations where they had not been heard or had been misunderstood and the following discussion focused on how young people’s voices can be taken more seriously – for example in youth councils in schools.
We have also opened the
call for applications to our Exchange Program with deadline June 6 th, and I am so excited to see the group that will be part of that! On May 31 st, my colleagues from The Danish Youth Council did a livestream, telling more about the program and the requirements – so if you are curious about the program, you can see the livestream here before applying.
Our Communications Assistant Nina Bondar has now been on the team for a month, working her magic on our
Instagram and visuals, developing our design manual and communications guidelines.
I asked her a few questions about her thoughts about the Youth House:
What potential do you see in the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House? "I think that the most important element to foster integration and democratic activism in any society is people. That`s why it is so crucial to provide opportunities for their networking and self-development. The activities in the Youth House strongly facilitate the participation and collaboration among the youth in Ukraine and Denmark. I see the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House as a warm and friendly platform that will bring together more and more young and proactive people from the two countries. I imagine them joining the virtual space of the House or just sitting in its physical working space discussing the future projects, sharing their thoughts and laughing. That is how real changes are made!" What will be your contribution to the project? "As a communications assistant, I hope we can build a reliable and recognizable brand of the UDYH. I want people to know that if they join any activities in/of the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House, everything will be done very professionally. When the physical premises are established, I believe we can attract active and motivated people on our social media by creating catchy content and sharing the upcoming events. And I will help this come true!" What do you think is important for the Youth House to become the place we want it to be for the users? "In times of idealized people in social media, I think it is very important to let people know they should never be afraid to be themselves. Everyone should remember that even Elon Musk makes mistakes or doesn`t have enough knowledge in certain fields. That is why I believe that creating a safe and supportive atmosphere around the Ukrainian-Danish Youth House where there is no "right" or "wrong" opinions, everyone matters and has a voice is that magic key to people's hearts. I hope that the youth will come to the House and know that in this place they are never alone."
The building we were looking at in my last update unfortunately turned out to be in too bad state for the Youth House. Sad, because we really liked the building – but luckily we have found some really good new candidates! We have visited quite a few buildings, and now we are investigating two more in-depth, and we are even revisiting one with people from the Embassy this week! So we are definitely one step closer to having a real house for our activities. I hope to be able to reveal it to you all soon!
If you haven’t followed us on Instagram yet, please follow us on @theudyh!
Take care, everybody, and enjoy the spring.
Best wishes from the chestnut city, Julie