Bridging Gaps for Inclusive Civic Engagement

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The overall objective of the project is to support democratic change in Ukraine through the introduction of active citizenship initiatives with a particular focus on smaller cities and towns that have appeared to be the most vulnerable in the current Ukrainian circumstances.

A grassroots movement, acting as a vehicle for exchange of people, collaborations, networks, citizen engagement and transfer of knowledge is going to be established and empowered through the action.

Democratic values will be promoted through a number of cultural activities as culture is at the heart of who we have been, who we are now and who we will become – as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. Culture has less potential to be divisive at a core level and can play an important role in building a stepping stone to civic engagement and action on socio-economic fronts between different regions of Ukraine.

The action involves the following key stakeholder groups:
1) Local CSOs and communities initiate and host east-west people-to-people exchanges, engage in community mapping.
2) IDPs are empowered with new knowledge and skills on active citizenship and get new opportunities for socio-economic integration in host communities.
3) Libraries serve as community centres for training, community mapping, events related to east-west/west-east exchanges, socialising of local residents and IDPs, facilitating the local environment.

The action envisages the following types of activities, outputs and results:

Activity 1: Four 3-day workshops for 24 civil society leaders coming from 12 cities/towns on the specifics of community mapping as a way to build an action plan for civic activity and community mobilisation

Activity 2: Nine-month community mapping in 12 cities/towns to identify and bring together key stakeholders from the areas of youth leadership, civic engagement, environment/education/rights protection, etc. engage in a mapping process that gives them tools to engage people, create coalitions of local change-makers, mobilise communities. IDPs with high professional and human capacities will be sought and encouraged to take active participation in the process.

Activity 3: National east-west study visits/exchanges with the elements of peer-to-peer learning (5-6 days) for 200 CSO leaders and 300 IDPs with special focus on the grounds for personal and regional identities, community development, integration of IDPs. These will envisage artistic events, presentations, experience sharing, open discussions, match-making for potential joint projects and partnership.

Activity 4: Four 3-day workshops on leadership for 100 IDPs (25 person a workshop) to help them learn how to apply leadership skills to their current set up and to effectively get what they need as a bloc.

Activity 5: Four 3-day introductory workshops on cultural and creative industries as a vehicle to increase livelihood of IDPs and contribute to socio-economic development of Ukraine. 100 IDPs (25 persons a workshop) will be engaged.

Activity 6: Four east-Ukrainian investment fairs in Dnipro to enable IDPs, who lost businesses during the conflict, to present entrepreneurial/start-up projects to the host communities, local authorities and potential investors in order to re-launch or open new SMEs in place.

Activity 7: All-Ukrainian awareness raising campaign on solidarity with the conflict-affected regions and people to mobilise participation and support from local communities. The campaign will be also a result and a tool developed during the community mapping.

Time frame: June 2016 – May 2018

The project is being realised in partnership with:

ned

The project is financed by the European Union and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA)