Volunteers in the Ukrainian communities From the 27th August to 10th of September 2007 in Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv oblasts the International campaign for volunteer movement promotion was held. During two weeks volunteers from Poland, Serbia, France, Germany, Denmark, Turkey and Japan jointly with Ukrainian peers worked on solving actual problems of Ukrainian communities. The initiative of UN Volunteers programme met the support of Chornobyl recovery and Development programme, Ukrainian Association for Youth Cooperation Alternative-V, and United Nations Development Programme Project “Human Security for Ukrainian Youth”. Volunteers in the Ukrainian communities From the 27th August to 10th of September 2007 in Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv oblasts the International campaign for volunteer movement promotion was held. During two weeks volunteers from Poland, Serbia, France, Germany, Denmark, Turkey and Japan jointly with Ukrainian peers worked on solving actual problems of Ukrainian communities. The initiative of UN Volunteers programme met the support of Chornobyl recovery and Development programme, Ukrainian Association for Youth Cooperation Alternative-V, and United Nations Development Programme Project “Human Security for Ukrainian Youth”.

Volunteers in the Ukrainian communities From the 27th August to 10th of September 2007 in Kyiv, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv oblasts the International campaign for volunteer movement promotion was held. During two weeks volunteers from Poland, Serbia, France, Germany, Denmark, Turkey and Japan jointly with Ukrainian peers worked on solving actual problems of Ukrainian communities. The initiative of UN Volunteers programme met the support of Chornobyl recovery and Development programme, Ukrainian Association for Youth Cooperation Alternative-V, and United Nations Development Programme Project “Human Security for Ukrainian Youth”.

International volunteers’ team demonstrated a good example of fruitful and effective work in rural communities of Lubech, Chernihiv oblast, Kruglyk Kyiv oblast, Lystvyn, Kyrdany and Korosten, Zhytomyr oblast. Volunteer work camp became a good format for volunteer movement promotion, youth development and cross-cultural connections. Acting at the community level, doing useful things for youth, who live on Chornobyl-affected territories, young challengers with their initiatives contributed to worldwide efforts in achieving Millennium Development Goals spelled out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

Having spent one or two days in every village or town, international volunteers provided trainings for local youth on volunteerism and after that together with Ukrainian peers did concrete tasks, important for local community. Meetings with young Ukrainians and training were conducted on a base of local Youth Centres that work in every village, listed above. Youth centres, opened in many Ukrainian villages and towns with support of United Nations Development Programme, foster an active citizenship, help in solving problems of local youth, and give an access to knowledge and information. That is why international volunteers’ visit is a chance not only for obtaining new skills and volunteerism traditions, but also for demonstrating own achievements and experience.

Korosten youth community representative Mr.Andriy Kostrytsya noted, that “Thanks to meeting with international volunteers we understood that volunteerism is not only working for free – it is a real philosophy of participation of citizens in a community development. Despite different languages we spoke, nothing could stop our joint work on arranging a playground for kids in an ancient style on a territory of City Park. Yes, the playground is very important, but the most important thing we did is our cultural exchange and share of experience. I would like to stay good friends with our guests and I wish our fabulous city would stay in every heart forever”.

This volunteer campaign became an important event not only for Ukrainian rural communities, but for international volunteers as well, because the intensive programme of the drive also included interesting excursions to Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Chornobyl. Sharing her impression after visiting Kruglyk, Kyiv oblast Ukraine Ms. Kathleen Zeidler from Germany said: “It’s very important and responsible to be here, to meet with young people, to work together. We are clearly aware about the fact that we represent not only our countries, but the volunteer movement a whole. Here, in Kruglyk we communicated our programme to local youth and met a full understanding and support. After that together we worked on cleaning the Tomb of the Soviet Soldier and the place around it . Nothing makes people closer than joint useful work”.

Making a summary Ms. Ann Merrill – co-manager of UN Volunteers programme mentioned that useful experience of joint solving of local problems by community, which is widely spread in different countries, has a fair chance to develop in Ukraine. A final event of the campaign was a press-conference at UNIAN on the 10th of September 2007, where results of the two weeks of work were described and discussed prospective of volunteerism in Ukraine.

For more information please contact Ms. Ann Merrill (044) 253 93 63, ann.merrill@undp.org

Photogallery of the event