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"Our mission is to assist in the reformation of Ukraine consistent with European standards, as well as to introduce democratic values and develop civil society in Ukraine."

From the Statute of
the Center for European Initiatives

Youth Exchange "Poverty is not history!", Eastbourn, England, August 2010

Organizer: Wishing Well Charity, Eastbourn, Great Britain

Partners:

  • Center for European Initiatives, Sumy, Ukraine
  • William Tyrrell Foundation, Slatina, Romania
  • Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Youth Assembly, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Armenian Center for Educational and Democratization, Yerevan, Armenia

Date: 22-31 August 2010

Place: Eastbourn, Great Britain

Participants: 35 youth from 5 countries (Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, Armenia, Great Britain), 15-25 aged

Working language: English

The project “Poverty – is Not History!” is multilateral youth exchange that was realized with the financial support from the Youth in Action Programme of the European Union. The aim of the project is that the young people become able to understand poverty, different types of poverty, the exclusion created by poverty and to identify ways on how they can young people change their perception of dealing with poverty in their society in the European context and not only. A special attention will be given to child poverty. The youth took part in different workshops, role plays,debates, presentations, round tables and the main topic in all events was poverty, child poverty and social exclusion. The participants shared their knowledge towards poverty issues in the home countries as one of the home assignments for all participants was to research the state of poverty in their own countries and the ways of combating poverty which are used by the state and by the nongovernmental sector. To attract attention of the Eastbourn community to the event and to the poverty issues in the world, the youth had an opportunity to meet with the Major of the city and also they made a photo exhibition.

The photo exhibition was one of the main events of the youth exchange, as every country had to make and select images which would reflect the visions of poverty in their countries. The youth settled and conducted the exhibition on the seafront telling city residents and guests about the poverty issues in their countries and about aims of the youth exchange. Among the exhibition visitors there were representatives of the European Parliament in the UK and the representatives of the UK Parliament. In spite of, to say the least, awful weather, cold and stormy rain, there were a lot of people who didn’t pass by but asked the participants with the interest to say about one or another photo, the countries they represented. It must to be mentioned that all images were taken by the participants.

Another important event organized in the frame of the youth exchange was charity action in Hastings arranged by the nongovernmental organizations of the city. The participants of the project were engaged to this action as volunteers helping to collect contributions.

Of course an integral part of the youth exchange was the national night. At that night each national group represented their county, customs, national dishes and drinks. For the Ukrainian participants it was the double holiday as that evening coincided with our Independence Day! The Ukrainian youth represented with honour Ukrainian customs, dances, songs, sang with all participants the Anthem of Ukraine and invited everybody to relish Ukrainian national dishes.

The last day of the youth exchange the participants spent exploring one of the most multicultural and bright capitals of the world – London.

After getting back home the Ukrainian participants conducted two workshops for the youth from Sumy and Sumy region. One workshop was held in Sumy Region Library and another one in the youth camp “Rovesnik”. The participants of the workshops learned what poverty means, how the level of poverty is measured, what the customer’s basket is, and also played the simulation game “The Scramble for Wealth”. During the game the youth had a chance to try on the feeling of the social inequality in the society, to be in the shoes of “honorable donor and sponsor”, and also to try to gain “economic equality” among different levels of the society. The participants of the youth exchanges played the role of “living libraries” and shared their experience and impressions of the participation in the international project. At the same time in the Sumy Region Library the exhibition of the images “Images of Poverty. Ukraine” was opened. The exhibition was brought by the participants from the UK to show for Sumy residents.