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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

31.08.09 13:51

Leadership School for European Democracy - the key to leadership!

By: Volodimir Lehotkin

The project, Leadership School for European Democracy - 2009, was held 18-21 August at the rest camp "Forest Comfort," near Sumy. With 4 days of training workshops, it was supported by the Lithuanian Embassy in Ukraine, and the European Commission in Ukraine, and was organized and conducted by Sumy NGO Center for European Initiatives. 30 students from Sumy and Sumy region (Konotop; Okhtyrka districts) took part.

The purpose of the project, Leadership School for European Democracy, was the forming of democratic values and leadership training for school youth in the Sumy region. Participants attended training courses on leadership skills, European democracy and democratic society, tolerance, gender equality, as well as learned about youth policy in Ukraine and Europe, the criteria for EU membership, the achievement of Lithuania as a new member of the EU, and Ukraine's prospects for cooperation with the EU.

Participants of the seminar/training received much new and interesting information that will be useful often and will be necessary for them in the future. The camp program was very effectively developed: work time and rest were well distributed, each day's training course was well thought out, training alternated with movement activities and fun games, which all contributed to better assimilation of the information. It should be noted that much of the training was conducted outdoors, which gave participants an opportunity to rest and gain strength before the new academic year, in the natural setting of the rest camp "Forest Comfort," which is located among the pine trees!

Most memorable for participants were the training games, evening programs "Vacarelis" and "Kochevido," different integration games, and developing their own projects (in particular, the development of our own local social community). All these elements of the training course taught youth to work in teams, to develop their leadership qualities, to be tolerant, to not be afraid to speak and defend their own views, and to listen to their intermediaries and respect their views.

On the last day of the camp, during summarization, one of the participants expressed their impression about the program Leadership School for European Democracy - 2009:

"We all together were so quick to make friends and become a really great team helping each other. It was very interesting to communicate with everyone, because we met so many different people. All of them certainly - Leaders! … Let these projects be conducted as often as possible! I sincerely thank the organizers of Leadership School for European Democracy for arranging this training course."