"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

05.05.11 16:28

Volunteerism Does Not Sleep

By: Інна Битюк

In September 2010 young people from Ukraine, Germany, the Czech Republic and Georgia participated in the youth exchange program, "Volunteerism - Citizenship in Action.” The exchange program took place in Crimea (Ukraine). CEI organized the event, with the financial support of the Youth in Action Programme of the European Union.

About 40 young people assembled and enjoyed the program designed to promote active volunteerism in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. The youth learned how to actively participate in volunteer activities that develop norms of solidarity and mutual assistance in the community and how to create a cohesive community with strong social ethics.

The ten-day youth exchange program was full of various activities which utilized informal and interactive education methods as tools of learning. The views expressed by the students on the nature and practice of volunteerism in their different countries were very informative to those participating.

For a better understanding of the role of volunteers in the community, the students were engaged in role playing in an activity called “The Theater of the Oppressed.” The portrayals in the drama workshop, of people in conditions of poverty and discrimination, were very useful in developing a video on the topic. The participants created slogans aimed at the precise motivation behind discrimination and what to do about it. The slogans helped inspire participants to create stories, which were then filmed at the end of the exchange and culminated in a collaboration of opinion on the issue. The film they created will be good advertising about volunteerism and will motivate others to become active citizens in their communities on the issues of poverty and discrimination. Participants also enjoyed being the designers, actors and directors in the project.

Another part of the exchange program that the participants liked very much was enjoying the infinite beauty and sunny days of Crimea. Tours were organized to show the students around the area and many expressed that it was hard to leave the magical views of the peninsula behind.