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An online lesson for Ukraine local leaders of tomorrow

10 enero 2018

When young people will start working in local self-governments, fast changes will take place in our country”, said Oleksandr Slobozhan, Executive Director of the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC), during the “All-Ukrainian local self-governance lesson” organised in a web format by AUC on 19 December.

The Association of Ukrainian Cities is PLATFORMA’s Eastern neighbourhood programme partner. This event was part of the “Policy for Ukraine Local Self-Governance” (PULSE) project (supported by USAID). The lesson was delivered by Oleksandr Slobozhan, AUC Executive Director, Hennady Zubko, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Regional Development, and Pavlo Hobzey, Deputy Minister of Education and Science.

More than 40 leaders of Kyiv Students’ self-government’s associations were invited and nearly 600 educational institutions joined the online lesson: this represented 17 thousand high school students from 230 villages, towns and cities from all regions of Ukraine.

The aim of the event was to improve the image of local self-governance among citizens, to spread decentralisation ideas, to promote the “New Ukrainian School” secondary schools reform and to build a dialogue between the authorities and students all over Ukraine.

For the Vice-Prime Minister H.  Zubko, it is clear that the representatives of Students’ self-government are already leaders, so far at the school level, but later they will manage their communities, or even take managerial functions in the state.

Oleksandr Slobozhan informed the audience about the role of AUC in strengthening youth policy. He provided examples of youth projects implemented in Ukrainian cities, such as the AUC fair of vacancies at the Chernovtsy National University or the competition “Youth Capital of Ukraine”. This aims at activating cooperation between youth and local self-governments, as well as promoting the creation of comfortable conditions for the development of youth in cities.

During the preparation stage of the All-Ukrainian local self-governance online lesson, AUC collected five hundred questions from all over Ukraine. Answering the question about involving young people in the decision-making process at the local level, Oleksandr Slobozhan stressed that local government bodies could set up youth advisory committees, and might involve schoolchildren and students as key stakeholders to projects relevant for them.  He also underlined that when young people will start working in local self-governments, fast changes would take place in the country. The AUC Executive Director supported the idea of creating a local self-governance platform, where young people could offer their projects, communicate and find supporters and partners to realise their ideas.

At the end of the lesson, Mr. Zubko called on students “not to be afraid of difficulties and to set high goals”.

PLATFORMA supports the Association of Ukrainian Cities and its Georgian and Moldovan partners (NALAG and CALM) in the framework of its Eastern neighbourhood programme. It has also launched two major projects which are linked to the promotion of local self-governance:

  • CONNECT: an innovative mechanism that connects international partners to exchange experiences, knowledge and skills. Its main asset is its “colleague-to-colleague” approach. Youth international projects are more than welcome to apply. More information: platforma-dev.eu/connect
  • European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS): launched in 2016, they aim to inform and raise European citizens’ awareness on the need to combine the efforts of local and regional governments to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. The 2017 edition took place from 10 to 24 November in a dozen of European cities and regions. The Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LPS) devoted these events to Georgia and Moldova. More information: localsolidaritydays.eu

Discover the All-Ukrainian local self-governance lesson in video.