On August 21st -25th, 2016 on the island of Khortytsya (Zaporizhya) with the assistance of the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy there was held the First Summer School of Youth Municipal Planning. The school brought together more than 55 youth leaders and experts from leading universities, non-governmental organisations and local governments.
Young community representatives of Zaporizhya, Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities took part in workshops and business games and thus gained practical knowledge of municipal government, involving young people in decision-making processes and developing project imagination and project management skills.
Experts from Lithuania, Switzerland and the United States shared international experience in building democratic systems and involvement of youth in municipal planning.
The Administrative Director of NGO “Poruch” Vladislav Dementiev participated in the School with presentation of the youth initiatives successfully implemented by the Organisation and his own experience of successful projects.
During the training four youth teams were created to develop their own municipal projects. With the assistance of the City and Community Council of Zaporizhya, during business game “Public Council Meeting” they presented project ideas developed to ensure the sustainable development of local communities. As a result of the game, the expert committee selected one project that can be financed from the community budget of Zaporizhya.
The School of Youth Municipal Planning is a part of educational and practical project “Engaging Youth in Municipal Planning” (a part of programme “Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund”). The project is aimed at implementation of informational and educational campaign for:
1) the involvement of young Ukrainians in active development of new municipal project initiatives and discussion of municipal plans and programmes for sustainable social development;
2) sharing the experience among youth leaders from different parts of Ukraine and leading foreign experts, and thus promote Ukrainian youth network in municipal planning with strong international contacts and connections.
The project team consisted of graduates of American educational programmes:
• Taras Butchenko, Ph.D., the Head of Social Philosophy and Administration Department, Zaporizhya National University;
• Igor Kudinov, Ph.D., the Dean of the Sociology and Administration Department, Zaporizhya National University;
• Lesia Kovalenko, Ph.D., Associate Professor of World History and International Relations, the Deputy Dean of the History Department, Zaporizhya National University;
• Julia Sida, Ph.D. in Sociology, Associate Professor of Philosophy Department, Kharkiv National Medical University, Gender Analytical and Informational Centre “KRONA” expert;
• Yuri Smolnikov, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Documentation Department, National Aviation University;
• Ingrid Unikaite, Associate Professor of Modern European Politics Division of Political Science and Diplomacy Department, University of Vytautas the Great (Kaunas, Lithuania);
• Anastasia Bezhevets, a project coordinator of NGO “Poruch”, the Head of the Youth Council of the U. S. Ambassador.
The next stage of the project will comprise the organisation of round tables at Kyiv National Aviation University, Lviv Ivan Franko National University, Kharkiv National Medical University, Donetsk National University in Vinnitsa and Zaporizhya National University. In February 2017, Zaporizhya National University will host a festival of youth municipal projects.