After meeting representatives from the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports on the occasion of an event organized in Kyiv, a group of ‘Young European Ambassadors’ from Ukraine was invited to discuss with them how our initiative and the Ministry could support each other in achieving our common objectives.
Thus, on 3 April, Oleksandra Bilyaze, Kateryna Chubei, Anton Dubinskyi, Anastasia Bobrova and myself met with the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Oleksandr Yarema, and the Senior Specialist of the Promotion of Youth Development Unit, Igor Zosymenko, to introduce the ‘Young European Ambassadors’ initiative and discuss potential future cooperation.
Mr. Yarema explained to us that one of the main tasks of the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports is to integrate Ukrainian youth into the “European space”. He noted the increasing number of Ukrainians applying for scholarships, internships, short- and long-term projects in the European Union, which is a positive development. More and more non-governmental organizations and universities apply for EU grants and find partnership-institutions in the EU Member States. However, Mr. Yarema considers that young Ukrainians who believe in a stronger partnership with the EU should receive more support in order to expand their activities.
In 2017 alone, 369 Ukrainians applied for the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, which makes Ukraine the 7thcountry in the world sending the highest number of application for this programme. Nonetheless, many young Ukrainians are not well aware of the multitude of opportunities offered by the European Union (education, volunteering, grants, trainings,…). Thus, we all agreed that further efforts should be concentrated on reaching out to young people in the cities and regions of Ukraine where there is less information on the European Union and EU-funded opportunities, in comparison to Kyiv.
To engage with young people in the more isolated regions and cities of Ukraine, we discussed how to make better use of information resources available, such as Eurodeskand the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA).
In addition, we discussed how the ‘Young European Ambassadors’ initiative could develop initiatives at the local level to inform young people outside of the Ukrainian capital city. We also discussed how the Young European Ambassadors could get involved in in activities organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which often serve as a platform to network with like-minded Non-Governmental Organisations and Youth Organisations all over Ukraine.
As a result, the ‘Young European Ambassadors’ from Ukraine were invited to participate in the next youth event organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, a Youth Summit called “Саміт проактивних “Б.У.М” – Бажай Удосконалюй Мотивуй” in Ukrainian. You can join the event on Facebook here. The ‘Young European Ambassadors’ will participate in the youth organisations fair organized on 3 May in Kyiv from 10:00 AM onwards. We will distribute informational brochures and giveaways, discuss with you about the EU’s support for Ukrainian youth, help you to apply for EU-funded opportunities, as well as offer you to take a quiz on the European Union!
According to the New Europe Center, Ukrainian youth does not have a consolidated approach towards the European Union, although a majority of us believe in a stronger partnership with the EU. The ‘Young European Ambassadors’ in Ukraine work to connect young people across Europe, in Ukraine and in the EU, and we are looking forward to further cooperation with local stakeholders active in the field of youth that share this objective. We believe that the ‘Young European Ambassadors’ in Ukraine and the Ministry of Youth and Sports share common goals and values that surely can lead to fruitful cooperation, because we are stronger together!
Oksana Melnyk – Ukraine
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