Eastern Ukraine is an area of protracted armed conflict, which refers to conflicts that are marked by longevity, complexity and a high impact on local populations. Kramatorsk, located in the Donbas region, was one of the first cities over which the Ukrainian government lost control during the conflict’s onset in 2014.
Fostering participation and social justice in conflict-affected communities
My assignment as a UN Youth Volunteer in Youth Participation in Governance and Peacebuilding with the United Nations Development Programme is based in Ukraine. For the first six months, I was working in Kiev on business conferences and entrepreneurship promotion through targeted motivation campaigns – something that didn’t really perk my interest. It was like being in a world full of abbreviations, stacks of files and papers.
On International Volunteer Day 2015, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the UN Resident Coordinator Office and the GURT Resource Centre held a consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with civil society organizations and volunteer groups in 11 cities of Ukraine. A total of 293 participants worked together to choose the most relevant SDGs addressing burning issues for Ukraine’s development.
More than 50 rural youth and teachers from the Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts took part in the Youth Forum organized by the Young Football Volunteers programme to learn about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), healthy lifestyle and volunteering. The YFV programme was launched by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in 2012 to utilize sport and volunteering as a means to tackle health and social risks.
In February 2014 the best Crimean athletes and coaches of 2013 were honoured at one of the most important sport events in Crimea: the annual Ball of Champions. The project Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for the MDGs, implemented by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was recognized as the best public organization to promote healthy lifestyles in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC) in 2013.
Modern youth are often accused of non-participation and indifference to community life and public service, but members of the First Youth Forum in Mykolayiv can dispel this belief. In April 2013, the Youth Forum 'Solving Youth Problems Together' was organized by the youth organization Alter-Sport and the 'Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for the Millennium Development Goals' project, with its UN Volunteers working in the Mykolaiv region.
In August 2010 the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) received the 2010 Monaco Charity Award from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Every year the UEFA gives this award to a deserving organization that is mobilizing the power of sport to achieve positive change.