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Youth Center Volyn


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Youth Center Volyn

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Youth Center Volyn is a social project that develops young people through non-formal education activities on the basis of public space in Lutsk.

It was created in 2015 after the war in Ukraine started and after the Revolution of Dignity (or Maidan). When the Maidan won, a new active youth was formed. We decided to continue the "Maidan" and do something meaningful that will work with the present and the future - the youth. That there were no bloody revolutions, and changes took place calmly and constantly. Youth center Volyn is a place that shapes 21st century Ukrainians who can hold an iPhone in one hand and a flag in the other. We started looking for resources, putting the idea into reality, and today you can come to the Youth center Volyn and become better and make your country the better place.

Our priorities are:
  • Provide young people with healthy and safe opportunities for pleasant leisure and recreation through stable clubs. Club is a free event that are repeated weekly / monthly and last 1-2 hours and are conducted on a volunteer basis by club leaders. Examples of clubs: English for youth and Let’s speak are English language clubs, board game club, book and cinema lovers' clubs
  • Create opportunities for young people to be involved in non-formal education, which contributes to the development of their competencies. We do this through stable educational programs about leadership, soft skills and project management and one-time events about leadership, self-development, creativity, etc.
  • Partnership with public organizations. Through the implementation of joint projects of social action, exchange of experiences, PR support of events. We also provide free space and technical resources for meetings and events of non-profit organizations.

Our dream is to help 100 000 young people to realize their full potential in Ukraine by doing what they love.

The problem we are trying to solve:

"We are concerned about the lack of civic awareness and social responsibility of young people and their despair of Ukraine's potential. Youth is the driving force of society and its future. Now in Ukraine, young people do not go to the polls and do not believe that their vote can change anything. They do not know how to bring all the problems that concern them to power, they are silent and do not see any prospects in the country. Then there are two solutions: going abroad or revolution!

In the future, young people may re-enter the revolution, which may turn into a civil war, where young people may or may not win! And then the war will be not only outside but also inside the country. We are afraid that history may repeat itself.

Therefore, we offer a third solution, peaceful and calm to show that they have opportunities to realize themselves in Ukraine."

"Young people do not believe that they have a voice and that their actions can change the country. It affects every aspect of a young person's life and Ukraine. For example, people in the city do not have enough bicycle lanes, there are numerous accidents.

If they knew that this situation could be changed and applied to the city council, the welfare index would increase. Instead, young people do not believe in their strengths and potential of their country and go abroad in search of a better life. Elderly people remain in Ukraine then, and young people with new ideas and visions realize themselves in other countries, leaving Ukraine at a lower level of development."

The solution we are proposing:

"The third solution we are talking about is stable youth work. Youth work offers young people a safe space for self-awareness, experience in decision-making, increasing their confidence, developing communication skills and forming responsibility for their own actions. This approach leads to a more conscious life choice, changes in activities, active involvement in community life, contributing to the personal development and social integration of young people.

Youth work exists to:
• enable young people to do what they want to do together or individually;
• provide young people with opportunities for the development of independence and autonomy;
• provide young people with healthy and safe opportunities for pleasant leisure and rest;
• empower young people to change situations that, on
their opinion must be changed in their immediate environment and society; • help young people interact with government and politicians;
• create opportunities for young people to be involved in non-formal education, which contributes to the development of competencies

We create opportunities for young people to shape their own future."

What realistic steps are you taking or intend to take?

"1. Work with adolescents who do not yet know anything about community service. We already have educational programs on leadership, team building and project management. More than 15 social action projects have been implemented in the city, and participants who pass the program then join the center as volunteers or become leaders of public organizations. 2. Support for active youth. Now the situation is such that public initiative groups have no place to hold their meetings or social events. Therefore, the Youth Center of Volyn provides them with premises free of charge and helps with all its resources. "

What success looks like for us:

"We dream that the center will help 100,000 young people to realize themselves in Ukraine by doing what they love.

To track this, we have a Google questionnaire that young people fill out if the center was useful to them. So we see how effective we are.

Success is also when we:
- we will be able to provide for ourselves through the club of a social investor
- Program participants will become volunteers of the center and leaders of public organizations
- There will be more social projects made by graduates of our programs in the city"

Where we are are based:

Lutsk, Ukraine

Funding we are applying for:

$14,000 - $15,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

"If we have permanent employees, it will help increase the productivity of leadership programs and make the center more efficient. We will give stability to youth work in the city. The leadership and project management will operate stably at the center every month. Then we will be able to double the results of the program, as there will be more successful graduates who will join NGOs and become YCV volunteers. So there will be more implemented social initiatives for the city that will solve community problems.

We plan to attract +300 graduates of the program ""Mission Lidership"" in two years, who implement more than 30 social projects. Their projects will in turn cover 30 young people and involve them in public activities. So, we can change the lives of 10,000 young people for the better in two years."

How this funding will strengthen our group:

"To be honest, now the center is just trying to survive. Because there are not enough resources to implement the full plan and to develop the program.

We are not funded by the government or politicians, but have created a unique club of social investors. There are people in the club who are not indifferent to the youth and our mission, and therefore every month they donate a certain amount of money to the center.

The funds we attract from investors are only enough for rent, utilities and administrative costs. But more and more salaried employees are needed, because this will ensure the stability of the programs and the center.

Funding from you will help the center think not about the funds that need to be raised somewhere this month, but about the development of the program, volunteers and youth in general.

An interesting fact is that volunteers or graduates who have already left the center become social investors and continue to support newcomers to the center.

So, in these two years we will be able to join the ranks of the social investor's club and pay for ourselves and have funds for salaries, rent and programs. Because we are tired of looking for support in various grants and organizations, and so we will become self-sufficient and will be able to make young people better on their own."

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

"The foundation will help us ensure the sustainable operation of the center and programs, as we want to have three employees who will work on the mission of the center.

The coordinator and logistician of the main program Mission Leader will organize the entire program, namely 12 basic trainings, training of trainers, strategic session to update the training program, PR and gathering of participants, involvement of other partners to support the program, pitching of graduate projects and their mentoring support in the implementation of ideas and more.

The volunteer coordinator will involve young people in the activities of the center and the implementation of social initiatives under the name of ICV. The coordinator will develop a recruitment system, conduct an annual strategic session for volunteer activities, monitor and mentor volunteers, organize monthly meetings and trainings to improve volunteer skills."

How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

We plan to spend money on salaries for permanent employees, namely the program coordinator, program logistician and volunteer coordinator. Also for two big initial trips to other cities for Mission Leadership graduates to get to know and share experiences with other NGOs and learn new skills in volunteering. In this way, we will show that volunteering and community service are necessary and useful.

Our Annual Income:

$12,560

Our Organization Structure:

"The project is headed by the Board of Directors, which coordinates it and provides its activities. Board of Directors, through the director and the supervisory board, monitors the implementation of tasks and strategies project. Members of the supervisory board have own position and perform monitoring tasks strategy implementation, conflict resolution c organizations, provide comprehensive recommendations to the center. They must be members of the supervisory board representatives of various business and public environments sector and leaders of youth organizations." "The executive staff consists of a coordinator, a program manager, an administrator and volunteers. In accordance with the tasks of the board of directors, the coordinator forms the structure of the center and coordinates it with the supervisory board. The coordinator coordinates the work of all areas and sets tasks for the work, monitors their implementation.

The structure of the center is formed by areas of work. Currently, there are 3 areas: ""Educational programs for young people"", ""Youth Information"", ""Center Administration"".

1. The direction of ""Educational programs"" is led by 1 program manager, who organizes educational activities, forms programs and reports the results to the head. Also, to competences and responsibilities of the manager support for the activities of the club's permanent clubs.

2. The direction ""Informing the youth"" is supervised by the coordinator of the center, which provides comprehensive information to young people and youth NGOs about important events and projects.

3. The direction of ""Administration"" provides stable functioning of the center as a resource base for youth and youth organizations. The direction is led by 1 person - administrator of the youth center. He is also in charge of the volunteer corps."

Yes, we are youth-led because we focus on youth-led development, our educational programs promote youth participation in public life and have a permanent staff made up of young people.

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