A network of hubs lets civil society flourish across UkraineFeb 1, 2018
“I was forced to relocate from the east of our country because of the military conflict... We settled in Kirovohrad Oblast, in Svitlovodsk. Meeting with the “Territory of Success” team gave me an impetus to lead and develop our own civil society organisation.”
Hanna Kurus, head of a local civil society organization called “Future without Boundaries’’.
“Territory of Success”, a human-rights civil society organisation founded in 2008, recently became a hub for civil society development in its region of Kirovohrad, in central Ukraine. As part of a program to support civil society at local level, the “Territory of Success” team increased its organisational capacity, and started providing support to other civil society organizations in the region.
“Territory of Success” is one of nine “civil society hubs” located in different regions of Ukraine. In 2017 alone, these hubs provided consultations to 1751 less experienced local NGOs.
“We developed our potential. Now we meet the normal operational standards of any European civil society organisation, and we can help others do the same,” says Ruslana Burova, from human rights NGO “MART”, another hub which is operating in the Chenihiv oblast, in northern Ukraine. MART" actively protects human rights, in particular the rights of children and socially vulnerable groups by providing legal assistance, educating, monitoring and advocating.
“Thanks to this program we managed to redirect the focus of our organization to cope with today’s challenges and needs”, echoes Oleksiy Horetsky of the Rivne Committee of Voters, the hub, supporting civil society and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rivne oblast, Western Ukraine.
L’viv-based NGO "Center "Women's Perspectives"
“Joining the network of CSO hubs in 2014 was a significant step forward for our organisation,” says Lyubov Maksymovych, head of NGO "Center "Women's Perspectives" in the L’viv oblast, bordering with Poland in Western Ukraine. The organization advocates for gender equality principles, counteraction to human trafficking, prevention of domestic violence.
“The “Women’s Perspectives” is a tutor organization. It is the organization that helps, supports, consults, facilitates and pushes forward. We, as the organization working in communities, have received a lot of valuable knowledge and skills,” says Natalia Prots, head of the “Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development”.
Kramatorsk and Kyiv CSO-hubs
The hub in the Donetsk oblast in Eastern Ukraine has passed through many challenges. In 2014, when it received support to become a hub, the team suddenly found itself in a conflict-torn area. They reorganized into three distinct civil society organizations: Kramatorsk-based “Tochka Dostupu”, Public Holding “HRUPA VPLYVU” and the think-tank “Fabryka Dumky-Donbas”, located in Kyiv.
“The way hubs support each other, the way we can cooperate and find synergies, that is what is worth continuing. The CSO hubs’ network is really strengthening civil society in Ukraine and its influence on state policy,” explains Tetiana Durnyeva, executive director of “HRUPA VPLYVU”. The CSO has successfully advocated for adoption of many legislative acts and policies, aimed at supporting internally displaced persons.
“Zakhyst” Community Foundation, Kherson
“Zakhyst” Foundation, founded in 2003, is the hub for the Kherson oblast, one of Ukraine’s regions bordering the Black Sea. “With the support of “Zakhyst”, our initiative group managed to reach its main goal, which is to create opportunities for civic, educational and cultural development of the Kherson youth,’’ says Anastasiya Klymentenko, project manager of youth initiative group “Kypyatok”.
Having received support, Iryna Khanikova – mother of five, including a child with Down syndrome - has founded and successfully develops the NGO “Sunny children of Kherson region”, providing support to children with Down syndrome.
“We now have a unique network of organizations, which are not solely developing themselves, but also helping other civil society organizations to guard human rights, consolidate democracy, develop civil society,” says Larysa Polska from “Zakhyst”.
The CSO hubs’ network was established by the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine, within the framework of the “Civil Society for Enhanced Democracy and Human Rights” project, financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. In 2018, the network of CSO hubs will expand from nine to 15 organizations.
Watch impressive videostories of success of 9 CSO-hubs and learn more!