Photo credit: Andrey Krepkikh / UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 8 July 2019 – Eighty young people from 17 Oblasts of Ukraine learned about integrity and inclusiveness challenges in Ukraine and brainstormed local solutions to local issues at the U-Inn 2.0: RELOAD Camp this weekend.

The summer camp is a part of the U-Inn 2.0 Youth Innovation Challenge, which aims to support the implementation of innovative youth projects at the local level, and to equip the potential participants in the Challenge with basic knowledge about integrity and inclusiveness in the democratic process. Participants also learned about human rights, building effective cooperation with the authorities, and engaging in local decision-making – as well as finding out about UNDP’s Innovation Principles, ideation, civic tech, project management, and creative approaches.

“Agenda 2030 stresses that young people should be engaged in decision-making,” said Marcus Brand, Senior Democratic Governance Advisor, UNDP Ukraine, in his welcome speech at the camp. “Young people’s participation is essential for building effective, accountable and transparent institutions and for creating an inclusive society. Only 7 percent of Ukrainians take an active part in their communities, and only 4 percent are engaged in civil society. Young people can make the difference in creating more inclusiveness and integrity.”

“Partnership and a frank dialogue between civil society and government are crucial for implementing reforms,” said Oleksandr Yarema, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport.

“It is necessary not only to dream, but to act. Our young people will not only change the country in the future, they are already changing it – introducing integrity and inclusiveness in their local communities. I hope that your participation in the U-Inn 2.0 RELOAD competition will become a new springboard for the realization of your initiatives.”

During the three-day U-Inn 2.0 camp, the participants had the opportunity to learn from some well-known civic tech innovators, civil society leaders, anticorruption and human rights activists, and experts in project management. The format of the camp was designed so as to help the participants develop and test their ideas during workshops and social games. They also learned about some of the successful initiatives from the first U-Inn contest, and obtained practical tools for changing the situation in their local communities.

“What makes me optimistic about Ukraine is the insane amount of energy, enthusiasm, and ideas in this country. The potential for youth participation is so unlimited, especially in local governance, that we want to do everything we can to build on that energy. Events like this empower youth and make sure they understand that they are the future,” said Garth Willis, representative of  Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID Ukraine.

"Each and every one of us is responsible for the development of our villages, towns and cities – and the country as a whole,” said Maria Nikitina, a public and political activist from Chernivtsi region, and an inclusion mentor from the Women’s Initiative NGO.

“What stands in our way is the reluctance of citizens to take responsibility for making changes in their communities, while the authorities are not proactive in engaging young people in decision-making. New ideas for obtaining resources to make changes happen are in high demand."

The call for innovative ideas for the U-Inn 2:0 Youth Innovation Challenge is open until August 1, 2019. Learn more about the initiative here: https://uinn.org.ua/

Background information:

U-Inn 2.0: RELOAD is an initiative of UNDP in Ukraine, which is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

In 2019, U-Inn is being implemented in partnership and with financial support of USAID Ukraine’s SACCI project, and in partnership with the State Agency for E-Governance, the CSO hubs network, the Centre for Innovations’ Development, the Public Council for Integrity, Freedom House in Ukraine, and 1991 Incubator.

The first pilot competition for youth innovation for democracy and human rights was held in 2017-2018. More than 600 young people participated in it, 90 teams submitted their ideas to the competition, and six teams received funding and mentor support for the implementation of their innovative projects.

Media inquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Communications Specialist, yuliia.samus@undp.org, +38 097 139 14 75

U-Inn 2.0 RELOAD Camp, Kyiv, July 5 (Day 1)

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