The division of society in Ukraine not only prevents a peaceful democratic dialogue, but also constructive cooperation of social actors at all levels in the current upheaval. Seemingly irreconcilable tension lines are not only between the eastern and western Ukraine, they also separate the people within a neighborhood or village and the current division and conflicare apparent at all layers of society.
The project “Dialogue for Change” is designed to help overcome these social cleavage by a strengthening of civil society and dialogue in Ukraine. The program operates on three levels:
At the local level, a civic engagement and peaceful dialogue program with 14 Maysternyas (workshops) for about 280 young adults in eight regions of Ukraine.
During the course of six trainings, sixty young proffesionals will gain the knowledge of how to be a ”community developer” through a non-formal civic educaion program.
With “UkraineLab“a national network of civil society was created, which is supported as an”agent of change” through mutual shadowing, training in “capacity development” and conflict management as well as network meetings.
At a European level 12 long-term partnerships (tandem) were created between Ukrainian and German / European civil society organizations. The tandems are jointly conducting projects in the “Community Development” and culture of democratic dialogue and are involved in a European network.
At a local level, it is noticeable that social bonds do not exist between civil society organizations in the peripheral areas and rural areas. Outside the center of these areas there are no attractive educational programs, organizational structures and role models for “social leaders“. Building a culture of dialogue and advocacy for the collective responsibility for the future of Ukraine is of emerging importance. Civil society actors can play the role of “translators”, “moderators” and create”bridge builders”. So it is possible to put the ideals of a pluralistic and democratic society into practice with specific projects and campaigns in the local communities.