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APRIL 2024

Campaign News


The new campaign to emphasise the importance and role of media and civil society

The Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine has launched a nationwide communication campaign, ‘Together We Act’, to support civil society and independent media. The campaign aims to demonstrate the role and importance of CSOs and the media for society and public institutions, and to showcase the opportunities for EU support.

Freedom, democracy and human rights are the EU’s core values. The citizens of Ukraine are fighting for these same values, bringing Ukraine closer to EU membership. Ukrainian civil society and independent media are the driving forces and watchdogs of these fundamental values,” said EU Ambassador to Ukraine Katarina Mathernova in a video message to mark the launch of the campaign.

Since the beginning of the great war, the EU’s support for CSOs and free media has grown significantly. According to Katarina Mathernova, in 2022 alone, the EU provided EUR 60 million worth of support -three times more than before. In particular, about 800 grants were awarded to local civil society organisations working in various fields.

In these challenging times, the EU believes it is crucial to promote and protect human rights, to make the voices of the most marginalised and vulnerable heard, to hold public institutions accountable and to ensure free and impartial media. The European Union is also working closely with civil society to strengthen the implementation of reforms that will support Ukraine’s path to EU membership,” said Madam Ambassador.

The new communication campaign, its rationale and goals were also discussed in an interview with Kateryna Mathernova for 1+1.

The development level and the extent of civil society activity during the war are very impressive. We see that civil society was the first to mobilise during the invasion,” says the Ambassador. “A huge number of volunteer organisations emerged to essentially provide public services. In addition, there are independent journalists who act as observers and controllers of state institutions. They are very active, they conduct investigations, they expose corruption and so on.

Katarina Mathernova called the developed civil society “Ukraine’s great advantage”.

The level of public debate and engagement of civil society and independent media is very strong in Ukraine. It is important that this continues,” says Madam Ambassador about one of the most important public roles of CSOs and free media.

The European Union has always supported them, including as partners in Ukraine’s progress towards European integration. Here are some of the statistics released on the occasion of the launch of the ‘Together We Act’ campaign.

As of the first quarter of 2024, there were 63 grant projects to support CSOs in Ukraine with total EU funding of over EUR 104 million. The grant projects implemented 1984 sub-grant projects, and another 346 sub-grants were implemented through the regional grants mechanism.

Over the past few years, more than 150 media outlets of various levels have received financial assistance from the EU in the amount of more than EUR 15 million. For example, the EU supports Ukraine’s national broadcaster Suspilne and its flagship media literacy initiatives.

The all-Ukrainian communication campaign “Together We Act” will include awareness raising, learning and public activities with various interactive elements, both online and offline.

The first of these was the EuroSummit of CSOs held in Kyiv on May 9. Experts, civic activists, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities and partners from the European Union worked out a common direction for Ukraine’s EU membership.

The essays by the three winners of the EU Delegation’s contest are available on Ukrayinska Pravda

In April, Ukrayinska Pravda published the entries of the three essay contest winners. The contest was organised by the Delegation of the European Union to mark the 10th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the EU. More than 140 young people competed in the contest.

Participants submitted their entries in January, and the finalists were selected in February, with the award ceremony that took place in March. The publication of the best essays in Ukrayinska Pravda was the concluding stage of the campaign.

In their essays, the finalists reflected on the significance of the Revolution of Dignity for the future of the country, the importance of European values for Ukrainian society and its ability to fight for the very existence of its own state.

Like the Orange Revolution of 2004, the Revolution of Dignity is yet further proof for Ukrainians of what we can achieve when we unite in the fight for the future,” writes 19-year-old Yelyzaveta Khodorovska from Odesa. “We are aware of how difficult the struggle we joined 10 years ago is, but we also know that nothing is impossible when we defend our existence.”

In her essay, Shekurie Ramazanova, 21, recalls the 2013- 2014 events, the Euromaidan-Crimea rallies, armed clashes, the seizure of administrative buildings, the occupation of the peninsula, the fake referendum and the mass exodus of people.

Crimean Tatars have an old saying: ‘Halqa birlik -quşqa qanat’ (Unity for a nation is like wings for a bird). Even though we are currently forced to be divided, we continue to fight for an independent and sovereign Ukraine both at the front and in the international arena. Yet we are able to do so solely for the reason of having chosen a titanically difficult but right path to freedom in 2014,” she writes.

Vladyslav Satsiuk, 22, from Kyiv, emphasises the role of European values in his work.

People were united by the idea of a true European state as at that moment their future was at stake. Respect for human rights and dignity, rule of law, equality, democracy and freedom – these universal principles have become desirable for the further development of the entire nation,” Vladyslav underlines. “European values have laid the foundation for the new political reality in Ukraine.

More information:
EU4Ukraine website

Project News


Kamianske has a ‘Place of Power’; Kremenchuk and Nizhyn are next in the line

More than 80 activities involving about 1 700 inhabitants of Kamianske in Dnipro region were delivered by the resilience centre called ‘Place of Power.’ And this is even before the centre was officially opened in April this year.

Last year, the authorities provided us with a building to accommodate the centre, but it needed renovation,” explains project manager Yuliya Borysova. “So, while it was being renovated, the centre worked in different locations in Kamianske, mainly at the Youth Initiatives Centre. However, now our premises are completely ready, equipped with furniture and are fully functional.”

The initiative to deploy a number of resilience centres called ‘Place of Power’ is being jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and funded by the EU under the EU4Recovery – Empowering Communities in Ukraine. It is being implemented directly on the ground by the Fishermen’s Club CSO and the Living Heart Charitable Foundation.

We provide counselling and psychosocial support for the vulnerable. These can be teenagers, internally displaced persons, the elderly and others. If necessary, we refer these people to our partners in the community who are engaged in more in-depth professional support,” says Yuliya.

The focus of a number of activities is evidenced by their names: ‘(No) Small Things in Relationships’, ‘Resilience 2.0’, art therapy sessions with the centre’s therapist, and ‘Energy of Your Future’ teenage camps. These are personal development trainings intended to improve various aspects of people’s lives and their mental, emotional, social, intellectual, professional and spiritual development. Some of the sessions seek to raise awareness on toxic relationships and mental violence, or to help participants better understand them selves, their goals and opportunities.

We talk about stress and emotional tension, how the body responds to them and how to prevent that,” says Sofia Myrkalova, project assistant and coach of the Resilience 2.0 programme. “For example, adolescents tend to wind themselves up a lot, and they may not seek help from their parents, teachers or mentors, but just say that they are having a hard time. Trainings like ours help them fight their inner fears, making it a lot easier for today’s teenagers to cope, including in their adult lives. They will already know what to do in a given situation.

In the coming months, resilience centres will be launched in Kremenchuk, Poltava region and Nizhyn, Chernihiv region.


Civil society organisations supervise the recovery process

In April, analysts from the Chernihiv-based CSO Agency for Municipal Initiatives (AMI) analysed 13 social infrastructure facilities in the city to determine the risks posed to their reconstruction. These include schools, courthouses, libraries, and the music and drama theatre that were damaged due to Russian aggression.

All of the facilities received fairly good scores, so the risks to their recovery are currently ‘low’.

At this monitoring stage, we are not assessing corruption risks, but rather the risks to reconstruction,” emphasises Tetyana Romanova, AMI’s head. “It is corruption risks that we will be able to discuss after visiting each of the sites, when we compare the paperwork with the real state of affairs.”

The organisation is conducting this monitoring with a grant received under the EU-funded project ‘Monitoring Recovery Costs.’ It is being implemented by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, the Centre for Economic Strategy, and the Technologies of Progress CSO.

When examining facilities for risks to reconstruction, the AMI takes into account a number of factors such as the total value of the facilities, funding sources, type of reconstruction required, public disclosure of documentation, recon- struction timeframes, monitoring and reporting systems, communication with citizens and the involvement of independent experts. A total of 17 criteria are applied. Each of them has its own score, and the organisation calculates the total score after adding them up.

For example, the drama theatre damaged by a Russian missile last year (on photo) scored 83 points at this stage, while the ‘high’ risk to reconstruction starts at 109.

Such a reconstruction risk, due to the lack of publicly available tender documentation, has a maximum score of 4. A facility is given this score if the relevant documents are not publicly disclosed. If they are, it is 0 points,” explains Tetyana. “For example, the documents on the reconstruction of the drama theatre are not publicly available, so it received 4 points. In some other criteria, the maximum score is 15.

The organisation has also developed datasheets for each of the reconstruction sites it is studying. They are available on the Big Recovery Portal.

Engaging independent civil society organisations in monitoring the reconstruction is extremely important. It is not only about preventing corruption risks, but also about barrier- free accessibility of facilities,” says Oleksandra Betliy, Senior Research Fellow and Project Coordinator at the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting. “We have already supported four organisations within the Monitoring Recovery Costs project, but the call for proposals is ongoing. On 30 April, a new round of applications was completed, and new contributors will soon join the project.

More information:
Agency for Municipal Initiatives website
Presentation of the Monitoring Recovery Costs by the Centre for Economic Strategy


Tulchyn wants to raise waste management awareness among residents

At the end of April, the Facebook page of the Tulchyn municipal community in Vinnytsia Oblast conducted a survey among its residents to improve household waste management practices. The local authorities were interested in the attitude of Tulchyn inhabitants to cooperation with the utility company Tulchynko- munservis and their intention or desire to conclude contracts for waste removal, people’s willingness to pay for such ser- vices, readiness for separate waste collection in households, and more.

This is how the project ‘Improving Waste Management Pro- cesses in the Tulchyn Municipal Community Following the Ex- perience of Gmina Nakło nad Notecią’ began, for which the community received a grant from the International Solidarity Fund under the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.

The project is aimed at boosting public outreach in waste management to inform community dwellers about the importance of proper waste management, and to encourage them to use and pay for the household waste collection and removal services provided by the utility company Tulchynkomunservis,” says Natalia Hnatenko, project manager. “The number of clients significantly affects both the tariff and the efficiency of the company. It is one thing when 50 households in a settlement pay for the service, and another when 100 do, which makes it much more efficient.

Raising residents’ awareness of proper waste management is one of the key factors in solving the problem. Among other things, the project aims to introduce separate waste collection.

That is what is missing in the community right now, and that is why the new landfill, which was built just over seven years ago, is filling up so quickly. The utility company generates no additional revenue from the sale of recyclables, which could be gained through separate collection,” says Natalia.

The community intends to remedy the situation, and contain- ers for separate waste collection will be purchased as part of the project. A large-scale waste management communication campaign will also be conducted on all possible information resources and in schools.

At the same time, the project also includes the installation of six surveillance cameras to monitor and record improper waste management and impose fines.

The Tulchyn community received funding for the project as a result of winning the Good Governance -Projects 2023 mi- crogrant call for proposals held by the International Solidarity Fund. It was available to 25 municipalities, whose representa- tives had completed a seven-week internship in Poland last year. Natalia Hnatenko, the Tulchyn project manager, interned in the Nakło nad Notecią Commune, and this experience will now be shared.

Community representatives carry out a variety of activities – from youth work to waste management,” says Paweł Aleksandrowicz, Good Governance internships project owner, about the winners of the microgrant competition. “These practices are an example of grassroots action in the field of local government modernisation. Over time, successful practices can be applied in other municipalities. And in combination with the ability to raise funds in the long run, this will contribute to the development of a highly qualified network of local government officials in Ukraine.


Helping a child and saving a family: the project supports foster families

Throughout April, presentations of the EU-funded project ‘Family for Every Child: Development of Family-based Foster Care’ were held in the regions. It involves 184 communities from 21 regions. In total, 600 communities applied for the call, which demonstrates a great interest in family-based foster care.

The project is being implemented by UNICEF, Partnership for Every Child, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, Coordination Centre for the Development of Family Upbringing and Childcare and the National Social Service of Ukraine.

The main criteria for selecting communities were their need for foster care, their capacity to develop foster care and the security situation. They also considered the total number of children in the community and the number of children living in temporary institutional care facilities, the staffing of services for children and the number of social workers.

We provide the necessary support to community professionals, foster carers and biological families of children. This is a long-term comprehensive project,” says Vasylyna Dybaylo, director of the Partnership For Every Child. “Proper conditions for the development and upbringing of children provided in foster families have a positive impact on reducing social tension in communities, uniting them and encouraging further development. And this is the best possible outcome for us.”

Family-based care is a professional service that provides temporary care, upbringing and rehabilitation of a child in the family of a foster carer for the period of overcoming difficult life circumstances by the child and his/her parents.

The Medzhybizh community in Khmelnytskyi region is one of those selected to implement the project. Its leader, Oleksandr Tkach, took part in the presentation meeting in Khmelnytskyi. He says that there are approximately 30 families in the community with children in need of protection.

We already have certain developments, and there are candidates for foster families. They need to be trained and selected properly because it is a big responsibility,” says Oleksandr. “As a result of the project, we plan to create one or two foster families.”

The community leader expects that participation in the project will also help train professionals who will be able to work with both children and families in difficult life circumstances.

The goal should not be to remove children from their families or send them somewhere else, but to keep the family together and to work with parents so that they can live and raise their children to the fullest,” says Oleksandr.

The project will continue to work with communities until July 2025. During this time, it is planned to create 250 new foster families. The project also expects an increase in the number of children who will return to their biological families or be placed in family-based care after foster care.


Healthy and not so much: how local media are doing during the war

The concept of ‘news deserts’ originated in the United States and refers to areas where people do not receive sufficient reliable information about local issues and developments. The reason for this is problems with local media. To identify such ‘deserts’ in Ukraine, the Media Development Foundation (MDF), with the financial support from the EU, researched 11 Ukrainian regions.

The research methodology is based on the evaluation of media activities based on eight criteria. These include proper information about civic initiatives and public services, local policies and governance, education and transport, economic development and the environment.

The 11 regions analysed by MDF, including the temporarily occupied ones, consist of 68 districts and the city of Kyiv. In total, the researchers found that there are 879 newsrooms operating in these regions. On average, there are 60-70 operating media outlets per region. However, of these, 10 or fewer can be called independent by MDF based on the criteria used for the analysis.

In April, the research team presented the findings in the form of interactive maps. The districts of the regions were divided into ‘healthy,’ ‘partially healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’.

Deserts emerge not when there is self-censorship or attempts to avoid conflicts, but when there is not enough money available in the community or district to support publications that meet people’s needs,” says Maksym Sribnyi, MDF’s head of research. “In particular, we observe entire clusters like those in Dnipro and Mykolaiv regions, where everything is very problematic with media funding.

The research revealed a number of unusual phenomena. For example, Bila Tserkva district in Kyiv region is ‘unhealthy’, while Shostka district in Sumy region or Kupiansk district in Kharkiv region are ‘healthy’ even though they all suffer from Russian aggression and are in a difficult security situation.

Maksym contends that it is impossible to determine the exact causes for this phenomenon -one can only speculate.

Media in small frontline towns are often either revived or founded by charismatic leaders, by people who have connections to local communities and the capacity to change them,” he says. “In Sumy region, for example, there is a whole network of small media outlets, and in Kharkiv region there is also a very powerful civic media movement – even local media websites are united in one network.

Since the outbreak of the full-scale war, the EU has increased its support for Ukrainian media allocating tens of millions of euros. Maksym believes that grant aid is important, including to prevent ‘news deserts.’

In places where the only source of money is either the local government (which distributes it through information service contracts) or small businesses that need no advertising, this additional revenue is sometimes invaluable,” he says.



With financial support from the EU, the Seeds of Bravery project is holding a call for proposals for Ukrainian technology start-ups and SMEs offering innovative solutions, services or products. Grants of EUR 10 000 to EUR 50 000 are available. The call is ongoing with interim deadlines.

Deadline for the current round of applications —
25 June 2024

Read more

The EU-funded Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme has launched a call for applications to select intermediary organisations to implement the initiative at the local level in Ukraine and Moldova. They will act as local points of contact for the programme and will help aspiring entrepreneurs find host companies for internships.

Deadline — 27 June 2024

Read more


Culture Moves Europe, a programme of individual grants, supports artists and culture professionals in the implementation of projects across the Creative Europe countries, which are not their country of residence. The call is open to individuals and groups of up to five people. The grant covers travel and subsistence costs, and offers additional top-ups on an individual case basis.

A project can last 7-60 days for individuals and 7-21 days for groups of up to five people.

Deadline — 31 May 2024

Read more

Find more information about how to attract grant funding for a cultural or creative project in the free online course European Grants for Cultural and Creative Projects — developed by the National Desk of the EU’s Creative Europe programme in Ukraine in cooperation with Creative Practice.

Read more

Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB — Literary Colloquium Berlin) in cooperation with the Ukrainian Book Institute and with the support of the EU is organising an international meeting of Ukrainian literary translators to be held on 25-29 August 2024. Up to 30 literary translators from all over the world will be able to learn about current trends in Ukrainian literature, share their views on current translation techniques and discuss strategies for promoting Ukrainian literature.

Deadline — 31 May 2024

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The Natolin Fellowship Programme, a scholarship from the College of Europe in Natolin (Poland) for Ukrainian PhD students and recent graduates, is now open for applications. This is an eight-month professional development programme, fully funded by the EU, to support Ukraine and Moldova in their accession negotiations with the EU.

Deadline — 10 May 2024

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The European Commission invites aspiring journalists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to participate in the Youth4Regions programme. The events will take place on 5-11 October 2024 in Brussels. The programme includes trainings, mentoring from experienced journalists and visits to media organisations and EU institutions.

Deadline — 8 July 2024

Read more

Interregional cooperation

The Interreg Europe Programme has launched a call for proposals for projects from organisations in the EU and seven candidate countries (including Ukraine) to improve interregional cooperation and regional development policies. The call is focused on innovation, sustainable development and inclusiveness. The call is open to public authorities, legal entities under public law and private non-profit organisations.

Deadline — 7 June 2024

Read more

‘Communicating the European Union for Ukrainians’ (CEU4U), an EU-funded project


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