By Volodymyr Onyshchuk, Head of the Youth NGO “Alternatyva”
It is often said that “the youth is our future”, but I do not agree. Young people are our present and we need to solve their problems now.
Exchange of experience with colleagues from the cultural and public centre in Kryvyi Rih. Photo by Dmytro Havrysh
In Ukraine, young people are trying to escape from small towns and villages. They are looking for opportunities for self-fulfillment in big cities. I know it. I left my native village as well to study in Kyiv. During my student years, I liked to organise events for my friends, for example, thematic clubs or movie nights. That's how the idea to establish a youth NGO “Alternatyva” appeared. I found people, who shared my views, and together we began to think how to “revive” Koryukivka. We were the only youth organisation in a town with a population of over 10 000 people.
Decentralisation has opened new opportunities for young people. Local government has become more focused on community opinion. They understand: to get the trust of young people, they need to listen to them.
Last year, a group of children asked us to build a sports ground for roller skating and skateboarding. It took a long time to develop a project, find a place and build a sports ground. But last summer we had an official opening.
I notice how young people gradually start to believe in themselves. Small steps can have a great impact. More and more young people currently want to be involved in our activities.
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