Yuliya LYUBYCH , Ukraine
PROJECT: Open Dialogues: How to Build Peace during Wartime

Yulia stands for the idea that youth participation is vital for an inclusive society. She is experienced in local participatory research, and non-formal education of youth work and culture.

As Educational Designer in the Ukrainian youth organization STAN, Yulia aims for the meaningful inclusion of young people and vulnerable groups of different ages. Her first project on intercultural dialogue, Ukrainian Bunch of People, was a participatory research on diversity and good-neighborliness practices in 4 Ukrainian cities (3 of them were attacked by Russians in 2022, 2 are still occupied).

Since 2019 Yulia has enrolled as a trainer at the Cultural Leadership Academy (now Cultural Transformation Lab), a joint program of the Geothe-Institut and the Ministry of Culture and Informational Policy aimed to support local cultural managers in transition to decentralization and to increase the role of the cultural sphere in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. In 2021 she was in an expert at the team invited to Kyrgyzstan to implement a cultural mapping project there.

Yulia worked as a trainer in intercultural dialogue for youth workers in the Council of Europe’s program in Ukraine. Last year she developed a methodology for peace dialogue which was applied during the International Peace Day all around Ukraine before the war escalation on February 24, 2022, and in 5 European countries in 2022. An exhibition about peace dialogue practices using her methodology is currently open in Switzerland.

Yulia holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Pedagogy from the Ukrainian Catholic University, studied Culture at the Performing Arts College Snoghøj (Denmark), and Drama Education at Masaryk University (Czech Republic).

“Especially during wartime, it’s important to ensure that young people have their say in designing peaceful future.” – Yuliya LYUBYCH

Open Dialogues: How to Build Peace during Wartime

Fellowship Summary: Identifying good practices in open dialogue for peace-building and social cohesion, piloting a training, then scaling up with good practices from Finland/Sweden and youth in Ukraine.

Yuliya’s Fellowship project was aimed at peacebuilding and integration, both in Ukraine and EU countries. The project encompassed field research, the development of youth-friendly methods for involving young IDPs (internally displaced persons) and refugees, and the creation of a Facilitation kit for conducting dialogue in peaceful communities.

The Fellowship project allowed Yulia to study institutions working on peacebuilding and youth involvement in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. She analyzed practices from 20 institutions and was involved in stakeholder talks with 28 youth workers and local stakeholders from Ukraine and Finland, sharing their experiences and ideas on youth involvement in peacebuilding and integration. Methodologies for inclusive youth participation were designed based on user experiences and good practices and piloted through dialogue events with over 115 young people in Ukraine and Finland.

As a final product, Yulia and her colleagues from the Youth Organization STAN network published a Facilitation Kit for Peace Dialogue with Youth. This publication, available in paper and PDF format in English and Ukrainian, serves as a practical tool for youth workers (facilitation kit free to print and use is available on STAN website here in English and here in Ukrainian). It has already been presented in four countries, with participants from 11 different CSOs representing at least seven countries.

Direct beneficiaries of the project include young people of Ukrainian origin, young refugees, and IDPs, as well as youth workers in Ukraine who organized various activities for over 2,000 young IDPs in Volyn, Zakarpatia, and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

Fellowship Programs 2021
Country Ukraine
Areas of Interest Community mobilisation
Topics Democratic participation
Youth empowerment
Project duration June - November 2022