Community Action Ukrainian Style (CACTUS) 2013
Roman Vydro ’10 (Kharkiv, Ukraine)
Project Location: Ternopil, Ukraine
$2900 in 2013 FLEX Alumni Grant Program Funding


Summary: Roman Vydro ’10 together with team of FLEX alumni and Peace Corps volunteers held 5th annual English language summer program camp CACTUS that aims at teaching the Ukrainian youth project development and management skills, while involving participants in civic engagement and community activism; all the while enhancing their English speaking skills.

PDM class
Project Management Session during CACTUS camps

Prior to holding the camp FLEX alumni organized 10 English language and leadership seminars across Ukraine for 500 teenagers in order to recruit diverse applicants for the camp. These seminars were called Practice Cactus projects.  One hundred applicants out of those who participated in Practice Cactus applied to CACTUS 2013 and 55 were selected as participants.

The program of CACTUS 2013 prepared young individuals for community development projects and trained them as project managers in their own communities. FLEX alumna Liudmyla Krasnytska ’10 overlooked the Project Design program for the camp, which according to participants’ evaluations was the most useful training course. Additionally, the camp raised awareness about important social issues, such as gender balance, LGBT rights, diversity, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking and bullying.

 Partner Organizations: Revival of the Nation, Dzerelo, EYP-Ukraine

 Project Results:

  • Three participants of the camp are now finalists for the FLEX program.
  • Seven camp participants have completed Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program, which now qualifies them as the trainers for the next CACTUS camp. As the result of the camp, 14 community service projects were conducted across Ukraine by CACTUS alumni.
  • Ananstasiya Benko ’10 and Roman Vydro ’10 became CACTUS program organizers for the 2014 program year.  The alumni will work with local, international, and government organizations and bodies to secure funding for project funding.   These alumni will also be in charge of organizing Practice CACTUS projects throughout Ukraine in the spring of 2014.

More information about CACTUS camps can be found here: