Young people play a very important role in the progress of any country. They represent the future and if groomed right, they can bring new ideas that eventually lead to progress and development. Therefore, it is important to shape them into responsible adults so they can have a positive impact on their community. Throughout last year, FLEX alumni initiated quite a few different projects focusing on skill building and the grooming of young people. Here we have compiled a list of a few.

Light Project – Moldova

FLEX alumnus from Moldova, Eugeniu Sinchevici ’16, was responsible for organizing a day-long conference in February 2018 which focused on challenging young leaders to come up with unique ideas for projects that will impact their communities in a positive way. The event kicked off with a panel discussion comprising of four professionals from the fields of youth entrepreneurship, youth politics, youth education and social innovation. This was followed by different tasks which allowed the participants, all students ages 16 to 18, to come up with and present their own ideas for social projects they plan on implementing in their communities.

Better Understanding for a Better World – Montenegro

In the month of February 2018, Marija Jeknic ’15 and Dina Abazovic ’15 did a collaboration with a theater company based in Podgorica to bring a theater performance to a small town in northern Montenegro. The performance was aimed at raising awareness and sparking dialogue on the various issues faced by the youth. Issues such as violence and addiction to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes were also brought up during the event. The performance was a success as it was attended by over 200 people, among which most were high school students.

Art and Fundraising – Ukraine

Veronika Zimon ’17 from Ukraine carried out an art project for children with physical and mental disabilities at the Dnipro Special Boarding School #2 in May 2018. This event helped the children in developing their creative skills while also learning about the concept of fundraising.  The participants were able to learn many new artistic techniques and were able to create pictures and several other crafts. The pieces that had been created were put up at the local charity fair, where they were sold for a total of $30. The money will be used towards purchasing items for the students and their school.

American Corner Debate Academy – Kazakhstan

FLEX alumna Alena Stakhanova ’18 and Global UGRAD alumna Alimana Zhanmukanova worked in August 2018 to organize a program that brought together experienced debaters and community builders from Astana and other parts of Kazakhstan. Following the alumnae’s invitation, representatives of two debating clubs based in Astana led 25 participants ages 17 to 24 in workshops and lectures on public speaking, critical thinking, youth organization management, feminism, economics, and various current issues. This allowed the participants to gain valuable insight into several different topics and issues. The program was held at the American Corner in Petropavlovsk and supported by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Astana.

Social Youth Leadership Workshop – Ukraine

In September 2018, Veronika Zimon ’17 carried out another workshop, this time to introduce the youth in her community to opportunities for exchange, personal development, education, and employment. More than 20 people participated in this workshop including FLEX alumnae Anna But ’17 and Irina Kalashnyk ’18. After listening to presentation by Veronika, the participants were given tasks where they brainstormed different ways in which they could contribute to their local communities.