In 2021, the Foundation did not slow down and supported more than 400 projects from more than 250 organizations. Each of the projects is unique and important. The general annual report of the Foundation will be published in the summer, providing detailed information on our activities in 2021. In the meantime, we offer you a selection of the most exciting projects in 2021.
Each Program has selected ten projects to present 60 Foundation initiatives that you need to know about.
Manifesto of a healthy society
Following the Revolution of Dignity, leading international and Ukrainian experts with the support of the Foundation established a Strategic Advisory Group in response to strong public demand for health care reform. The Group developed the document that formed the basis of health care reform: the National Strategy for Health Care Reform in Ukraine for 2015-2020 and 2021. Changes in Ukraine’s health care system continued, despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. Therefore, in response to the need to develop a vision for the development of the industry for the future, IRF continued support for the work of experts who proposed the Manifesto of a Healthy Society to the public.
It is a Manifesto for activists – responsible people with an active life position. The Manifesto itself is about what the health sector should look like in 10 years – by 2030.
Analytics and forecasts for the development of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Health Center prepared regular analytical reviews of the pandemic in Ukraine and the world for health care managers, representatives of the local and central government, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders. The Ukrainian Health Center has done this review to help them better navigate the situation and understand the causes and consequences of certain events or decisions.
In the analytical report, you will find information on how Ukraine coped with the spread of COVID-19 and what will be the third year of the pandemic for Ukraine: waves, disease, and loss of life.
Boards of trustees in medical institutions as a driver of change for the benefit of patients
Perspective Agency for Change NGO created effective boards of trustees in Dnipropetrovsk Regional Children’s Hospital, St. Martin’s Hospital (Mukachevo), and Voznesensk Multidisciplinary Hospital. We shared this experience with health care leaders, community leaders, business representatives, patient organizations, philanthropists, and journalists from across the country during the conference “Boards of Trustees as a driver of change.”
Establishment of the Medical Community Leaders Club
Medical Leaders NGO has launched a Leaders’ Club to share experiences, learn, and build an active and thriving medical community. At the Club meetings, they talked about staff development, creating an internal service system, and combating burnout in doctors. In particular, 16 chief physicians of medical institutions from different regions of Ukraine visited Voznesensk Multidisciplinary Hospital and the City Center of Primary Health Care with psychological relief rooms for medical staff.
Projects of the Drug Control NGO
The Drug Control NGO created a website that tracks information about drugs purchased at the state’s expense in pediatric and adult oncology and oncohaematology. Ukrainian patients can use this site to get medication for free.
In addition, to help Ukrainian drivers complete their first aid kits correctly and not get confused with step-by-step instructions providing first aid, the Drug Control created an electronic memo, “First Aid Scheme and Car First Aid Kit.” It is also available on the website, and anyone can download it to their smartphone or find a print version for free. Such a memo is necessary because most pre-assembled first aid kits that Ukrainians have in their cars have poor-quality and outdated tourniquets, plastic gloves unsuitable for first aid, and overdue medication.
The second report on the costs of Ukrainians for drugs without proven effectiveness
Center for Combating Corruption NGO presented a report “How billions of hryvnias are poured into dubious drugs in Ukraine every year.” Together with medical experts, the Center presented the situation’s causes and recommendations for its correction. According to the report, in 2020, Ukrainians spent almost 14 billion hryvnias on drugs that are not provided by modern treatment standards. This amount is more than a quarter of the money that citizens spend on drugs.
The first professional school of palliative care in nursing
The first professional school of palliative care in nursing took place in July 2021. Forty nurses and brothers selected from 156 registered candidates (on a competitive basis) have attended the school. Nursing is the largest professional group, which is the basis for the functioning of the health care system. That is why the development of nursing in Ukraine is one of the priorities of the International Renaissance Foundation.
A guide to assessing the condition of critically ill patients
IRF supported the creation and presentation of a manual for use in clinical practice “Scales and tools for assessing the condition of critically ill patients and determining the need for palliative care.”
The handbook provides tools to help physicians better understand palliative care needs and provide palliative care to patients. These tools, scales, and questionnaires were presented in the most convenient and understandable design. Anyone can print the correct pages from this guide and use them at work.
Integration of penitentiary medicine into the general medical space
IRF initiated the creation of an interdepartmental working group to improve the provision of medical care and support to convicts, detainees, and those released from prisons. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine established this group with the order № 1677 (from 24.07.2020) to develop an optimal working model for transforming penitentiary medicine.
We created this group as a key platform for discussing operational issues and finding optimal solutions. The group formed a new vision (models, algorithms of interaction) to provide medical care in the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine with the involvement of all stakeholders. Our advocacy activities made a powerful push in the issue of reforming penitentiary medicine.
As a result, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine included the issue of integration of penitentiary medicine in several strategic documents:
- the Strategy for the Development of the Health Care System of Ukraine until 2030
- the Strategy for the Reform of the Penitentiary System until 2026.
Ensuring access to naloxone for injecting drug users (PWID) released from prisons.
The leading causes of increased mortality due to overdoses among drug addicts released from prisons are loss of tolerance and erroneous dose estimates when returning to opioid use after release. Until recently, convicted PWIDs released from prisons did not have access to naloxone, significantly increasing the risk of overdose and even death if opioid use.
In 2021, IRF carried out several activities aimed at changing the situation:
- we developed and implemented thematic classes on overdose prevention in all penitentiary institutions;
- we developed an algorithm for providing convicts-released PWID with prophylactic kits;
- we held six webinars to reduce overdose cases among convicts and released.
As of 2021, about 300 released PWID received prevention kits. We will carry out this practice in 2022 as part of the implementation of the services and programs of IRF. Those programs aim to prepare for dismissal and support after the release of representatives of this target group.
Development of the Institute for the Protection of Corruption Detectors in Ukraine.
In 2021, we supported the launch of an online course, “Expose and Influence,” in close cooperation with the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC).
We also supported an international conference, “Detectors of Corruption in Ukraine: Successes and Challenges,” and the development of some essential documents to improve protection mechanisms and further develop this institute.
In close cooperation with the NAPC and other donor community representatives and civil society, IRF supports creating a digital tool, “Hidden Interests.” The web portal can help the National Police, anti-corruption commissioners, investigative journalists, and public activists search for hidden interests. It helps identify 11 types of risks of abuse by Ukrainian officials and deputies. For example, it allows to find out how an official is related to the companies participating in the tender in the institution where he \ she works or has worked. It also helps to identify relatives who work in the same authority with this official and check whether such an official has received risky gifts.
Innovative training courses
Our support made it possible to create the world’s first interactive course, after which you can learn all about the definition of beneficial owners of companies. The Determination of the ultimate beneficial owner course is available in Ukrainian and English.
Thanks to the Foundation’s support, a new educational series, “From Statement to Sentence,” has appeared. This educational series will help understand the work of Ukrainian anti-corruption authorities and learn how to protect one’s rights if one faces corruption, based on the example of the story of an ordinary citizen.
In the field of environmental protection (EPAIU), in 2021, IRF supported the launch of two online training courses. The first is Green Light for the Earth, which explains what threatens the climate crisis and how to overcome them with the help of renewable energy sources and thrifty energy consumption. The second is Citizens on air quality monitoring, which teaches how to solve the problem of air pollution by using the results of monitoring in advocacy campaigns of organizations or initiative groups.
Popularization of analytics writing
The initiative for the development of think tanks (TTDI) supported the creation of a manual “Everyone can write an analyst.” In the book, a group of researchers opens the curtain on the work of analysts, showing the process of creating the analytical text from design and purpose to structure and evaluation of its effectiveness. As of December 2021, the publisher sold 2,600 manuals. We also conducted more than ten expert discussions on what quality analytics is.
In addition, in 2022, we launched an analytics-writing platform. The target audience of the school is employees of non-governmental organizations, authorities, local governments, and academia, who already have experience in writing analytical materials but want to gain more comprehensive knowledge of writing and communication analytics. More than 270 applicants applied for the training, and 26 participants graduated from the school.
European social research
In 2021, we supported the European Social Survey in Ukraine. The European Social Survey has been one of the most critical comparative sociological surveys in Europe since 2002. Every two years, it takes place in European countries according to a single methodology. This study examines the relationship between changes in values and societal attitudes, societal challenges such as migration, climate change, social sector reforms, growing populism, and more. The research report will be ready in February 2022.
Research of work policy in Ukraine
The research agency Vox Populi conducted the study to examine the current state of public policy research in Ukraine in terms of demand for them and the existing proposal, expectations for future development. The study indicates a tendency to narrow the window of opportunity for interaction with public authorities. Most respondents attribute this to the political changes and appointments of 2019 and personnel changes in the central government. At the same time, government officials declare the need for quality analytical materials. They claim that their demand for quality analytics for government decision-making is satisfied to a greater extent. They use the analytical materials of non-governmental think tanks and actively interact with donors to help them query, find, and fund independent research centers. Read more about other trends and conclusions of the study here.
Analytical reports of EPAIU partners
EPAIU’s institutional partners presented a number of analytical reports based on their research. Center for Environmental Initiatives “Ekodia” NGO analyzed the impact of climate change on Ukraine’s water resources and how to adapt to climate change in Ukraine, such as drought, drinking water shortages, etc. which may lead to challenges to national security.
The team of The Ecoclub NGO analyzed the state of the environmental impact assessment procedure in Ukraine and developed recommendations for its improvement so that subsequent management and policy decisions would be fair.
Specialists from the Stop Poisoning Kryvyi Rih NGO studied local policies for the treatment of fallen leaves and the impact of burning plant residues in industrial cities on human health, as a cumulative effect. They developed recommendations for communal enterprises on collecting and treating fallen leaves in industrial agglomerations.
Strategic plans for environmental protection in Amalgamated Territorial Community (Amalgamated hromada)
For many communities, environmental issues are not usually a priority over economic development, education, health, etc. Many factors condition this situation. First of all, the lack of understanding problems in environmental protection, approaches to solving them, the lack of specialists who know how to work with such topics. By 2021, our grantees completed 14 projects to provide practical assistance to territorial communities in implementing their strategic plans in environmental protection.
For example, in the Voznesensk territorial community of the Mykolaiv Oblast, local authorities developed a comprehensive solid waste management program owing to a large-scale campaign, “Compost-community unite!”. In Ternopil, The City Council decided to organize and restore forest protection plantations on communal lands of the community. Mensk City Council of the Chernihiv Oblast has changed the existing Community Development Strategy regarding environmental protection. The Village Council of Sencha rural territorial community approved a completely new strategy for the development until 2027. This change should reduce CO2 emissions in the community by at least 30%, in the context of the community’s accession to The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
Development and advocacy of bills
Our grantees and experts were actively involved in developing and advocating some important bills for society, which Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine eventually approved in 2021. In particular, the draft Law “On Administrative Procedure.” This bill aims to ensure individuals’ rights and legitimate interests in their relations with the state through precise regulation of the procedural aspect of the relationship between the individual and the government. Another example was the draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine to Ensure Transparency in the Extractive Industries.” A key aspect of this bill was the need to bring Ukrainian legislation in line with the Global Standard for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative requirements. Another important aspect of the work was the assistance of the Ministry of Regional Development. Particulary in drafting Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On Self-Organization Bodies of the Population’ on Improving the Procedure for Creation, Activities and Termination of the relevant institutions, which was registered in the Parliament of Ukraine at the end of 2021.
Conferences for the development of civil society
In 2021 we held three significant forums aimed at the development of public organizations and civil society:
- In July, The EPAIU Third Annual Conference “How do we promote eco-thinking and eco-culture in communities?” raised the question of the need for a systematic approach to environmental protection at the level of strategic planning in communities.
- In October, we held The International Forum “Circular Economy for Sustainable Urban Development,” jointly with the Teple Misto Platform Charitable Foundation in Ivano-Frankivsk. The forum stressed the need to focus efforts of various parties, including the political will of municipalities, to implement the principles of the circular economy as the best alternative to the linear economy.
- In December, we held the 9th Conference for Think Tanks. This conference is a platform for networking the analytical sector, summarizing the work, and discussing the agenda for next year.
Monitoring of international sanctions against the temporarily occupied Crimea
In 2021, we continued to support the comprehensive long-term monitoring of the implementation of international sanctions against the temporarily occupied Crimea by the Black Sea News team. The authorities of Ukraine, the United States, international institutions, and EU member states use monitoring data to ensure effective compliance and increase the effectiveness of sanctions. For example, in the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ukraine against Russia on Crimea, announced in January 2021, the evidence included project materials. Moreover, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea prosecutor’s office has arrested 190 planes of Russian airlines that illegally carry out regular passenger flights to Crimea.
The project team has also developed a unique online database containing complete information on current sanctions against Ukraine, the EU, and the United States against legal entities connected with Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Development of Ukraine’s energy diplomacy
The history of Nord Stream 2 has shown the importance of diplomacy and systematic work with international partners for the country’s energy security. That is why the DiXi Group team prepared a study on Ukraine’s energy diplomacy strategy in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The study contains recommendations on how to prevent such threats and draw attention to unrealized opportunities in Ukraine’s international work in the energy sector.
The experts also established communication with stakeholders in the EU and the US. In particular, the Ukrainian Dialogue on Energy Security, a unique international platform that brings together Ukrainian, European and American stakeholders on topical issues of energy security in Ukraine and the region, has been launched.
Ukraine’s integration into the EU common market
IRF continued to support successful efforts to monitor and promote the implementation of the Association Agreement. In particular, the fourth extended edition of the analytical report, “Integration within the Association,” was prepared. Authors analyze the progress of Ukraine’s integration into the EU common market in 16 sectors as of mid-2021. In each sector, they analyzed the potential benefits of integration into the EU internal market, the dynamics and current state of affairs with Ukraine’s “homework,” and recommendations for both Ukraine and the EU.
The report was publicly presented and received positive feedback from all parties: the Ukrainian government and parliamentarians, foreign diplomats, and think tanks. The developed recommendations were also reflected in the document on the expectations of Ukrainian experts on the eve of the 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit.
Promoting customs reform
The Public Initiative “For Fair and Transparent Customs” continued its activities in 2021. For example, the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting has set up a feedback system for businesses to promote customs reform and simplify international trade procedures. The State Customs Service uses in its work the results of the Sixth Annual Survey of Exporters and Importers to adjust the implementation of the reform. In particular, The State Customs Service created a special section on their website, which contains recommendations and project materials.
European values through stories
What do the words “Ukraine is Europe” mean? After all, the EU is not just about material prosperity or geopolitical affiliation. These are, above all, values that help build a free and democratic society. That is why within the nationwide campaign #EUkraine and with the foundation’s support, the Internews-Ukraine NGO launched a video project, “Values through stories.”
The Internews-Ukraine team managed to find and prepare 30 video stories and articles about people from different regions of Ukraine who already shaped the state’s European future. These are stories on such topics as solidarity (on co-livings for Belarusians), democratization (on the European Youth Parliament), diversity and minority rights (on Ukrainian Bulgarians), equality, inclusion, care for the environment, and more. The total number of viewers of these materials was about 778 thousand people (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the websites of information partners and UkraineWorld). In addition, the video of the flash mob in support of European values #beingEuropean has captured more than 67,000 people on the TikTok social network.
Expert work to find solutions in the field of border management
2021 was a year of intensifying the direction of borders in the state policy of Ukraine. In particular in the field of infrastructure development. Therefore, the Europe without Barriers NGO team conducted research and provided expert support in border management to the central and local authorities of Ukraine and non-governmental organizations of the border, with the support of the Foundation.
At the beginning of the year, experts presented a Roadmap for the Schengen border of Ukraine, which contained recommendations to Ukrainian and European authorities. In the autumn of 2021, Ukraine, Slovakia, and the European Commission implemented its essential recommendation. They held tripartite consultations on the issue of joint control, which has been in a stalemate for many years. In addition, with the participation of our partners, there were changes in similar negotiations with Hungary.
Experts from Europe Without Barriers conducted field research and a series of consultations with border officials in Odesa Oblast, thus including Odesa Oblast in the context of the border with the European Union. The article about the new open checkpoint in this region of the Orlivka-Isakcha checkpoint on the border with Romania became the most popular text of the organization in 2021.
Thanks to the Foundation’s cooperation with the European Union, within the EU4USociety project, we have implemented several important initiatives. This cooperation strengthened the role of Ukrainian civil society at the local, national, and international levels.
International forums in Kyiv
IRF initiated and held the First Ukrainian Central European Forum in cooperation with the Ukrainian Prism Foreign Policy Council. It is an entirely new discussion platform that brings together opinion leaders and leading experts from Central Europe. About 30 speakers and 50 forum participants discussed the challenges in the region and how to build a successful future together.
The Foundation also continued the Association Forum, established in 2017. This unique platform brings together high-ranking officials and experts from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and the EU in Kyiv. Participants of the 4th Association Forum “synchronize their watches” on the status of implementation of the Association Agreement in each of the three countries and discussed options for solving common problems. The leading analytical center “New Europe” became the organizational partner of the IV Forum.
Promoting Ukraine’s participation in the European Green Deal: national level
Our grantees have done comprehensive work to promote harmonization with EU policies and legislation in the context of the objectives of the EGD. In particular:
- The Ministry of Environment took into account the comments and suggestions of Dixi Group NGO to the draft of the updated National Defined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.
- Ukrainian and European officials noted recommendations of the study on development vectors and flagship initiatives for developing the EU-Ukraine ECN Roadmap as useful.
- The team of the Ecodia NGO analyzed the new EU Sustainable Transport Strategy until 2050. Experts have developed recommendations for national and local governments to develop transport and mobility in Ukraine to be in line with EU processes.
- The Green Dossier NGO has developed a Green Transition Roadmap for the agricultural sector and for changing the usual food consumption system in line with current global trends.
Promoting Ukraine’s participation in the European Green Deal: city level
In 2021, the Society and Environment NGO analyzed the impact of the European Green Deal at the city level and issued a series of manuals on EGD tools for cities. The experts also accompanied the training process, defining the goals and objectives of Vinnytsia in the direction of green transformation. At the beginning of 2022, Vinnytsia became the first city in Ukraine to adopt the European Green Deal strategy.
Digital integration into the EU
Our partners have carried out significant analytical, advocacy, and educational work in the direction of digital integration into the EU:
- The recommendations of the Ukrainian Foundation for Security Studies to the document of the Information Security Strategy have publicly received positive feedback from representatives of the National Security and Defense Council and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy.
- In cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Institute of Analytics and Advocacy has prepared a study of Ukraine’s readiness to introduce an electronic consignment note (e-CMR) with EU countries. This step will facilitate the trade process by eliminating paperwork and processing costs.
- The European Innovation Agency conducted about 20 training events for more than 1,500 participants on opportunities to participate in European programs to support digital innovation. The organization’s experts were also part of the delegation of the Ministry of Education during the negotiations with representatives of the European Commission on the details of Ukraine’s association with Horizon Europe.
Human Rights and Justice
IRF helped the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine develop a Strategy for Combating Torture in the Criminal Justice System. The strategy envisages a set of measures aimed at preventing misconduct by law enforcement agencies and, in the event of such cases, investigating citizens’ complaints. The document is designed for the medium term. It is limited to a specific goal – combating torture in the criminal justice system, Ukraine’s fulfillment of its obligations to the Council of Europe, and building an effective system of combating torture.
Development of Custody Records
This year, with the efforts of the National Police of Ukraine, with the support of the IRF and the Ukrainian Foundation for Legal Aid, Custody records moved from pilot ITTs to the first regional police departments. The Ministry of the Interior has identified Custody records as one of its priorities. The Ministry of Internal Affairs planned to deploy the system in 53 units of the National Police by the end of the year. Over the next three years, the system should cover another 570 units.
Areas for professional interaction
The popular discussion platform JustTalk became an accessible multifunctional online platform. In 2021, we conducted 8 thematic discussions, made 30 full-length video products, and the number of youtube views exceeded 16,000.
Two waves of enrolments, including detectives, investigators, and prosecutors, completed the Pre-Trial Standards course and the JustLearn educational program.
The effective and meaningful end of the year was a joint storytelling marathon with 12 partners and three co-organizers from criminal justice practitioners at JustConf 2021: We inspire criminal justice to change.
The virtual museum of Russian aggression
IRF supported the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory and joined the efforts of many non-governmental organizations to create a Virtual Museum of Russian Aggression. The project aims to accumulate the work of public authorities, public initiatives, and international organizations to document the course and consequences of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and present it in a modern, accessible form to the widest possible audience.
A coalition of Veterans’ Spaces
We helped unite veterans’ organizations into a coalition that won the Union of the Year award at the Civil Society Development Forum. More than 20 “Veterans’ Spaces” in Ukraine have joined a coalition to develop more effectively as non-governmental actors, provide standardized services, and implement state veterans’ policies locally.
Research on personal data protection in 2021
For the first time, our partners, Internews-Ukraine NGO, presented the Personal Data Protection Index, which included data of leaders in the telecommunications and online services market in Ukraine. This research is the first attempt in Ukraine to assess the corporate policy of accountability and transparency of leading private sector companies in terms of their observance of digital human rights and protection of users’ personal data. Researchers took the American project Ranking Digital Rights methodology as a basis and adapted it to Ukrainian realities. During the first study carried out in the context of protecting users’ digital rights in 2021, the project team studied the websites of 20 large private companies in telecommunications, the provision of Internet access services, and online services in Ukraine.
Innovating Justice Challenge 2021
The Kyiv Legal Hackers team named the legal innovators of the year in the Innovating Justice Challenge 2021. Until December 2021, these teams, along with winners from other regions, will undergo an acceleration program that will include training, coaching, and mentoring support. And in February 2021, at the global Innovating Justice Forum, they will compete for additional grants of up to € 20,000.
Distance learning platform in the field of justice
The Ukrainian School of Practical Knowledge on Access to Justice now has its own Distance Learning Platform. The platform offers training courses developed by experts from the public, corporate and governmental sectors. The training courses are divided into categories of potential users for convenience.
Kyiv Practical Program for Strengthening Legal Capacity
Due to quarantine restrictions, the Kyiv Legal Empowerment Practical Program 2021 brought together online participants from Ukraine, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Northern Macedonia, and Sierra Leone. During the week, participants of the KyivLEPP-2021 Idea Incubator developed projects to improve access to justice in their countries. They immersed themselves in existing problems, identified target groups, focused, analyzed alternative solutions to problems, and then developed models of solutions and defended them.
Research of legal needs of informally employed persons
With the support of the IRF, the Legal Development Network conducted a study of the legal problems of informally employed people. It was the first study that allowed to “shed light” on the issue of informal employment, the reasons for its occurrence, understand the scale, and propose specific solutions. It is important to look at informal employment globally because it is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon with various manifestations in Ukraine and the world.
Social research on employment in Roma communities.
Vox Populi Agency team published Ukraine’s first comprehensive representative sociological study of employment in Roma communities, commissioned by the IRF. “Mapping the potential of employment and entrepreneurship development in Roma communities” contains recommendations for developing Roma communities through employment and entrepreneurship support. The research findings formed the basis of 11 initiatives supporting employment in Roma communities of Zakarpattia, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa regions, territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the control of Ukraine, supported by the joint call for proposals with the European Union “Strengthening the socio-economic stability and self-sufficiency of Roma communities.”
Stories about Roma entrepreneurs
In partnership with IRF, ShoTam media have published five stories about Roma entrepreneurship. Also, in the framework of cooperation with the media, we held a call for proposals for journalists covering topics of Roma culture, its diversity, and Roma’s contribution to the development of Ukrainian culture. As a result, selected authors published ten articles in national and regional media.
Center for Roma women
With the support of the IRF, the multifunctional center for Roma women, “Petalenza” in Odesa, founded in 2019, continues to develop actively. Currently, the center provides social enterprise, a children’s room, and a range of services, including legal and medical counseling and support, psychological support, literacy courses, and vocational training.
Roma Youth Center
In 2021 we supported the establishment of a Roma Youth Center in Kakhovka city, Kherson Oblast. The initiative also brought together local governments and the local Roma community, including young people, through crowdfunding and volunteering to renovate and decorate the center’s space.
Research on Roma activism
In 2021 Roma’s Program supported two studies on Roma activism in Ukraine. The first one covered Roma’s participation in the 2020 local elections in Ukraine, and the second was about Roma youth’s public activity. The results of these studies are presented in analytical reports and might be helpful for planning and implementing further initiatives to develop leadership potential, including political, in Roma communities in Ukraine.
This year, IRF supported the launch of the information and analytical portal “RomaUA”. This portal is designed to provide quality, unbiased, and balanced coverage of life in Roma communities in Ukraine.
“The Invisible Truth” Documentary
We collaborated with the Suspilne media and prepared a short documentary, “The Invisible Truth.” Three different life stories of Roma youth from different social strata are designed to break down stereotypes about Roma communities through personal stories. This collaboration received a special award, “Public Code 2022,” during the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Suspilne.
A mini-course on Roma in history
Jointly with the Human Rights Education Center in Lviv, we prepared an interactive mini-course on Roma communities in Ukraine in the format of Instagram stories. Through live broadcasts and interactive stories, we talked about the Roma community in Ukraine – their history, the tradition of coexistence of Roma and Ukrainians before World War II, and the life of Roma today. Their stories are both inspiring and tragic.
The first mural in Mukachevo
With the support of the IRF, Tiberius Jonas and pupils of his art school for Roma children “RomArt” created a mural. It is a unique art object for Transcarpathia, and it is important that it was a Roma artist who made it.
Lectures on Roma art
This year we published five lectures on various aspects of Roma art on the Youtube channel of our CultuRom project. The lectures cover jazz traditions of the Transcarpathian Roma, innovative modern practices of Roma theater in Ukraine, poetry, visual arts, and cinematography.
Increasing confidence in vaccination
IRF supported one of the first public opinion polls in Ukraine to find the form and “language” to increase confidence in COiVID-19 vaccination and reduce the risk of vaccination refusal. The project was implemented by the Laboratory of Public Interest Journalism, the Johns Hopkins University Arena Initiative, and the Kharkiv Institute for Social Research. Key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health’s Public Health Center, UNICEF, international donors, and the media, used the study results to promote the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
Countering “Infodemia” (Informational Pandemic)
Countering “infodemia” was one of the “Critical Thinking Development” call for proposals priorities. Within this call, we supported 12 initiatives. One of them, “With Science against Covid“, implemented by the League for the Development of Journalism NGO, tested different ways of interaction with the audience (text, podcasts, video blogs, social networks publications) and created a number of materials about different topics related to Covid-19. This project, in effect, embodied the idea of a communication hub, which became one of the sources of scientifically reliable information about the Covid-19 pandemic. To increase the audience, we cooperated with partner sites such as Liga.net and radio “Culture,” and the popular video blog “The Damn Rationalist”.
Support Kyiv Independent
IRF was one of the first donors who supported the Kyiv-based independent English-language news agency Kyiv Independent, founded by the Kyiv Post. Following the Kyiv Post closure, Kyiv Independent was threatened with a shutdown. Thanks to the support of our Foundation, other donors, and the reading community, The Kyiv Independent has had the opportunity to develop as an independent media with quality content.
Seventy-one successful crowdfunding campaigns in culture, media, and social entrepreneurship received additional funding totaling UAH 6,857,746 under the EU4Usociety project. Eight thousand eight hundred thirty-six individual benefactors supported these campaigns. Their contributions were doubled through the project by our Foundation.
Exhibition of Belarusian protest art
Exhibition of Contemporary Belarusian Art “Every day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance” was conducted in March-June 2021 at the Mystetskyi Arsenal Exhibition Center. Eighty-six Belarusian artists were involved in the creation process. Together with Ukrainian artists, their work on the exhibition became a kind of discovery of professional meaning in difficult times. The event also attracted the attention of Ukrainian public figures, officials, and interested citizens.
Mobile application of the All-Ukrainian School Online
According to the State Education Quality Service, 89.3% of students use smartphones during distance learning. Therefore, to facilitate their access to education, IRF supported creating an All-Ukrainian School Online mobile application. Ukrainian Mobile operators (lifecell, Vodafone, and Kyivstar) provide their users free access to the mobile Internet. Internet traffic is not charged when using the platform via the web version or the application.
A platform for professional development opportunities for teachers
With our support and partnership with many state institutions, the Ed Camp Ukraine NGO created the National platform for opportunities for professional development of teachers “EdWay.” This platform implemented the idea of creating a common, transparent and open space for educators to choose ways to improve their skills. The Ed Kemp team has also developed an online course on the Prometheus platform, which provides explanations, recommendations, and tools for participants on new opportunities for teacher training.
Research on the peculiarities of the work of schools during a pandemic
In partnership with the Center for Political Studies and Analytics “Eidos”, the Education Ombudsman Service conducted a study on the specifics of educational institutions in the COVID-19 pandemic. They prepared the first report of the Education Ombudsman, “Respect for Rights in Education – 2020”, supported by the IRF.
“School Guide” to reduce the number of conflicts
The Parents SOS NGO has developed a School Guide to reduce the number of conflicts in secondary school that arise due to a lack of reliable and complete information about the rights and responsibilities of participants in the educational process. At the invitation of the Ministry of Education and Science, The Parents SOS presented the Guide during the All-Ukrainian Forum, “Education of Ukraine 30 without Barriers: Vectors of Quality and Success”.
“Resource box” for teachers
In the context of distance learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we supported a stress and resource course for 30 teachers in Kyiv. This course was scaled up into a series of online meetings with child and family psychologist Svitlana Roiz and attended by 4,297 educators. We managed to develop useful materials for teachers and prepare a series of texts on the “New Ukrainian School” web page about stress resistance and resourcefulness. All of them are posted on a separate page, “Teacher’s Resource Box,” including the author’s work of Svetlana Royce and international instruments adopted by psychology.