News and articles
News and article of the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past programme


Meeting with former Soviet political prisoner Stepan Horechyi (2017) NEW!
On 7th July 2017 participants of the youth international project "History begins in the family" met with Stepan Horechyi, a former activist of the OUN (Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists), former political prisoner of GULAG who took part in the Norilsk appraisal..

Historical quest "Lviv on the map of memory about the Second World War" NEW!
The history of Lviv during World War II can be discovered interactively. Experts have developed a unique quest and youth from Germany, Poland and Ukraine have had a chance to run it. The competition, both academic and athletic in nature, took place for the second year in a row (April 2016, July 2017) as part of an international project "History begins in the family".

Feedback about the first session of the History begins in the family project 2017-2018 NEW!
Every time you enter different projects you are scrolling through all possible scenarios in your head, tuning yourself only on positive waves. So you can find like-minded people from the very beginning. Cause every project is, first of all, team-work which through thorny way will lead you to the result.

The documentary Miners' Stories (2016)
Victor and Oleksandr live in the mining towns of two geographically remote regions of Ukraine. While their lives and the lives of their relatives revolve around mines, there is another side. Who they really are? What makes them go underground every day? The documentary Miners' Stories is based on the real-life events of miners from Lviv and Donetsk areas, recorded by a group of volunteers in the summer 2016, as a part of the Miners stories from Eastern and Western Ukraine project.

Historical quest across the WWII memory places in Lviv
During 19-23 March 2016, Lviv saw the 3rd part of the History Begins in the Family international youth project. Halyna Stasevych (Bunio), project coordinator on behalf of the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past programme, tells about a new format used to introduce the project participants to the history of Lviv city during World War II, new both within the project and the programme.

Miners Stories from Eastern and Western Ukraine
Foundations for Freedom INGO and Our Future NGO launch the Miners’ Stories from Eastern and Western Ukraine project.

Future needs memories: Ukrainian dialogue on history and memories. Project summary
In the framework of the the project, Lviv and Vinnytsia hosted two 'Different Memories – Common Future!' workshops in September and October 2015. Participants of the workshops from different cities and towns learned techniques for dialogue on history and memories based on the experience of the German organization OWEN e.V. – Mobile Academy for Gender Democracy and Peace Development.

Oświęcim. Important to Stay Together
“History Begins in the Family” is the international project, where young people from Poland, Ukraine, and Germany deal with the topics of family, history, and the family values through the history. They get to know the historical context in three different countries through family stories. Young people make a research into their family history, learn the lessons of the past. This makes the understanding of unhealed past and difficult present possible. Here we are taught to look at the family history in the wider context.

Young at heart!
Pavlo Khomiuk from Kyiv, a participant of the first intergenerational dialogue ‘Memories of the Totalitarian Past: Youth Meets Political Prisoners’ held within the ‘Future needs memories: Ukrainian dialogue on history and memories’ project in November 23 in Lviv, shares his impressions of the meeting.

A participant from Chernihiv about the dialogue between students and former political prisoners in Lviv NEW!
Have we ever thought about what is really important in our lives? Have we ever seen a true sorrow? Do we value life? This November I had a good chance to change my worldview and understand the life values.

Youth meets former political prisoners. The insider NEW!
Is a dialogue possible when you got two generations with almost a century setting them apart? What do they have in common? What is different? Are they able to hear and understand each other? In search for answers to these questions I have decided to host this event.

My dear rose NEW!
"Occasionally there are some special evenings, when your granny wants to have just a small talk with you, which turns out to last the whole evening. Then she asks you to open old photograph albums. Granny also wants you to pick her favorite flower as far as it is still the middle of autumn. "My sister loved these roses," she reminds me again."

Dialogues on the East (Ukr.) NEW!
This spring a group of the Network of Dialogue Facilitators in Ukraine visited the towns of Dobropillia, Bilozerske, Novohrodivka of the Donetsk oblast where they ran the dialogues in communities using non-violent communication approaches.

Workshop on the work with oral historty and memories in Lviv (Ukr.) NEW!
On 25-27 September in Lviv within the Future needs memories: Ukrainian dialogue on history and memories project, the training of representatives of civil organisations, experts and enthusiasts, who deal with the oral history, memory, memories, dialogues in communities took place.

The History begins in the family project in figures. Part I NEW!
Early in the morning of 28 August, huge final hugs were given in Oldau before the bus set out from Germany, heading for Poland and Ukraine. This was the end of the part of ‘History begins in the family’ project. The project is organised by Foundations for Freedom INGO, the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/Auschwitz and Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation/Bergen-Belsen Memorial in co-operation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Whom do we call an ethical leader? NEW!
Participants of the Ethical Leadership Workshop held for representatives of youth organisations, groups and social movements in Briukhovychi in May, debated the question: 'Whom do we call an ethical leader'.

Dialogue as a trustbuilding method in Ukraine
A group of facilitators in nonviolent communication held a dialogue between local community representatives and border guards in Donetsk oblast on 16 October. Dialogue is used as a method of communication and trustbuilding in conditions of impending or actual conflict. The dialogue in Donetsk oblast was led by Lada Kanevska and Oleksa Stasevych, the representatives of Foundations for Freedom INGO (Ukraine), as well as Duke Duchscherer, a certified trainer of the International Centre for Nonviolent Communication (USA). Find out more about the dialogue in this report by K Antonov.

Ukraine – the way to peace
The Caux conference on Just Governance for Human Security in July this year brought together participants from East and West Ukraine and from Crimea. They included Mustafa Dzhemilev, the best-known leader of Crimea’s Tatars (the ethnic group native to the Crimean peninsula); Myroslav Marynovych, Vice-Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv; and many others active in shaping the future of Ukraine. There were also a number of Russians present, including Andrei Zubov — a historian who was recently dismissed from his post at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations after writing an article that was very critical of Russian government policy in Crimea.

Ukraine: why there is hope
"The shooting down of Malaysian Flight 17 over Ukraine may actually open doors for peaceful resolution of the conflict there. As evidence mounts of their complicity in the disaster, Russia is now thrown on the defensive and any momentum they and their separatist Ukrainian allies had has been stalled, at least for now, as Russia twists and turns in the glare of global condemnations and threats of significantly more painful economic sanctions. This, and the revolting pictures of the carnage of MF 17, should provide both time and support for current peace initiatives." - article by John Graham Director of the Giraffe Heroes Project, a former U.S. diplomat, participant of the "Just Governance" Conference in Caux this Summer.

Ukraine today: the root of the problem is in the unhealed past
Lena Kashkariova believes the unrest in the east of Ukraine has been provoked by the lack of unity and is convinced that far more dialogue is needed. Lena is the facilitator of the Foundations for Freedom programme "Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past". In the Autumn of 2013, when the socio-political situation in Ukraine became worse, Lena initiated dialogues on searching for mutual understanding among Ukrainians under the general name "Current situation in Ukraine: ways to find mutual understanding".

Interethnic (Roma/non-Roma) dialogue in Romania
In February the Initiatives of Change team in Baia Mare, Romania, organised a two-day dialogue between representatives of the Roma and non-Roma communities from Maramures county.

A message for Ukraine from Professor Rajmohan Gandhi
Rajmohan Gandhi, a Research Professor of political sciences, peacemaker, a past president of Initiatives of Change International, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who managed to lead his country from the pressure of the UK, sent a message to Ukrainians in a difficult time of changes and challenges which Ukrainians are experiencing at the moment.

About titles of streets, monuments and reconciliation (in Ukrainian only)
At some moment announced the dialogue seminar "Our heritage and its modern implication: monuments and names of streets". The seminar was run on 12-15 December in Chernihiv as a part of the big project "Ukrainian Action: Healing the. The meeting was held in the form of dialogue between researchers, professors, students and civil activists from different regions of Ukraine. It was focused on the discussion of the historical heritage embodied in the names of streets, monuments, memory places.

Interesting Mix: Dialogue in Crimea
The office was in fact easy to find. When I arrived in Simferopol I had plenty of time to walk around. I was surprised at how many communist-era names dotted the street signs all along the city. But I guess this adds local color to the "raisin" that is Simferopol.

The exhibition "Live Stories of Crimea" opened in Crimea (in Ukrainian and Russian only)
On 14 October 2013 the exhibition of oral stories "Live Stories of Crimea" opened in the Crimean Ethnographic Museum, Simferopol. The opening of the exhibition continued with the round table meeting which gathered those who participated in the project to discuss the applied aspect of the oral stories, project team presented the results of the "Ukrainian Action: Live Story of Generations" project.

‘Live History of Generations’ – a new project of ‘Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past’ in Crimea
Since April 2013 Foundations for Freedom in partnership with the Center for Regional Development Top-Kaya, Club for Young Leaders and the Ethnography Museum of Crimea has created a new project Ukrainian Action: Live History of Generations in Crimea. What is the difference between this project and the previous one (Healing the Past), who is it aimed at, and what are the final results?

The Unfinished War
In the middle of May I was lucky to get acquainted with the project “Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past”. The project is promoted by the international organization “Initiatives of Change” that deals with solving of conflicts based on the historical legacy, in particular, between the countries of Eastern Europe and their inner problems as well. As it is, Ukraine is one of the most problematic countries in this context. It happened so that we were split and torn apart throughout all the history; and even though 22 years have passed since we gained our independence, the issue of national unity and integrity is still very urgent.

Healing the Past: Chronicles from Zaporizhzhia
Why do young people want to live in Lennon Avenue instead of Lenin Avenue? What are the values of modern Ukrainians and is it possible to have the real civil society in Ukraine? Each of the questions was not only crowned by an answer but also assisted an active discussion among the interested activists.

Presenting the project "Ukrainian Action: Live History of Generations" (in Ukrainian only)
Foundations for Freedom jointly with the Top-Kaya Regional Developmnt Centre and the Simferopol Heidelberg Circle of Friends Sumferopol NGO in partnership with the Crimean Ethnographic Museum started in April the implementatio of the project "Ukrainian Action: Live History of Generations".

Healed Ukraine, or how to find understanding between East and West?
UIA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) soldiers: heroes or enemies? 9 May – Victory Day or Mourning Day? Was the Great Patriotic War indeed ‘patriotic’ for all Ukrainian territories? These answers are hard to answer even for an experienced historian because the cornerstone of this history is composed of prejudice and insults, which we have inherited through generations. If now the screenplay of a fratricidal war seems impossible in Ukraine, two generations ago every family suffered losses from such a war. So does a state with such controversial history have any chance to become one whole, or…?

Healing the Past Seminar took place in Kharkiv region, Ukraine
Can we overcome the stereotypes of the past? Is it possible and should we forgive the offences of the past? Participants of the dialogue seminar "Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past" tried to find answers to these and other questions on November 15-18 2012 near Kharkiv.

What I discovered during the 'Healing the Past' dialogue
I have suspected that the secret of our world is love. The dialogue-seminar 'Healing the Past' has just confirmed that. I don’t know exactly what I came to understand there, but I felt the atmosphere where I could be sincere. I learned that my words can hurt someone, even if they are true.

Presenting the book of life stories 'Letting Go'
We are glad to present to you a memorial and documentary publication 'Letting Go' ('Vidpushchennia'), which comprises 22 interviews and life stories taken in 2010 in the framework of the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past project from 29 people with different cultural, linguistic, ethnic, reli­gious, political, and historical backgrounds, from 13 different places in the North, East, West, and South of Ukraine.

Towards Understanding Through Dialogue
In view of the latest events in Ukraine, we can understand the importance of the steps towards mutual understanding concerning national issues, especially those conditioned by or related to our historical past and its perception. Lack of understanding or lack of a constructive dialogue in the society regarding sensitive, complex, or not fully investigated or unveiled issues has always been fertile ground for manipulations. During four days May 17-20, 2012 in the suburbs of Lviv city (Ukraine) in the framework of the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past project, there took place a Dialogue-Seminar for the Foundations for Freedom and ally organizations from Ukraine and Romania on historical memory and healing the past.

Meeting with Vladimir Bukovsky: thinking about future of Ukraine and Russia
As a part of Healing the Past project Olha Hudz-Sakuma (Ukraine), Lena Kashkarova (Ukraine) and Diana Damsa (Romania) visited a representative of Soviet dissidents’ movement Vladimir Bukovsky in his house in Cambridge. The past and future of Ukraine and Russia, the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation in the present days society and the interaction between personal and civil responsibility are among the topics discussed with Vladimir Bukovsky.

Through Dialogue to Reconciliation
Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past project has got one more event on its account, this time it was an international Dialogue, with participation of the Foundations for Freedom (F4F) network.

The presentation of the first Russian Sorrow Book was held in Moscow (in Russian only)
On 16 June 2011 the presentation of the first Russian Sorrow Book was held with the Russian project "Healing the Past".

The project "Healing the Past in Russia" invites to the presentation of the Sorrow Book (in Russian only) The history of each country has and will have those parts of its history, which will be its glory, and those which are its black pages, covered with silence and secrets.

The project "Healing the Past in Russia" was started in Russia (in Russian only)
The project "Healing the Past" started its activity in Russia. Please, read about the project, its goals, as well as the thoughts and interviews of the project participants you can read in the article of Mrs. Natalia Baranova.

My thoughts after watching the video 'Letting Go' (in Russian only)
I visited the presentation of the movie 'Letting Go' in Crimea. This video was recorded during the implementation of the project "Ukrainian Action-2010: Healing the Past". The participants visited towns and villages across Ukraine, talked with iinteresting people, got acquainted with their life stories. We watched several spots which were recorded by the project participants themselves. For me it was interesting to hear real stories of real people; for suret they will not leave anybody indifferent; some of the are very sad and even tragic.

Olka Hudz addresses the 3rd annual Caux Forum for Human Security
Speech of Olka Hudz about the origins of the project 'Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past' on the 3rd annual CAUX FORUM FOR HUMAN SECURITY in July 2010, at the Initiatives of Change International Conference Centre, Switzerland.

Olka Hudz addresses the 3rd annual Caux Forum for Human Security
As a young student activist six years ago, Olka Hudz was among the hundreds of thousands thronging Kiev as part of the Orange Revolution. It was at that time she joined Foundations of Freedom, the IofC programme operating in several Central European countries. Currently she works as its ‘followup coordinator’ based in Kyiv.