Annual Report of Foundations for Freedom

Annual Report of Foundations for Freedom

2019/2020

Saturday, 26. September 2020

 

The year of 2019 can be described as a new start for the organisation in its existence and activities, even with little achievement. But the process to give it some impulse is real. This comes after some years strongly affected by the events in Ukraine. Of course, things happened during this period, mostly out of personal initiatives or with (through) the Dialogue Facilitators’ Network that was developed during these years and also started running its activities.

The new dynamics was demonstrated at the Regional Meeting that took place in January in Irpin, with 75 participants from 8 countries. 

Key issues that the organization was dealing with were identified, as well as the steps that are needed to overcome these issues, to further develop Foundations for Freedom, to renew and grow existing projects, to strengthen and broaden international relations… - from Reflections after the Foundations for Freedom Regional Conference 2019 by Daria Trofimova
    
The topic How can we safeguard and transmit the values of ‘Initiatives of Change’ and to support each other in the circumstances of the modern world? was discussed in link with initiatives to take and developments needed. The conference made it possible to hold a General Assembly and have elections for a new Board in order to give a proper framework to the implementation of the chosen objectives. 

Photo from the Regional Meeting 2019

As during the previous years, many Ukrainians took part in the Caux Forums, engaging in discussions and meetings about Reconciliation, Building trust, Healing the wounds, bringing the experiences of Ukrainian realities and Foundations for Freedom’s contribution and initiatives.

It is important to mention also the strong participation of young Ukrainians in the “Caux Peace and Leadership Program” that gives an opportunity to get a training in IofC’s ideas and message, in Peace and Leadership skills and to provide the main basis for the running of the Caux Forum centre.

It was strongly expressed at the Regional Meeting that the Forums in Caux should be followed in Ukraine by occasions for Forum participants to meet, to share their experiences and discoveries and search for next steps together. In this way in January 2020 a public discussion about trust and changes of values was organized in Kyiv with John Bond and Mary Lean from IofC UK. It is clear that the follow-up with people having been in Caux is a real challenge.

Two Committee Members (Sofia Sydorenko and Serhii Zhukovskyi) took part at the Global Assembly of the Association of Initiatives of Change International – IofC (Caux July 2019). It enabled them to underline the importance of Central and Eastern Europe in the global and European work of IofC and to develop fruitful contact with the International team in charge of the new Trust Building Programme. The Foundations for Freedom project proposal to Trustbuilding Programme (TBP) was developed and submitted in 2020 but did not go through the last selection phase.

The Network of Dialogue Facilitators considers itself as fully part of Foundations for Freedom with its own internal management and financial operation. A team of 6 from the Network of Dialogue Facilitators established by Foundations for Freedom (Oleh Ovcharenko, Leonid Donos, Anna Gorina, Tetiana Konrad, Vitalii Karpenko and Angela Starovoytova) in cooperation with the "Stabilization Support Services" (funded by the UK Embassy in Ukraine) ran a common project "Development of social cohesion in Ukraine by strengthening regional and local social support for internally displaced people, veterans and other groups that suffered because of the conflict" in 2019.

In 2020 the Committee of Foundations for Freedom has continued its internal efforts to get organised, in order to better serve the Ukrainian network. There is a general sense that a lot of people who have known about Foundations for Freedom or about Caux and IofC and who have had meaningful encounters want to be more involved. 

Fourth International Forum of Participation Practitioners was held in Poltava on January 17-18, 2020 in partnership with Foundations for Freedom and IofC. 260 participants from 7 countries representing mainly civil servants, city/town councils, NGO workers have discussed the topics of democracy, trust-building, social inclusion, and social cohesion.

In September 2020 the team of Foundations for Freedom organised and conducted Virtual Gathering of the Community, during which 40 participants from 18 countries reconnected each other, learned about each other’s activities, shared plans and hopes and brainstormed on possible future collaborations and ideas to be implemented together under the facilitation of Alex Azarov. 
For many years I have been interested in my neighbours in the eastern European countries and beyond. So this online meeting gave me the chance to participate in the F4F group gathering and to be closer to the people in the east; to learn and to understand. I realise again and again how different the east is from the west or the west from the east, due to political, historical, cultural etc. differences. What I as a western citizen take for granted is not to be taken for granted in eastern Europe. Here in my country I am not afraid to express myself in public because I don’t feel in any way that there might be someone reporting back to a “body”. The question whether I can trust or not even does not appear. The stability of my government is just there, the freedom of speech is just there as many other things.

My wish is to build a better relationship between east and west through this kind of participation and beyond with the continuation of the personal interactions I have. So this has been a good start and / or continuation for me.

For many years I have been interested in my neighbours in the eastern European countries and beyond. So this online meeting gave me the chance to participate in the F4F group gathering and to be closer to the people in the east; to learn and to understand. I realise again and again how different the east is from the west or the west from the east, due to political, historical, cultural etc. differences. What I as a western citizen take for granted is not to be taken for granted in eastern Europe. Here in my country I am not afraid to express myself in public because I don’t feel in any way that there might be someone reporting back to a “body”. The question whether I can trust or not even does not appear. The stability of my government is just there, the freedom of speech is just there as many other things.

My wish is to build a better relationship between east and west through this kind of participation and beyond with the continuation of the personal interactions I have. So this has been a good start and / or continuation for me. - UIrike Keller, one of participants of the Virtual Gathering.

 

This Autumn the team of the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past programme jointly with the partners from German and Poland conducted International Youth Project "History Begins in the Family: Dialogue of Generations". This year due to the pandemic the project looked like one long online exchange. The project brought together 29 students from Ukraine, Poland and Germany to participate in the online learning session on working with oral history, studying the history of their families which have been affected by the Second World War and presenting it. The whole project was a process of dialogue between participants from different countries around different memories about the Second World War. Specifically the topics of national-socialism, stalinism, Holocaust are to be covered within it. The work was organised in the form of learning sessions, during which participants were raising and practicing their skills in dealing with the history, got knew about the historical background in Poland and Germany by virtually visiting memorial site, met online with a witness - Mr. Stepan Horechyi (RIP), who was imprisoned in GULAG after the end of the War due to his political views, took part in the virtual quest across Lviv.

As a follow up of the learning activities participants collected interviews in their families, reflected on them during the common round, and published them at the updated website, which also served as a learning platform at www.dialogue-of-generations.org.

The project activities were coordinated by the international team of Foundations for Freedom (Ukraine), the International Youth Meeting Center Oświęcim (Poland) and Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation/Bergen-Belsen Memorial (Germany), which consisted of 20 various experts: educators, facilitators, mentors, interpreters, translators and the technical assistant. Special gratitude to the German-Polish Youth Office (DPJW) and the PAUCI Foundation for the support.

At the beginning of 2021 the Annual Global Meeting, and renewal of the Board is planned.
 

Financial Report (UAH)

Balance 01.01.2019: 182,820.52
Income: 211,800.00
Expenses:  
  • Administration (General Assembly):
102,864.25
  • Staff:
13,704.00
  • Project activities:
276,444.00
Balance 31.12.2019: 1,608.27
 
Income 2020: 646,948.31 
Expenses:  
  • Staff:
35,140.78
  • Project activities:
560,170.88
  • IofC IA membership fee:
19,206.00
Balance 31.12.2020: 32,430.65