World Refugee Day 2003: Ukraine
Refugee youth from Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv participated in the UN Youth Summit on Millennium Development Goals, together with 200 local youth. UNHCR and the refugees conducted an informal session that included the screening of the refugee youth video, "Facing Our Future", followed by a discussion and performance by a refugee artist.
By the end of the summit, the refugee youth decided to register their own NGO and network with other youth groups. They wrote a letter outlining the main challenges facing refugee youth in Ukraine and proposed possible solutions for submission to UNHCR and the State Committee for Nationalities and Migration.
An essay competition was held based on the theme, "Refugees and Exiles in the History of Ukraine". The best essays will be translated into English and published soon.
Odesa marked World Refugee Day by presenting Ukrainian passports to refugees who had recently been granted citizenship. There were also sports tournaments, contests for best national dress and Miss Refugee, a concert and an art and craft exhibition.
In Kharkiv, refugees played a football match with local police. There was also a youth day with a concert, as well as a food and handicraft fair.
Western Ukraine celebrated with street theatre and a rock concert by local musicians and a refugee artist. There was also an exhibition and cultural performances in Kyiv.