Cultural space project supported by UNHCR as a platform for peaceful co-existence in Oleksandria
Opening of the Cultural Center in Oleksandriya, Kirovohrad region, has become one of the series opening of peaceful co-existence projects funded by the UN Refugee Agency to help local communities smoothly integrate IDPs in their new home areas.
Cultural Center opening ceremony at Oleksandriya, Kirovohrad region. Peaceful co-existence project supported by UNHCR
On December 10, 2018, an opening ceremony of the Cultural Centre was held in the city of Oleksandria, Kirovograd region. The ceremony was dedicated to the successful completion of the renovation of the roof of the building, which was supported by UNHCR as part of the Peaceful Coexistence Projects. The initiator of the project was NGO “The Centre for Public Activity Peremoga (Victory)”, chaired by Mrs. Valentina Chuguevets, an internally displaced person from the small town of miners, Bryanka, Luhansk Oblast.
The project was successful thanks to fruitful cooperation among IDPs, local population, volunteers and local business community. These people were the real supporters of reviving culture, social education of the community and assistance to the most vulnerable categories.
“When I was forced to leave my home and arrived in Oleksandria, I was deeply impressed by the number of children in the neighborhood and the lack of cultural institutions. There are only school and library available for children and teenagers. Therefore, having great experience in public and educational activities in the past, I dedicated myself to creating a space for cultural activities for these children and teenagers”, said Valentina.
The vision of creating a cultural home came from active parents of displaced children during a focus group discussion conducted by UNHCR in February 2017. During the meeting, parents and children shared with UNHCR staff their concerns and aspirations. Peaceful co-existence projects aim at mobilizing and empowering IDP and host communities to smoothly integrate IDPs and jointly solve the most pressing issues.
“The main approach to work with internally displaced persons for UNHCR is community based approach. This project is not only the roof and walls of the Cultural Centre, but also people who will fulfill their potential. And we believe in the ability of communities, as our practice shows in many countries and in Ukraine as well“, commented Ms. Vira Shelest, UNHCR Field Associate Protection.
During the ceremony, local residents organized a festive concert, which symbolized hopes and motivation for the revival of the cultural events in the neighborhood. The participants expressed their wishes for fruitful and successful cooperation and realization of many creative ideas in the nearest future.
Photos by: UNHCR/Ivan Melnyk