Since May 2018, DVV International and its partners have been developing programmes for civic adult education in Ukraine and Belarus. These are intended to strengthen disadvantaged population groups, particularly in rural areas, to represent their own interests and actively participate in political processes. In February 2019, a total of nine pilot projects will be launched in both countries.
The two-year project “Regional Voices – Civic Adult Education for Community Empowerment in Ukraine and Belarus” is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. In addition to DVV International, partners in the project are the adult education umbrella organisations in Germany (Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. – DVV), Ukraine (Ukrainian Adult Education Association – UAEA) and Belarus (Association for Lifelong Learning and Enlightenment – ALLLE).
In the first project phase in 2018, initial support was given to nine civil society organisations from Ukraine and Belarus for comprehensive analyses using surveys, individual interviews and moderated group discussions to determine the educational needs of their respective target groups.
Based on the results, eleven civic adult education programmes were then developed for different target groups: for people with disabilities, senior citizens, people from rural areas, women from different ethnic groups, and representatives of local authorities and autonomous administrations.
Within the framework of six-month micro-projects, the educational programmes that have been developed will be launched as pilot projects in February 2019. At the same time, there will be an interregional and transnational exchange for individual modules of the programmes. The participants in the educational programmes will develop civil society initiatives to contribute to solving actual problems in their communities, such as environmental pollution, lack of accessibility for people with disabilities and lack of participation of senior citizens. So for example, the citizens of the Belarusian community of Schutschino want to protect themselves against the pollution of their lake by agricultural enterprises. To this end, they will be trained in environmental law, among other things, and will jointly develop a concept on how the lake can be transformed into a local recreational area.
After the completion of the micro-projects, the results will be evaluated and presented and discussed in national round tables in Ukraine and Belarus at the end of 2019. This will sensitise the policy decision-makers to the concerns of disadvantaged population groups as well as to the importance of adult education for the socio-economic development of the regions and the respective country.