Successful seminar in Ukraine
Past November the Jonge Democraten organized a two-day seminar in cooperation with the European Youth of Ukraine, with support of D66 International. Themes addressed were how to build a movement and how to influence policy makers. The event took place in the historic city of Lviv. Two Dutch activists contributed to the the seminar: Dennis van Driel and Vincent van Roon, who shared their perspectives and hosted different sessions.
Dennis van Driel, the chairman of the Jonge Democraten, trained participants in on the organization of political action. He shared his own experiences with mobilizing volunteers to influence the political agenda and on attracting the eye of the media for political gain. Dennis´ presented thought-provoking cases by the Jonge Democraten, which shed light on novel ways to get your message out.
Vincent van Roon, a member of the Delft City Council of Delft, spoke to the group about recruitment and increasing the involvement of new members in a political movement. He emphasized the importance of generating a sense of shared responsibility and ownership amongst the movement´s members and volunteers. Vincent illustrated this by sharing multiple approaches from his own professional background.
To promote useful exchanges and to add practical elements to the event, the program of the seminar also included visits to local governmental agencies and meetings with a diverse group of Ukrainian activists. Participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with different aspects of local and national politics, and inquire about the things they’d learned.
As one can see almost daily, in the headlines of international news agencies, Ukraine is faced with many challenges. Much serious effort is required to put the country on a path towards being a stable, liberal democracy. Although one seminar will not change the course of history, the energy and enthusiasm and the willingness to learn, with which the Ukrainian political activists participated in the seminar, proved an inspiring sight. As long as there are young activists willing to work hard for the future of their country, hope remains.