I will start by introducing myself: my name is Serhii Bozhenko, I study political science and take an active part in social and political life. From childhood I have been talking about politics, and I always get disappointment when people do not perceive politics as something that can change their lives.
But I do not just want to talk about myself, because here I would like to start talking about the useful time spent at the IFLRY Youth in the Heart of Decision Making training. In a post-industrial society where young people are constantly choosing how to achieve goals, deciding their fate, reading a lot of information and are usually quite reasonable, it is hard for them to take risk, analyze and accept defeat, and to enjoy life. In this difficult world, young people don’t just require a platform for dialogue, but also a platform of friends and people who are willing to teach. IFLRY is such a platform for young activists. It helps with the coordination of actions across Ukraine and conducts training activities that strengthen civil society in Ukraine. It invests efforts to bring young people stability, and help develop not only these young people, but also their country. For me it is important to invest efforts in Ukraine, because then we get the pleasure to live in a strong and economically independent country. Therefore, the training Youth in the Heart of Decision Making helps not only to understand the problems of the country, but also to understand the solutions and how to motivate young people to act actively and decisively in the protection of their rights, and the development initiatives or organisations to solve existing problems. It is time to qualitatively change Ukraine and become a young politician, the young leader is not afraid to fight for the future and win.
The training developed critical thinking, and explained examples from countries such as Germany, Canada, Sweden in the field of youth policy and activities relating to adult policy. The training was conducted with the participation of foreigners who are experts in policy areas and who had a revealing eye which helped to understand youth participation in the political systems of Europe. We spoke about policies and methods of achieving policy through our own actions. An interesting topic was on public activism and ways to achieve results by using queries and complaints. This is a practical tool for public control.
We also liked the warmth which was present in the group, especially the last days when you feel like part of the IFLRY family. For me, as a student-analyst, the session on political participation was very useful and practical, because I’m ready to go into politics at a young age and sacrifice my private life for the future of youth in Ukraine. I believe it is necessary for me in the future to be involved with IFLRY to take action and help the organization. It was good practice to have group work with the other attendees at this event. For me, it has to some extent been a test for the presence of future public figures and youth leaders. It is difficult to achieve consensus with everyone if you take part in events like these, but every day you study, if you need to lobby their decisions and leadership. For me it was a valuable experience to find common ground with these people. And the value of the event should not always be measured now, because it will also influence the way we think in the future. I also realized that young people do not have life experience, young people do not always act rational. Young people can be pretty radical, but young people always win, because the new always wins. The old traditions are destroyed and new changes are formed.
Serhii Bozhenko is a student of political science at the Nizhyn Gogol State University in Nizhyn, Ukraine.