Be the Change!

Проекти | Lviv Education Foundation

  • Project “Building Ukraine together”

    “Building Ukraine Together” (abbreviated BUR in Ukrainian) is a nationwide volunteer program which aims to make Ukrainian youth mobile and unite them around the principles of mutual aid and responsibility.


    How it all started?

    In the summer of 2014, based on the consequences of military operations in Eastern Ukraine, the team of the Lviv Education Foundation came up with an idea to create a volunteer camp.  They united the young people from all over Ukraine to help people there who could not cope with their problems. Therefore, during two months 80 volunteers repaired 25 apartments.


     vvv Semenivka village Donetsk region 


    Our activities continued in 2015, first in Lviv where we renovated an apartment destroyed by a fire and rebuilt the gym in a village school. In August, more than 30 volunteers from 13 regions of Ukraine arrived to the city of Slovyansk to rebuild 8 large-scale dwellings  together with 40 local volunteers.



    Why is that relevant?

    Because the volunteer  camp is for every young person:

    • to travel and get to know Ukraine;
    • to meet and talk with different people, thus destroying the stereotypes of East and West;
    • to  help those who need it and participate in the development of effective local communities;
    • to exercise in an active way for fun and social benefit.



    How do we implement it?

    The uniqueness of our camp is that we gather volunteers from all over Ukraine to work with local volunteers.  Our work is effective because:

    • we have assembled a team of young volunteers full of enthusiasm and inspiration;
    • we have three years of experience in such activities;
    • we attract artists who are great specialists in their field;
    • we love what we do.



    What was done in 2016?

    We decided to expand our field of activities across the country, since in almost every Ukrainian town or village there are people who were affected by the war. Therefore, we worked in 11 Ukrainian cities for 13 weeks of the summer and fall season.



    We restored a number of houses for needy families and low-income people. Also, we worked on the improvement of the public spaces with stylish benches, swings, sandboxes, parking for bicycles etc.; cleaning parks, squares and embankments; planting trees and flowers, creating expressive murals.



    Svatove Lugansk region - photo



    Melitopol Zaporiggia region, public space renovation in  Gorkogo park - photo


    Children’s library in Pavlograd Dnipropetrovsk region- photo


    “Building Ukaine Together” camp grows, so let’s grow together!

  • “Big Brother” program for kids of heroes ATO

    A mentoring program for children of the ATO heroes was created to support children whose father died during the war in Eastern Ukraine. The program was created in September 2014, and from that time it has managed to unite about 40 mentors from all over Ukraine.

    Who is a mentor?


    A mentor is a special kind of helper who works with others in a positive, constructive way. To become a mentor it is not necessarily to have expertise in psychology or education — above all you need to be responsible and to have a good attitude to the child. The mentors do many things together with children such as do homework, travel, visit art centers, go to the theater, watch movie, etc. The main task is to create a positive atmosphere around the child. Participants of the program: Lesja and Vlad (Drohobich city).



    Participants of the program: Lesja and Vlad (Drohobich city, Lviv region)


    How the mentoring program works?

    The program maintains work in the following areas:

    1. Education – helping the child with homework  and visiting different learning centres.

    2. Leisure — spending time together hiking, walking, visiting the cinema, theater or circus.

    3. Art — developing the talents and skills of the child who had not had the courage or opportunity to open himself.

    The "Big brother" program has few areas of work with kids:

    Art school. The mail idea of this event is to gather participants from all over Ukraine in Lviv to meet and communicate with each other and have fun.  Art school includes master classes: making ornaments with ribbons,  postcards, sand animation; visits to various interesting places of the city etc. This event has 2 purposes:

    • for kids - to givepositive emotions through art;
    • for mentors - to demonstrate different techniques that they can use in the communication process with kids.

    Help me to help others - the main idea of this work to attract  mentor and child to help people in need. This process gives this child to feel his  necessary and responsibility in such area. 

    Postcrossing - liaise children and mentors, and share postcards with each other.



    How to become a mentor?
    If you are young, active and want to share your free time with a new friend, then Join Us!

    Application form -  bigbrotherlef@gmail.com 

    To learn more about the program- visit our Facebook page “Big Brother” (Старший брат)



    Agatha Christie once said “One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood.” So, give a child a part of yourself and your soul will be filled with light.



    Program coordinator : Marianna Bilyk +380985771131 skype: marianna.kaspryshyn e-mail: big_brother@lef.org.uа

  • Family center “Ryasne” welcomes everyone

    There is no more responsible, exciting and yet more difficult task than to give birth and raise a child.  During the mastering of the new role as mom or dad, each of us needs new information, knowledge, skills and support. We believe that in today’s world it is important to promote healthy values and properly build the harmonious relations between parents and children.

    Therefore, on August 12, 2015 the family center “Ryasne” was opened. The new school year began with more than 160 children and with 10  qualified teachers.


    Young Lions in training - photo

    Our main tasks:

    • to promote the preservation and development of the family;
    • comprehensive development of children and adults;
    • family leisure.

    The program maintains work in the following areas:

    • pre-school, where the youngest children attend kindergarden to get ready for school;
    • sports where a child learns the basics of boxing, choreography and recreational gymnastics;
    • learning learning: 2 times a week in the kindergarden and 2 times in groups;
    • arts where a child is involved in art design, drawing, attending vocal and drama school and learn to play guitar;
    • organizing children’s birthday parties.

    Over time we have successfully conducted 5 training camps, of which 2 were in English when Professor John White and 4 students from the United States joined the camps.


    English summer camp brought together over 50 participants.


    The older students can improve their knowledge of English, art design and oriental dance.


    Vocal and theatre lessons in the studio.


    Also, we recently launched a parent club called “Nest”, where fathers and mothers can participate in the interesting workshops.


    For more information please visit us :)

    Our contacts:

    Lviv, vul. Shevchenko 370 A , on weekdays from 10:00 to 20:00 tel. 068,917 June 2; 063 207 44 57 e-mail: riasnecenter@lef.org.ua

  • Youth platform “Vilna Khata”

    VilKha (short for “Free House”) is a public space for personal development and growth, and the realization of dreams and ideas for the city. It has its own atmosphere which contributes to a homelike, creative mood and makes it possible to find other youth of similar interests. Everyone can just come and drink coffee, read a book, chat with an interesting person, play board games, do homework and prepare for exams, listen to a lecture or attend a master class. It is an educational and artistic space. Everyone can be himself or herself here, relax and feel free from the daily routine and start to create.

    “Vilna Khata” opened its doors on December 6, 2014 in Kramatorsk. Everything began in September of that year with the volunteer camp “Building Ukraine Together”. The camp lasted for a month, but when it ended the society faced an urgent need for a public space where young people could communicate, create and implement their plans. This is how the idea appeared to create space such as “Vilna Khata” (Free House) in Kramatorsk.



    “ VilKha” actively participates in the following social projects:


    • mentoring (work with children and local boarding school);
    • “Good neighbor” (helping needy families);
    • Volunteer camp “Building Ukraine together”;
    • social intrepreneurship in the “Creative Workshop”.

    We learn languages, learn to be responsible, share our experience with people from other countries and from different ukrainian cities, for implementing our projects and initiatives. Every day we conduct events with interesting guests.  We are always glad to have a new acquaintance and we’re open to all, regardless of political or religious preferences. Therefore, we would like to invite you to join us!


    Visit us:
    Kramatorsk city, vul. Dvirceva, 28 on weekdays from 12:00 to 21:00

    Project coordinator: Mykola Dorokhov +38 (063) 504 28 00 e-mail: vilhavilha@gmail.com

  • UCEF Ginger Fund program

    “Before I lived for myself, but now I live for others” – a participant of the Ginger programs, who came to Ukraine in 2006 for one year to help the orphans and stayed for good.


     The Ginger Orphan Support Program of  the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation  started its activity in 2006.


    The purpose of the program is to help the most vulnerable and needy children and youth living without their parents,  or at risk in unhealthy family situations.


    Мама Мар'яна з маленьким Андрійком

    Mother Mariana with her son lAndrew, community of care for pregnant women "Hope", Lviv


    The goal is to give each child a loving home, regardless of the conditions and circumstances in which they have grown up.

    Priority group: 

    • orphans;
    • children from crisis families;
    • homeless children.


    Sample project areas:

    • bulding a family-type orphanage;
    • caring for children in government institutions and orphanages;
    • supporting social centers for street children.

    During the first 10 years of the program, 488 projects were finished.  The list of partners includes more than 200  organizations in Ukraine: community organizations, charities, religious communities, missions and chaplaincies, parishes, and family-type orphanages.


    488 projects in 10 years of cooperation, 25 of them nationwide


    Among the many striking examples, we would like to highlight the story of the family of Natalie and Volodimir Shevchenko,. After the death of her own daughter and due to her illness could not have any more children.  The couple adopted five children from Semenivka village, in the region of Donetsk.

    The father works at the plant as a mechanic, the mother takes care of the children. Not receiving any help from the government, this family lived in the poverty and thus they were unable to buy a home. When the fighting began in the region, the life in the village stopped: schools  and hospitals were closed. To live in such conditions  was extremely difficult.


    With the support of the UCEF Ginger Foundation the family bought an old house and moved to the city of Slovjansk with their children.  By their own efforts with the help of the volunteers of “Building Ukraine Together” they repaired their house and got a second chance of peaceful and happy life.



     Family Shevchenko, Sloviansk Donetsk region


    Natalie said: “We are immensely grateful to God and people for their help and for a chance to have children. My husband and I dream to adopt another girl and a boy.”


    According to official data, on January 1, 2016 more than 73,000 orphans lived in Ukraine. Of this number, only 20-23%  are traditional orphans, the others are children with living parents but who are deprived of parental care, often because of alcoholism or drugs. More than 52000 children are under the care of immediate families,  about 6,600 children live in government boarding schools, 25,000 children are in families who find themselves in the difficult circumstances but can bring up the children, and 18,000 are eligible for adoption.


    Since an orphanage can rarely give a child the desired love and upbringing, we try to find an alternative solution to this situation. That is the reason why representatives of 80 charities, foundations, church and government agencies from across the country gathered on 27-28 February, 2016 in Lviv for the two-day national conference.” Alternative forms of child care” to discuss, debate and build a strategy.


    [video width="750" height="480" mp4="http://www.lef.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ginger-conferens-10-years.mp4"][/video]


    During the conference we came to a conclusion that the biggest problems are the collapse of social institutions,  the absence of legislation that would give a clear status to children of troubled families, and disorganized organizations that provide assistance and support to families and orphans.


    Program Coordinator: Natalia Shalata +38 (093) 449 97 74; +38 (068) 707 40 11 e-mail: lef.socialprojects@gmail.com


  • Project “Development of volunteerism in communities”

    The project “Development of volunteerism in communities” was created in order to activate local youth in parishes around solving problems of socialization and education for orphans and homeless children.


    During the year of 2016 we have received over 200 initiatives from different voluntary youth organizations from all over the Ukraine, whose aim was to improve life for children and youth in difficult life circumstances. 71 projects in 14 regions of Ukraine were supported within the contest of mini-grants. Our goal is to involve and support more and more active youth in parishes, who want to help orphans, “street children” and children in difficult life circumstances by involving them into different types of activities. Such work for the benefit of children also leads to positive changes in every village or town.


    Проект "Волонтерський рух" у с. Дережичі, Львівська область. 

    We are sincerely glad that a lot of part-time initiatives become sustainable. It shows great desire and interest for volunteers to help orphans and “street children” to change their lives and adapt to the life in society. Such initiatives activate and unite youth together around the process of solving actual problems, at the same time involve children in need and youth  into parish life and help them to change their way of thinking, form a sense of responsibility before God and men.



    Volunteer movement

             Map of projects, that were approved in 2016


    Those are a few projects, that were approved by LEF 2016 council :

    Organizing a volleyball field and a sport section; opening the gym, founding two parish catechetical schools, creating a playground in catechetical school, renewal ща catechetical library, creating a consulting center at university.


    In general, projects were related to leisure and education for orphans.


    All of those projects is our common victory and a proof, that voluntary movements in Ukraine is the driving force of changes in our society. We are glad that we brought ideas into life and made our contribution in improvement children’s lives and lives of youth in difficult life circumstances. If you are young, enterprising and ready to act - you are more than welcome to cooperate.


    Detais for mini-grants in 2017


    Project coordinator : Mar'yana Kashchak

    +38(068) 706 17 09

    Project assistant : Stanislav Klosovskyy

    +38 (093) 486 74 06

    e-mail: lviveduproject@gmail.com 


  • Teplytsya Platform of Initiatives

    The Teplytsya (“Greenhouse”) platform of initiatives began work on May 16, 2015 in the city of Slovyansk. After opening Vilna Hata (“Free House”) in Kramatorsk, a large group of volunteers from Slovyansk were excited about the idea of creating a similar platform in their city.


    Teplytsya  is an open space for community initiatives where anyone can contribute to its creation, propose the idea of the event and organize it.  It is also a space for informal education, self-development and creativity of free people, where everyone can realize themselves, share experience, reveal ideas and find like-minded people.


    The main purpose of the project is to help residents improve their city.


    The platform operates in 3 main directions:

    • Informal education. People need to understand that in today’s world the knowledge obtained in schools and universities is not enough— they need to engage in self-development.  Therefore, Teplytsya conducted various trainings and workshops where people can improve their knowledge, try their hand at something new and get out of their comfort zone.
    • Social direction. The idea is to help a neighbor. It is actually not hard to help people, for instance, to assist with the repairs or make some benches or visit children on St. Nicholas Day.
    • Urban studies and cultural direction. Unfortunately, the art that prevails in Slavjansk  is very old, very soviet. However, there always appears something new.  For example, in  Shovkovichniy Park, there is a wonderful large new mural on the cinema wall made by locals from Slovyansk and artists from Kharkiv.


    In the Teplytsya platform, the young people are not only having fun. Initiative groups are implementing important social projects. The most popular of them is the project called “Poetry of the walls” (restoration of apartment passageways, a project  by volunteer Inessa Vjenikova), that was conducted in a series of urban hachkathons.  The mini-grant competition was held on the territory of Teplytsya for youth from UNICEF.


    There are no restrictions on age, seх, or any other indicators. There are two topics visitors try not to raise: political views and religious preferences. Those topics are very acute which divide our society, while the Teplytsya platform aims to unite it.


    Visit us: Slovyansk city, st. Vasylivska, 49 on weekdays from 12:00 to 21:00


    Project Coordinator: Anna Avdiyants tel. 050 825 46 20 e-mail: teplycya@gmail.com