EU4Youth: Strengthening Youth Resilience Through Ukrainian NGO Partnerships

18 March, 2024

In response to the extensive crisis in Ukraine, the European Commission has authorized the redirection of funds from the EU-co-financed EU4Youth programme to address pressing challenges. The EU4Youth programme, with its commitment to youth empowerment, has successfully brought together a diverse group of stakeholders. This includes governmental bodies such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and the Zaporizhzhia State Administration, academic institutions like Drahomanov State Pedagogical University, and NGOs including Djerela, Action Time, and Youth Platform. The initiative has been further enhanced by international partners from SALTO, the Veterans’ Movement, and Lithuanian NGOs.

This collaborative effort aimed to enhance cooperation across various projects, addressing needs such as mental health and psychosocial support for young individuals with disabilitiesentrepreneurial skill development for young veterans and internally displaced persons, the reintegration of young veterans in Zaporizhzhia, the strengthening of youth centers for improved youth mobilization and engagement, and the creation of post-conflict educational programmes and trauma-informed pedagogies for universities. This convening not only spurred immediate synergies among projects but also laid the foundation for future initiatives, blending Ukrainian and EU expertise. It left participants, especially from Ukrainian NGOs, inspired by the exchange of best practices.

The event began with an acknowledgment of the significant impacts of the EU4Youth programme and an overview of future plans. Ms. Lidija Kašubienė, the Director of the Central Project Management Agency, expressed gratitude for how the initiative has fortified Ukraine’s connections with the EU and Lithuania.

Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports of Ukraine, Mr. Andriy Chesnokov, then outlined the strategic directions for youth policy over the next two years. His priorities are centered on increasing youth engagement in Ukraine’s recovery, enhancing support for youth centers, and expanding employment programmes for young people. These efforts are designed to create new opportunities for youth and encourage their active participation in the country’s economic and social recovery during these challenging times. Mr. Chesnokov underscored the EU4Youth programme’s alignment with the actual needs of young people.

The gathering included a visit to an innovative youth center in Elektrėnai, which demonstrated cutting-edge approaches to youth empowerment and involvement. The following days were dedicated to detailed discussions on Ukrainian projects to ensure a smooth launch and continuation of both existing and future activities. A workshop at Ukreate Hub further facilitated collaboration, bringing together Lithuanian organizations working in areas such as youth, social business, and support for people with disabilities, veterans, and psychological health. After sharing their approaches, Ukrainian and Lithuanian participants identified mutual areas for cooperation and exchanged contact details, paving the way for future knowledge exchange and joint efforts.


The EU4Youth Phase III Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship programme, funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, is being executed by the Central Project Management Agency (CPVA) in Eastern Partnership countries. These include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The programme will run until the end middle of 2025 and aims to provide technical assistance to governmental and non-governmental organisations to tackle youth unemployment and enhance employability.


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