Preliminary conclusions from the study of the needs of organisations working on the social inclusion of youth in Ukraine show that although the Ukrainian state institutions are still not equipped good enough for the challenges Ukraine is facing, many community organisers tend to withhold a good deal of criticism they show in private conversations or which can be heard from ordinary citizens. Because of the war and still lacking civic tradition of public criticism of the authorities, the whole public discourse is distorted, which influences the youth inclusion community too. Some criticism towards the state institutions is also dismissed just on the ground that the current officials are better than those from the previous administration.
Ukrainian people and organisations working on youth inclusion are doing amazing job. International donors are the main source of funding for the surveyed NGOs – they give 34% of the funds. At the same time 28% of voluntary work combined with 8% of membership fees and 7% of community resources make 43%. The Ukrainian state give the studies organisations only 5% of the funding. At the same time funding and capacity building is the most frequently mentioned need. Ukrainian community workers also combine rather high self-evaluation of their management skills and the need to learn – and to help others learn more – about the field-specific issues.
Ukrainian NGOs have developed skills and competencies needed to deal with both the general context of operations in Ukraine and the sector specific intricacies. They have enough energy to satisfy what is demanded by the bureaucrats who give just 5% of what the organisations get. Dialogue with the authorities is at the same time needed by some and not trusted by most of the NGOs. This energy can actually be used not only to help the youth learn how to comply with the inefficient bureaucratic system, but also to change it non-violently and in the interest of the people of Ukraine, the EU and the rest of the world.