President of Ukraine

Olena Zelenska discussed the restoration of Ukraine with the youth

28 March 2023 - 00:03

Olena Zelenska discussed the restoration of Ukraine with the youth

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska together with the participants of the UPSHIFT program of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) took part in the "UNICEF: Youth for Ukraine. Recovery Plan" meeting. UPSHIFT is an innovative program for teenagers and youth that helps turn ideas into actionable projects that benefit communities.

Together with officials, representatives of embassies, Ukrainian business and non-governmental organizations, young people discussed the vision of restoring Ukraine.

The First Lady emphasized that Russian aggression brought Ukrainian teenagers a difficult traumatic experience. At the same time, they find the strength to study and build the future.

"Educated people who know how to think, who know how to acquire and apply knowledge - this is what is needed for victory. Thank you for studying - for yourself and for the country. My special thanks to our friends from UNICEF for the fact that they held many activities for teenagers all year long, helping them to develop and study. And this event of ours is just such an example. Support is very important. It helps not to give up," said Olena Zelenska.

The participants discussed three critical areas of recovery: mental health and psychological care, education and skills development, and youth-friendly infrastructure. UNICEF has committed to expanding support in these areas in 2023.

UPSHIFT teams, supported by the United Nations Children's Fund, created dozens of projects last year to respond to the humanitarian challenges in their communities caused by the war.

The best youth projects received special awards from UNICEF and the All-Ukrainian mental health program "Tell me honestly, how are you?", implemented at the initiative of the First Lady. The awarded projects are:

● The Camp Life Star team, which created a motivational training camp for teenagers, where internally displaced persons regained their strength and ability to build a future:

● The "Teen Island" team, which started group psychological counseling for young people in Kharkiv, and also created a podcast and a safe virtual space:

● The "Capable Mother" initiative in Lviv, which provides psychological support to single mothers affected by the war. The team is convinced that an emotionally stable, energetic and capable mother is the key factor in ensuring a child's mental health and development.

● Traveling hub "Fira", which is a mobile center for rallying displaced people and residents of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. The team used Ukrainian traditions and customs to create a space for psycho-emotional relief and positive emotions for young people:

● The Power_Che team, which created a children's space in their native Cherkasy. The participants strive to return to young Ukrainians the feeling of childhood lost due to the war.

"The generation of your great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers was called children of war, because they were little during another terrible war, the Second World War. Well, I'll be honest: I really don't want you to feel like children of war. I don't want you to feel like victims. It shouldn't be like that. You are children of victory. And you are the winners. Just like that," Olena Zelenska emphasized.