12 April 2024
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From War Zone to City Council: Journey of IDP Integration
From War Zone to City Council: Journey of IDP Integration

Yulia Chukhrii is an internally displaced person (IDP) who moved from the city of Lyman in Donetsk Oblast to the Zdolbuniv community in Rivne Oblast. Lyman, located on the frontline of the Russian-Ukrainian war, experienced heavy fighting during the Spring-Autumn of 2022. In October 2022, it was liberated by the Ukrainian army but was severely damaged. The local railway station was also affected.

Yulia's family, who were railway workers, was compelled to move due to the active hostilities in the city. To better integrate into the new community, Yulia applied and was selected to participate in the local government internship program.

Over 10 days, Yulia learned about the workings of the city council. Says Yulia:

"During the internship, I became acquainted with the structure of the city council and its executive committee, learned about the specifics of the council's departments, and participated in various activities."

Yulia completed her internship in the Department of Urban Planning, Architecture, and Civil Protection of the Population and shared her experience:

"The internship was interesting and informative. Now, I clearly understand the workings of this well-coordinated mechanism - the city council. As an IDP, I gained experience that will be useful for addressing domestic and social issues - both now and after returning home. I believe that I will return to my native Lyman."

She sums up:

“After the internship, I received an offer to join the IDP Council advisory body at the Zdolbuniv City Council. Now, I participate in its work with a clear understanding of the tasks and goals of its activities.”

USAID HOVERLA Activity supported 22 communities in implementing the youth internship program in local government. The program encouraged young people to join their community's local governments, empowering them to influence local decision-making. More than 70 youths interned in local governments within the program, gaining valuable practical experience and understanding of their communities' activities. As a result, nine out of 70 interns secured jobs in local government and regional authorities.

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