The National Network of the Ecumenical Social Weeks of Ukraine

Purpose: to unite social and charitable organizations, churches, universities, youth associations, philanthropic foundations, business sector and public institutions (city halls, regional administrations, etc.) around proposals that could get wide acceptance and promote civil society development in Ukraine.

Goals:
• Development and lobbying of legislative initiatives to improve the social policy of the state
• Implementation of the social doctrine of the Church
• Involving civil society in a fair and solidarity state politics
• Ukraine's integration into the international democratic, peaceful and ecumenical space

The successful holding of the Ecumenical Social Weeks that were devoted to the cooperative movement in Ukraine (2008) and social responsibility (2009) promоted the organizers and participants of the forum an idea to create and develop the National Network of the ESW in Ukraine.

The existing experience of similar national networks in Europe (France, Germany etc.), where for many years social weeks has been held, has proved to be effective in building civil society in Europe. Joint efforts of a community not only locally but also at a national level helps to consolidate the efforts of civil society, establishing cross-sectoral partnerships between cities and institutions of a democratic state.

On the initiative of the organizers of the ESW in 2010, during the 3rd Ecumenical Social Week “Trust. Responsibility. Philanthropy” the first meeting of the National Network of the ESW was held. The meeting included representatives of NGOs, government, churches and education from Odesa, Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Donetsk, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Lviv and other cities. During the meeting the participants signed a declaration of intent for cooperation and outlined the main directions of the National Network’s development.

After the preparatory work in 2011, partners from Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya and Luhansk joined in the initiative of the National Network.

In February 2012, the organizers initiated the second meeting of the National Council of the Network of the Social Ecumenical Weeks. During the meeting, the participants decided to hold information days in the partner-cities. Within the framework of these days, round tables and presentations of the concept of the ESW in Ukraine are scheduled in order to involve partner-cities’ communities into a kind of ecumenical social movement to support proposals for the development of civil society (such as the bill on “Percentage Philanthropy” etc).

In the period of March-May 2012, the roundtable discussions “Cross-Sectoral Partnerships as a Factor in Community Development: European Experience” and “Cross-Sectoral Partnerships to Address Community Needs” were organized and held in the partner-cities of Odesa, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya. Details are here:

In autumn of 2012, the organizers of the ESW and the partners of the network will hold round tables in the cities of Luhansk, Chernivtsi and others.
The main office of the National Network of the ESW in Ukraine is located in Lviv, the office of the Ecumenical Social Week.

Partnership

Advantages for partners:
• The status of an official representative of the Ecumenical Social Week in Ukraine
• Participation in an annual ESW at the expense of the host
• An opportunity to share experience and best practices
• An opportunity to use the achievements of the National Network of the ESW
• Placing information on the ESW website, exchange of links on the websites of the National Network’s partners
• Implementation of joint projects, support of the National Network of the ESW in projects the network’s participants
• Participation in Social Weeks in Europe (on partnership conditions)
• Reinforcement of each other’s strengths
• Participation in training seminars on the network development


Coordinator of the National Network of the ESW, Mariia Kandyba, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.