On Youth Day, President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with representatives of the youth community of Ukraine and international youth organizations.
The event was attended by representatives of creative youth, young scientists, military personnel and athletes. The meeting was attended online by representatives of NGO Ukrainian Volunteer Service, Building Ukraine Together (BUR), the charity fund SpivDiia, the World Congress of Ukrainian Youth Organizations, the Ambassadors of European Youth initiative, representatives of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, youth councils and youth centers of Ukraine, activists of national and patriotic education (Plast, Sokil), representatives of the NGO Street Culture center.
The meeting was also attended by: Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Vadym Hutzait, Deputy Head of the Office of the Head of State Oleksiy Dniprov and MP Oleksandr Sanchenko, who are co-chairs of the Council on Youth Affairs under the President, as well as co-founder of the Charity Fund Wilni-UA, deputy co-chairman of the Council on Youth Affairs under the President Taras Topolia.
Zelensky congratulated the participants of the meeting on Youth Day, which is celebrated for the first time in Ukraine on International Youth Day on August 12.
“We are proud that we have such an active, progressive and patriotic youth. This is our future,” the Head of State said.
Deputy Head of the President’s Office Oleksiy Dniprov said that the meeting was attended by representatives of all youth communities working in Ukraine and abroad, repelling the enemy at the front, and impressing the world with their achievements in science, culture, and sports.
Speaking about the participation of youth in the volunteer movement, the head of NGO Ukrainian Volunteer Service Hanna Bondarenko emphasized the importance of the existence of a special platform, thanks to which all those who want to can join volunteer activities.
First Deputy President of the World Congress of Ukrainian Youth Organizations Andriy Yakubiv urged the state to pay attention to the youth of the Ukrainian diaspora: they are showing extraordinary activity today, so it is worth strategically strengthening this direction.
The President supported this vision: “Many young people abroad are now asking how they can help. They should know who to turn to.”
Musician and public figure Taras Topolia, who is currently a volunteer of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, called for support for the initiative to assist the state in realizing the desire of young people to have their own housing.
“Many young people are currently abroad, they dream of returning to Ukraine. Over time, this desire may disappear. Therefore, I really want the state, and you personally, Mr. President, to help young people make their choice,” he said.
Topolia said that among the possible formats of such support are the provision of grant aid, the creation of cooperatives with the direct participation of young people.
Zelenskyy said that the issue of providing young people with affordable housing remains extremely relevant.
“We support this initiative. I am sure that all this has an impact on the economy. Number one is housing construction. The second is for people to stay, and this also influences the strength of the state,” the President said.
Board Chairman of NGO Youth Platform Zahariy Tkachuk said that many youth centers have turned from creative spaces into volunteer offices. Of the 300 youth centers, one hundred remain, and it is important to preserve them, and for this we need the support of the state leadership.
For his part, Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak proposed involving a youth representative in the work of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities under the President and to consider the issue of youth policy at the next meeting.
The head of state called for the preparation of specific proposals regarding the situation with youth centers, taking into account the realities of wartime.
Two-time champion of the World Games, world and European champion in Thai boxing Oleg Pryimachov thanked the state leadership for the opportunity to represent Ukraine at the most important competitions in non-Olympic sports in 2022. Now he heads a volunteer battalion in his native Poltava region and trains fighters.
“Nowadays, sports have somewhat faded into the background. But I still want to emphasize its importance in shaping personality and the future generation. And don’t forget about sports,” Pryimachov said.
Chair of the Number Theory Department at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), Maryna Viazovska, who is the second woman in history to receive the most prestigious award in the field of mathematics, the Fields Medal, and the second representative of Ukraine to win this award, expressed her wish that during the implementation of the country’s reconstruction plan scientific projects were not forgotten.
“Ukrainian scientists working abroad can bring their experience. And now is such a moment when everyone sincerely shares their time. And several groups of scientists are working on very specific projects that could be implemented in Ukraine when we win, or can be started even earlier,” she said.
For his part, Senior Officer of a special unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, Dmytro Buchatsky, emphasized the importance of using the latest information systems in the Armed Forces.
“Therefore, I ask you to pay attention to young people, to the startups that are currently in Ukraine, and target them in the military sphere, because victory is now our main goal,” he said.
Zelensky replied that the state works in this direction every day, because technology is crucial for victory in the war and our future.
“At the level of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the task is to attract certain companies. Many people have been found – from startups to companies engaged in the latest technologies. We found a large number of cyber specialists, we really have a cyber army,” the President said.
He said that since the first days of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has survived primarily thanks to the heroism and self-sacrifice of our military, but in the future, technology should replace human potential, which must be protected.
Paramedic of the Special Operations Group of the Maritime Guard of the State Border Guard Service, sailor Viktoria Tkach, emphasized the importance of forming respect for military personnel and the military science in society. For this, it is necessary that military service is not perceived as a punishment.
“The issue of recruiting and correct delivery of information about military service to young people is raised. These can be special recruiting centers that will help a young person understand that the army is an honor to defend one’s country. Motivated people build an army and do everything to win,” she said.
Zelensky said that he supports the idea of a network of recruiting centers and is ready to listen to specific proposals. At the same time, he expressed the opinion that the education of citizens ready to defend their country depends not only on this.
According to him, trust in the Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies and other services plays an important role, and this depends both on real concrete cases and on the relevant information field.
The President advocated shaping a unified state policy for the education of patriotic citizens who are ready to defend Ukraine.
At the end of the meeting, Zelensky presented state awards to nine participants of the meeting.