This project aims to support Ukrainians in the Netherlands, to contribute to the formation of our diaspora through the maintenance of the existing online platform www.maidan.nl & the organization of the offline Ukrainian community centers. Our goals: 1) distribute trustful information about Ukraine, resist to anti-Ukrainian propaganda that appears on world media; 2) inform about events & activities related to Ukraine and the community in the NL; 3) provide coordination and support self-organization of various grassroots projects; 4) give community a voice – petitions; 5) share ideas/experience
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Off-line meetings preliminary in Groningen, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Nijmegen, Enschede, Amsterdam. Online activities all over the Netherlands
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Ukrainian emigrants or temporal residents have a difficulty to find each other in the Netherlands. Social media often remain the only tool to connect to people who speak the same language, have same cultural background. The real number of Ukrainians in the Netherlands is unknown, while the estimates range from 5,000 and up to 15,000 persons. The number of new arrivals is expected to increase due to economic and social migration. Ukrainians are dispersed all over the country without obvious centers for Ukrainian migrants’ concentration. Micro-communities are created around the universities in Groningen, Eindhoven Delft etc. The people residing out of metropolitan areas are cut off live communication with other Ukrainians and underestimate the real presence of Ukrainians in the NL.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Due to recent political developments in Ukraine, several demonstrations were organized in the Netherlands to support Euromaidan values and later the integrity of the State of Ukraine. They were mainly organized through social media. As result most active people joined a facebook community Maidan_NL with 780 participants and their number is growing. A website www.maidan.nl is launched to unite Ukrainian community, share news from Ukraine and new from Ukrainian community in the Netherlands. Marketing and PR group is being created by 5-7 PR experts. Additionally, we created local Ukrainian group e.g. https://www.facebook.com/groups/189799361210159/ (Groningen).We keep connecting with Ukrainian diaspora in other countries. Our organization has 6 board members and a number individual volunteers
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
In 2014 we plan to open a new Ukrainian weekend school for children, support opening of the first Ukrainian church of Greek Catholic confession in the Netherlands, organize regular local meetings for Ukrainians, collect and disseminate news from and about Ukraine and info about events around Ukraine in the Netherlands and abroad. Our purpose is to keep Ukrainians in the Netherlands informed about our own initiatives as well as the initiatives of other active groups. We will use aforementioned facebook groups and www.maidan.nl, which are interlinked. Also a school will need its own website. Our Dutch supporters will receive regular news in English and Dutch. We write and collect signatures under petitions to voice the opinion of the community
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
Networking is our motto. We plan to become a member of the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council, World Congress of Ukrainians, European Congress of Ukrainians and other organizations of Ukrainian diaspora in order to get an official status for the Ukrainian diaspora in the Netherlands. We establish contacts with the Embassy of Ukraine in the Netherlands, Dutch NGOs and humanitarian organizations that work with Ukraine. We plan or already cooperate with the existing Ukrainian schools in Voorburg and Groningen. Currently we collect signatures for opening the Ukrainian church in Utrecht. We made an informal agreement with separate Marketing &PR activist group regarding their support and contribution (e.g. mailing lists, subscriptions, tweet and facebook feeds, moderating the microblogs etc.)
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We estimate minimum 850 participants but aim to reach 2,500 or more. The Embassy of Ukraine will include information about our organization on its website. We will register by various expat site in the Netherlands and maintain regular mailing list with at least 35 Dutch charitable organizations working with Ukraine. We aim to establish local groups in Nijmegen, Eindhoven, Utrecht and Enschede that will regularly meet. The established group in Groningen already includes 75 participants. We will raise funds for various events to attract more people.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
www.maidan.nl is running on a blogging CMS Wordpress and is expected to allow Ukrainian community to microblog. Their posts will be merged under the community news stream and interlinked with Facebook group Maidan_NL. A number of free and commercial Wordpress plug-ins are used to feed and interlink website, Facebook groups and Twitter subscriptions. This technology will allow active members of the community to get involved and share their project ideas and planning activities. In such a way we will support further horizontal growth of the community that allow people uniting around the ideas they share/value and the projects they consider important.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Our work will be mainly on-line: we will use public shared hosting for www.maidan.nl; install free and commercial plug-ins for Wordpress. In order to coordinate the running initiatives, work on the planning, update activists on new possibilities for microblogging and other forms of social cooperation, we will monthly organize offline meetings. For this reason we will hire a workshop venues on a once per month basis, possibly in different cities to increase the wider participation of activists from all around the country. Additionally, we plan to obtain a SMS Donation service for charities fund raising, allowing us fundraising for the implementation of the initiatives.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
Activists founded our organization to provide a needed support for the grassroots initiatives. We established connections with various initiative cells, thus we have volunteers and supporters in almost all big cities. Our former and ongoing initiatives got a support from the community. The number of participants at facebook Maidan_NL group has quadrupled in the last 4 month from 200 to almost 800. Several project coordination groups are created around the main facebook group. Our organization aims to support initiatives by bringing structure and coordination; to sustain high level of social activity in future by stimulating people to get involved and to participate in various forms of the community life. We are the only Ukrainian organization in the Netherlands with a long-term vision.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Geographic spread of community and project group requires continuous collaboration and alignment online but also offline on a regular basis. Additionally, many volunteers have a full-time paid jobs thus their availability and level of involvement may differ. It might create bottlenecks with planning and scheduling. We will seek to have off-line meetings on weekends, in various cities, not a single location, and agree on back-ups and shared responsibility approach (avoid one-person responsibility but rather a team-work).
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Number of members in our facebook group Maidan_NL; number of microblogs, posts, petitions located at website; number of new initiatives planned and realized; number of participants in monthly workshops. Number of events attended by the representatives of our community, including presentations, debates, media interviews, exhibitions, lectures, etc. The success will be measured by the increased social activity and participation of the Ukrainians in the Netherlands.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
Project has already been kicked-off and sponsored privately (hosting only). Working groups are already set up and started planning. Getting the tooling, environments and content completed – 1 month. Further, its maintenance will continue on the ongoing basis. The offline meetings will be planned once a month the following 6 months. The exact dates and locations will be discussed with the community.
The microblogs will be at least dedicated to the following topics:
– Ukrainian Sunday school;
– Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church entrance into the Netherlands
– Cooperation with humanitarian organizations that work with Ukraine
– Presidential elections (25/05)
– Ukrainian Constitution Day (26/06)
– Independence Day (24/08)
– Commemoration of Holodomor tragedy (22/11)
– Saint Nicolas day (19/12)
We plan to continue our work the coming years, including the support of the website and the organization of the community meetings, events etc on a regular basis
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Investments (once off):
• Free and commercial plug-ins for Wordpress ($120)
• Laptop 670$;
• Projector (can be second-hand) 500$;
Total investments: $1,290
• Public shared hosting for www.maidan.nl ($100 / year)
• Monthly rent of a workshop room for coordination and planning, offline ($100 x 6 moths = $600)
• SMS Donation service for charities fund raising ($260/year)
Total ops: $960 / year
TOTAL: $1,290+$960 = $2,250–
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We would be glad to get advices on how to spread our word wider, how to work with the media and how to make impact from the small-scale community on the public opinion. We aim to proceed further with this project and ensure it’s sustainability in the future thus we would be glad to receive suggestions and recommendations for our “newborn” organization.
Stichting “Oekrainers in Nederland”