Civil society in East Ukraine still bears heavily on the legacy of the Soviet Union, where the state absorbed and ideologically charged all civil society involvement. The shock of the system change, which hit the coal-mining regions particularly hard, and the wild capitalism of the 1990s did not contribute to the development of a strong civil society either. Since 2014, the war has been worsening living conditions, increasing stress levels and thus contributing to local conflicts between different groups, which are often barely visible behind the backdrop of the territorial conflict.

To the report on the current state of civil society in the conflict area
(Issue: December 2019)

A participatory, critical and courageous society is necessary for peace, dialogue and the protection of human rights. With our own projects, participation in other organisations´ initiatives and constant exchange of information and experience, we are committed to strengthening and supporting civil society in Eastern Ukraine.

About the project “Empowerment for Dialogue”

Target groups of our work

We work with staff members of NGOs, civil society activists and people who would like to start getting involved in society. We also work with individual professional groups, such as police officers, educators and medical professionals.

Our project focuses on the Lugansk region, which is poor in resources and infrastructure. Together with our partner Vostok SOS, we have been building up stable networks and relationships of trust that enable effective training and coaching.

To the current project “Pathways to Dialogue”

Mode of operation

We work in an international, interdisciplinary team of Libereco and Vostok SOS members. Our work benefits from the historical, pedagogical, journalistic and psychological competences of our team members. In addition, we draw inspiration from approaches such as non-violent communication, psychodrama and transactional analysis, from strategies of conflict and stress management and methods from working with trauma.

In trainings, workshops and consultations, we address the particular difficulties that local civil society is confronted with due to the conflict and the current situation. Together with our participants we look for new perspectives, solutions and possibilities to cope with difficult issues of the past and present.
Our seminars and coaching sessions have different thematic focuses. They all aim to the development of a critical, resilient civil society, the support of human rights defence, and peace work.