The main goal of the camp MUN (Model United Nations) is to empower young Ukrainian girls and boys to develop leadership skills, explore international careers and learn governance processes. Campers will research and represent an assigned country and then discuss and debate political, social, and economic issues during a Model UN simulation. The camp also aims to expand the worldview of the female and male campers, educate them on the importance of global cooperation, and introduce them to topics which are normally underrepresented in Ukrainian schools. In addition to the main topics: Youth Economic Possibilities and Post-Conflict Development, campers will learn about female political leaders and the issues women around the world face each day. As the boys and girls participate in MUN simulations they will not just hear this information, but experience it through Model UN role-play to further enhance their learning. There is a great need for a camp of this nature. Ukraine itself is a developing post conflict country which has experienced renewed conflict since 2014. The youth who attend this camp have spent the last five years watching their country encounter and develop more roadblocks which subsequently affect their personal lives. As Ukraine goes through major political restructuring and decentralization reform, it is important to teach the boys and girls of Ukraine about democracy, public policy, decentralization, anti-corruption, and leadership. We believe that this project has the potential to have an enormous impact on the future generation of Ukrainian leaders.
The project partner organization is a community organization with a mission focused on youth development with youth, youth leaders, and development partners. The organization works diligently to empower its male and female children and youth ages 5-30 beyond classrooms through physical and mental educational pursuits. This camp is organized and will be implemented by the organization, who will partner with the raion methodologists, youth specialists, as well as several area teachers. These educational institutes and individuals are well-known and recognized across Ukraine for their history in involving the youth in initiatives for the community. When the local community indicated strong enthusiasm for hosting this camp after several youth attended last year’s Camp MUN, the partner organization understood the depth of this opportunity. Youth and adults alike saw the possibilities this camp could give for holistic development. Their willingness to be active, not only in the preparation for the camp, but also in the contributions they have committed is also proof of their understanding of this projects projected long-term success. The local community’s contributions, ideas, staff, and support are an integral part of ensuring the success and quality of this camp. Camp MUN is facilitated by strong Ukrainian counterparts and Peace Corps Volunteers from the Community Development, Teaching as a Foreign Language, and Youth Development sectors who will serve as counselors. Together, Ukrainians and PCVs will be working hand in hand on every aspect of the planning and implementation.
The project team hopes that Camp MUN will succeed in teaching the desired skills of the Ukrainian campers and staff, and beyond this hopes that the participants will facilitate their own civic engagement practices in their personal communities. Youth from the oblast who participated in Camp Model UN in 2019 have spearheaded and facilitated several mini projects since July, thus illustrating their seriousness and commitment to Model UN. These youth leaders will be invaluable during camp as they are uniquely qualified to mentor newer campers. Training will be provided to all participants and counselors in order to better know how to conduct MUN-themed lessons, activities, and projects in their community. In the past three years these lessons have occurred around the nation with great success. Organizers have become future counselors, directors, and strong leaders in this goal. Additionally, all participants (PCVs, Campers, and Ukrainian Counselors) will receive the Camp MUN and Mini Camp MUN handbooks so that they can conduct smaller trainings or camps in their community through a school club/camp or in collaboration with a local organization, such as a youth center. Interested campers and counselors will receive the materials in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.Thanks to the enthusiasm and capacity of this year's partner organization, CMUN has found a strong foothold in which it can sustain itself in developing youth in Ukraine.