forumZFD in Ukraine
In the summer of 2017, we established our programme office in Kyiv, Ukraine, and assembled a team of international and national experts. The second programme office in Odesa was established in early 2018. We work with a broad range of local actors, such as civil society and grassroots organisations, experts, academia, national and local authorities, art community and individuals involved in peace and conflict transformation efforts.
We seek to help local civil society, grassroots activists, academics and others to promote peace and transform conflicts. We understand conflict transformation as an holistic effort that touches upon everyone in the society, therefore we work on a broad range of issues, including peace education, local conflict monitoring, art for social change, promotion of novel approaches to communication as well as historical remembrance.
Our mandate and values
The core of our mandate is our commitment to peace and the belief that there are indeed alternatives to violence in the face of conflict. We see conflicts as inevitable in all human societies, however conflicts can be dealt with in different ways. To transform various societal conflicts into creative and constructive forces, we promote a culture of non-violence in which conflicts are dealt with constructively according to the principles of civil conflict transformation. The ultimate goal of our work is to contribute to the creation of a just and sustainable peace in our programme countries and beyond.
We are committed to universal human rights. Of special importance in this context are gender equality and the right to democratic participation of all social, ethnic and religious groups. As a basic condition for peaceful human coexistence, we value the right of each community to economic welfare, political self-determination and cultural development. On this basis of mutual recognition, we advocate for equal opportunity and equality of different cultures, identities, and ways of life.
How we work
Our joint project work ranges from the promotion of non-violent methods for conflict transformation, dealing with the past and reconciliation, creating spaces for dialogue through networks and platforms, supporting mediation efforts, advocacy, psychosocial support, formal and informal peace education, arts and peace-building, to conflict-sensitive journalism.
Our work in Ukraine is based on a thorough systemic analysis of local context and needs and focuses on four interconnected areas/ fields:
- Systemic conflict transformation, through tailored organisational capacity development;
- Work towards more inclusive historical remembrance, with a goal to overcome conflictual understandings of the past;
- Strengthening of social cohesion through promotion of tolerance, inclusivity and work to overcome stereotyping and prejudices;
- Support to sustainable conflict transformation approaches, based on trust and cooperation between different civil society actors.
Our work is guided by the following principles: non-violence, partner orientation, all-partisan approach, systemic approach, cultural, conflict and gender sensitivity, “do no harm” principle, transparency, self-reflection and participation. Read more about our mission here.
We are convinced that sustainable structures must be developed and supported by social actors in the conflict areas themselves. We work to empower local actors and initiatives that is why we run our projects jointly with local partners. We view these partnerships as an equal and reciprocal basis for learning that also promotes the development of local expertise. The ultimate aim of our organisation is to help create sustainable local structures (platforms) that could ensure that existing as well as emerging conflicts will be transformed without violence/ peacefully.
We work with local civil society, grassroots initiatives, representatives of academia, media, experts, artists, and opinion leaders. We see each partnership as an endeavour in a joint journey where we can both learn from each other’s expertise and provide necessary support. With our partners, we jointly design and implement projects as a way to support local efforts and ownership: