Youth centre for displaced young men and women opens in Zaporizhzhia thanks to EU and UNDP

The centre will become a hub for the development of displaced youth living in Zaporizhzhia and wanting to become more actively engaged in the recovery of war-affected communities in the region

May 1, 2024
Photo credit: Oleksii Kovalov / UNDP in Ukraine

Zaporizhzhia, 1 May 2024 — A youth centre for displaced young men and women has opened in Zaporizhzhia with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, and generous financial support from the European Union.

According to recent reSCORE data, the sense of civic responsibility among young people has substantially increased from 5.5 to 6.9 (out of 10) between 2021 and 2023. However, youth civic engagement remains low at 2.3. This tendency underscores UNDPʼs firm commitment to enhance youth programming in Ukraine and to provide stronger support to young men and women, fostering increased civic engagement locally.

It is planned that teams of young leaders will be created at the centre, which — in partnership with local authorities — will coordinate the engagement of young people in recovery processes in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. In parallel, the centre will engage young people in volunteer initiatives in the city and introduce thematic events to improve community security and social cohesion, including educational training and seminars.

Ivan Fedorov, Head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Administration, expressed optimism for further cooperation with UNDP, looking forward to embarking on new projects. “A country without youth is a country without a future,” Fedorov said. “We unite the region’s young people around common interests — communication, culture, education — for the sake of Ukraine’s development.”

Stefan Schleuning, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, stressed that Ukrainian youth — especially those living in front-line communities — should not lose opportunities for development due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “The EU creates opportunities for young people within their own communities,” Mr. Schleuning said. “The Centre in Zaporizhzhia illustrates how, with resources and strong support, young people can play a more significant role in the recovery process and avoid being marginalized.”

Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, said that youth initiatives make up a significant proportion of UNDP programming in Ukraine. “Young people are the driver of change and development, and we at UNDP consider it our priority to create an enabling and comfortable setting for them, where they will be able to realize their potential to the greatest extent possible,” Cilliers said. 

The centre was created by the People.UA NGO, which received a grant from UNDP of more than US$ 30,000. Funding for the activities was provided by the European Union under “EU4Recovery — Empowering Communities in Ukraine” (EU4Recovery) project.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail:

Youth centre for displaced young men and women opens in Zaporizhzhia thanks to EU and UNDP