The Youth organisation “STAN” is a non-governmental organisation which utilises grassroots methods of informal education, emphasizing local initiatives and active citizenship, with a particular focus on vulnerable and marginalised groups. Driven by the core values of freedom, respect for human dignity, mutual assistance, and diversity of cultures and mindsets, the team of “STAN” strives to build up a creative civil society in Ukraine. This work is only possible when there is democratic governance and a societal culture of promoting human rights.
The mission of “STAN,” therefore, is to enhance the voices of those who are not heard by
– providing participants in its projects with professional development,
– helping them to make their first steps in civic engagement,
– creating and sustaining networks of mutual support.
“STAN” specializes in education on
The strategic goals of the organisation are as follows:
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, “STAN”’s priority has shifted toward mitigating certain social consequences of the virus, such as the increases in xenophobia, inequality, and gender-based violence, and the decay of culture and creative industries.
The history of “STAN” traces its roots to a literary protest group in Luhansk, but it has since grown and flourished as a community of human rights activists and cultural mediators all over the country. Founded at the end of 1990s, the organisation grew alongside the young state of Ukraine: it stood up for Ukraine’s democracy and freedom during two revolutions (in 2004 and again in 2014), but became internally displaced with the start of the war in Donbass. The organisation was forced to move across the country and reestablish itself in Ivano-Frankivsk. The term “organisation”, of course, does not refer solely to particular people, but more to the core values and tenets which continue to unite artists, activists, human rights defenders, and managers of education and culture, regardless of location.
Today “STAN” is a community of young professionals working in the spheres of education, culture, human rights and media. Most of its members grew up in small cities, faced with prejudice and social inequality, but have succeeded despite these hardships. Among them are those who graduated from the Ukrainian Catholic and Central European Universities. Some are recipients of scholarships in top international programs, such as the Prague Civil Society Fellowship Program (Czech Republic), International Visitors Leadership Program “Open World” (USA), Culture and Performance (Denmark) and many others. They have represented Ukraine at international meetings throughout the European Union, Eastern Partnership and Central Asia.
“STAN” gladly shares its experience. In 2019 alone, the organisation had over 1300 alumni from twenty-four regions of Ukraine, including local activists, artists, migrants, ATO veterans/ex-combatants, LGBT+ individuals, and representatives of ethnic and religious minorities. Two hundred of them went on to actualise and expand their own social, educational and creative projects.
Noted human rights defenders, journalists, arts activists, cultural managers and experts in civil society development cooperate with “STAN” as coaches and speakers. These include social artist Alevtina Kakhidze; founder of the media-portal “Zaborona” Kateryna Serhatskova; German cultural policy expert Dr. Patrick S. Föhl; Kazakhstani gender activist and blogger Fariza Ospan; Uzbekistani art-activist and poet Ashot Danielyan, and tens of other opinion leaders from the national and international civil society sectors.
“STAN” has earned the trust and partnership of such international foundations as the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, the International Renaissance Foundation, the Peace Corps, and the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. Since 2018 “STAN” has been an executive partner of UNICEF and IOM in Donbass, Halychyna, and throughout Ukraine. It is a member organisation in multiple respected networks, including the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the anti-discrimination network “Diversity Initiative”, and the Civil Society Coalition.