Ukraine (2003) Ukraine, Europe’s second-largest country and a key nation in the future of the region, has participated in Open World since December 2003. The Ukraine program is Open World’s second-biggest and second-oldest continuing exchange. Open World’s 850-plus Ukrainian alumni have come from all of the country’s 27 regions and include Supreme Court justices, journalists, judges, lawyers, election experts, and NGO representatives. Programming focuses on accountable governance, NGO development, rule of law, and education, and aims to support Ukraine’s marked progress toward full democracy.
After a democratically elected government came to power following the 2014 Maidan protests, Ukrainian authorities have been more supportive of the LGBT rights movement, despite the country's widespread lack of support for gay rights. In June 2016, Western diplomats joined with nearly a thousand gay rights activists, some wearing the European Union flags, others in national Ukrainian dress, under the protection of several thousand police. While this is definitely seen as progress, the road to equality and true civil rights for the LGBT community is still an uphill one and much organization skill is needed. This programming will be aimed at increasing the capacity of the leadership of the LGBT community in Ukraine to organize high impact events (such a Pride events) and increase its effectiveness in protecting and securing the rights of those in the LGBT community.
About the Open World Program
Since its founding by Congress in 1999, the Open World Program has enabled more than 14,000 current and future Eurasian leaders to experience American democracy, civil society and community life; work with their American counterparts; stay in American homes; and gain new ideas and inspiration for implementing change back home. Some 6,000 American host families and their communities in all 50 states have participated in the Open World Program to make this ambitious public diplomacy effort possible.
GlobalJax hosts up to three of these intense week long programs each year. Unlike IVLP participants, Open World participants stay with locals in their homes for the duration of their visit to Jacksonville. This allows close relationships to develop between hosts and guest(s) that often result in friendships that last a lifetime and invitations for reciprocal visits. Participating Countries include Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Russia. Additionally, Russia's nearly 13,000 participants have come from all of the country's 83 regions. These programs include unique cultural events including Cooking Nights where our guests prepare a traditional meal for their hosts.
While You are Here...
The work we do has never been more important — whether it’s because of ongoing conflict or "news" that tells just part of the story - now more than ever, we need connection, conversation, and global perspective. Click here to learn more or to support GlobalJax's efforts to create a more globally connected, informed and vibrant region.