On 28 June 2019, the VIC Ukrainian Club and its partner organizations welcomed a group of more than thirty Ukrainian students of the faculty of international relations from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv at the Vienna International Center, colloquially also known as UNO City. A guided tour was conducted by Oleh Verbovyi, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna who unveiled the most existing stories about the United Nations in Vienna and exposed hidden corners and corridors of the building designed by the Austrian architect Johann Staber and constructed between 1973 and 1979 north of the river Danube.
The programme continued in the press room of the M-building where the students and professors were welcomed by the President of the VIC Ukrainian Club Solomiya Omelyan, who talked about the importance of raising a generation of new elites and leaders in Ukraine who will support future development of the country and will promote it in the international arena. Solomiya introduced the Club, its mission and recent activities concluding that that a real passion about daily work is a key to success in the career development.
Yaroslav Pynda, IT Systems Engineer at the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) introduced the work and achievements of his team in the area of human health and medical applications highlighting the contribution of the Ukrainian IT experts to the creation of the unique database and tools used by the Organization. He invited students to consider applying for internship positions at IAEA and other UN agencies in Vienna, and mentioned that he had mentored a number of interns from Ukraine.
Dr. Oleksandra Saienko, Head of the Center of Ukrainian Initiatives, a Vienna-based non-profit organization, talked about cultural diplomacy projects piloted by her in Austria starting from 2015 that are widely known now under the brand “UStream”. Numerous colorful cultural initiatives implemented by Olesandra contribute to raising awareness among Austrians and the international public living in the country about Ukraine and its people through the lenses of cultural diplomacy.
The mandate of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was presented by Dana Zhmudska, graduate of the Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Dana, currently serving as intern at the Advocacy and Media Relations Division of UNIDO, talked about the main pillars of UNIDO programme, its current activities in Ukraine, and presented her own exciting experience in the area of communication. She encouraged young people to be active and demonstrate their enthusiasm and passion while taking first steps in their careers.
Mykhaylo Palahitskyy, Programme Officer at the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI) spoke about his personal experience and work at the JVI, a regional training centre for public sector officials from countries in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia established in 1992 by the Austrian authorities, the International Monetary Fund, and several other international organizations. He underlined the importance of setting ambitious goals, persistent work and networking for young people to excel in their careers.
Yevheniy Umanets from the Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) introduced projects he is actively involved in. The projects, aimed at fighting money laundering, corruption and other forms of crime through dismantling illicit finances, are implemented globally and in Ukraine.
A media project “Ukraїner” was in focus of the presentation by Elina Foinska, volunteer, coordinator of translations, leader of a German project team, translator, editor, fundraiser and foreign press coordinator. Elina highlighted an important role of visuals and verbal material about Ukraine reflected in unique videos designed by “Ukraїner”. The videos, widely demonstrated in trains, train stations and airports of Ukraine, available also on YouTube, transmit findings of exploratory mission of the project crew in Ukraine to the international community. They also motivate Ukrainians to experience new discoveries within their country.
Lidiia Akryshora, President of the Ukrainian Youth Association in Austria (TUMA in Ukrainian), a non-political, non-religious and non-profit organization founded by a group of young Ukrainians living in Vienna in 2010, spoke about youth creativity, sources of success, open-mindedness and optimism that are moving TUMA and its members forward. She presented TUMA’s most prominent projects and initiatives such as the Ukrainian Ball, theatrical “vertep”, Ukrainian Cinema Days, and traditional spring dances “hajivky”, organized in Vienna.