Despite the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, American Councils for International Education in partnership with Internews Ukraine and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) continues to support the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s national parliament, through the Rada: Next Generation Program that was launched last December.
The focus of American Councils’ assistance is the Parliamentary Education Center (PEC) of the Verkhovna Rada, which regrouped almost immediately after the Russian invasion. During this challenging time the PEC became a channel for relevant information and support to the Ukrainian people. Every week the PEC conducts new online meetings, classes, presentations for Ukrainian and global citizens, particularly schoolchildren and other students. The PEC offers classes on parliamentarism and the function of the Verkhovna Rada, covering such relevant topics as social media best practices during wartime, mental health support and avoiding emotional burnout, the principles of hybrid warfare, how to detect and protect against fake digital accounts and more. Despite limited human resources, the PEC also successfully maintains its Telegram Channel where it publishes announcements of events, tips, and articles on various related themes, including the "Children of Ukraine for Peace" project where children express their support and inspire Ukraine with their creativity.
American Councils makes the PEC’s activities possible by supporting its staff members and providing technical assistance, including access to Zoom. American Councils staff are currently reviewing the PEC’s strategic plan to make recommendations and develop a new cycle of online engagements that demonstrate mature democratic parliamentary systems in action, particularly in crisis situations. These programs help instill confidence and hope in Ukraine’s younger generation and establishing greater collaboration with the robust international community that supports Ukraine.