Ukraine: Training on Common Good for Young Leaders

Enthusiasm and will to act: Ukrainian youth should play the leading role

By Marta Pancheva

130521-25 Ucraina 09 Marti ridA week ago I came back from Ukraine. My goal was to help students open up to a new approach towards economy. I now realize that the possibility to meet all those young people, who are willing to work for the development of their country, was a great gift to me.

Oleh Luka and Mykhajlo Melnyc accompanied us throughout the four-day trip, which included meetings at the universities of Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv. They guided us through the discovery of this. Although the roads between cities are damaged, the links among people are sound; this network is firmly established on Christian values. I believe the Christian background will allow this “new economy” to flourish both among scholars and entrepreneurs; the project is inspired on the experience of early Christian communities. We called on the Ukrainians to fight indigence through communion, sharing and extending a hand to those in need. During the trip I noticed similarities between the local context and my own country (Bulgaria). 23 years after the fall of the communist regime, the Bulgarian civil society is still weak; we are not capable of playing a leading role to develop the country.

130521-25 Ucraina 07 ridI noticed the dire need to educate young leaders to work for the Common Good (and not only for their personal interests. I believe that in the past two decades this awareness has been somewhat absent in ex-communist countries). Key elements emerged during the meetings: young people lack of technical skills and sustainable development conscience. We should provide with the former and promote the latter.

People are proactive and motivated. Oleh and Mykhajlo have launched numerous projects of the Justice and Peace Commission in Ukraine. At the University of Ternopil, a few young people stayed after the meeting to know more about this “new economy”. Members of the Ivano-Frankivsk’s University plan to start new ethical and social oriented economic courses. Furthermore the vice-rector and the heads of different departments (business, non-profit sector, etc) at the Catholic University of Lviv were impressed by the project.

130521-25 Ucraina 08 Alberto ridIn our presentations we underlined the two inseparable elements of the Economy of Communion: its foundational cultural inspiration and, the practical experiences that spurs the project. We presented corporate examples that illustrate the principles of the “third path” that the EoC is tracing. Alberto Ferrucci’s vast experience in the business world was a precious example. He is active and strongly commitment to the implementation of alternatives to the adverse economic and financial dynamics from which the world today suffers.

1991 was the year of birth both of the Economy of Communion and the independent Ukrainian state. Twenty-two years later it is possible to set aside communism and consumerism. We introduced communion as both a prophetic and real economic path. It combines a new economic vision with the every-day experience of entrepreneurs, workers, consumers, citizens and families throughout the world that work to carry out its principles. EoC can become the seed of new friendships, ideas and projects in this country; the nation is still free from postmodern dominant secularism.

I am confident in the young people we met: They should be aware of their great responsibility and face the challenges of change. They have found in the EoC something for themselves, which may throw light on their way to a better future.

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