Special Project 13:05 27 Oct 2021

Top 5 "Сhange Drivers" in the army: who will you vote for?

The five most interesting projects in the nomination "Army and Veterans," selected by Rubryka and partners, are competing for first place in the competition for the title of the best!

"Change Drivers" is a project of Bendukidze Free Market Center in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Ukraine and Belarus, Atlas Network, and Rubryka Solutions Media, launched in June this year. The competition launched in June has selected the initiatives that will be the first to be included in the "Change Drivers" directory. In total, there are already 78 of them, and now the competition has reached the finals; 5 of the most interesting projects have been selected in each of the categories, and each of you will decide which will be the winner. In this article, we present the 5 best projects in the category "Army and Veterans," so we offer you to choose the best one!

"Invisible Battalion": making women at war with Russia visible

The Invisible Battalion global advocacy project began with research and documentation of Ukrainian women's participation in the war against Russia's occupying army. A poll conducted by the Invisible Battalion team in late 2015 found that outdated legislation allowed women to hold administrative positions at the front: liaison officers, cooks, seamstresses, and more. However, it was almost impossible to occupy combat positions. For this reason, women who volunteered often found themselves outside legal protection didn't have access to adequate social security, and couldn't be presented with military awards, and their participation in the war went unnoticed and was underestimated.

But thanks to the results of the "Invisible Battalion" study and advocacy campaign, several orders of the Ministry of Defense expanded the list of combat positions for women, which they already held in the anti-terrorist operation. In addition, the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men During Military Service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Other Military Formations" was adopted.

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However, the Invisible Battalion believes that it's only the first victory on the way to forming the Ukrainian army on a professional basis because women still don't have access to full service in the assault troops of Ukraine, there are restrictions on officer positions, military education, as a consequence, in a military career, so the goal of the battalion is equal rights for women and men in the army.

Return Alive: a tactical advantage for the Ukrainian army

The Return Alive Foundation supplies and repairs equipment; trains military and officers, and helps change the Armed Forces. For the seventh year in a row, the fund has been providing the Ukrainian army with the most important thing — a tactical advantage.

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Six years ago, the foundation sent the first thermal imagers to the front and continues to do so now, analyzing the problems of the military and conducting a large-scale study of the reasons why servicemen are discharged from the army. Since 2014, the fund has managed to raise 158 million hryvnias. These are 60 vehicles carrying the Ukrainian military, 160 quadcopters, 3 radar systems installed on ships, 20 aircraft GPS, and almost one and a half thousand tablets from the Bronia.

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"We were with the defenders of Ukraine in the hottest corners of the front. We're with them when they come for rotation or training. We're there when they return to a peaceful life. The Return Alive Foundation works to make the army effective. Our weapons are specialists and experience. And also millions of benefactors who've entrusted us with their funds and allowed us to help the army on their behalf. Therefore, our greatest strength is people who believe in the Ukrainian army and are ready to carry on as long as necessary," the foundation's website says.

IT Bro Academy: courses for veterans

IT Bro Academy Foundation allows you to get free web development courses at IT BRO Academy. The founders of IT BRO are veterans who've been organizing online courses for ATO members since 2018 to help them gain a prestigious profession and adapt to a peaceful life.

Currently, IT Bro Academy has three streams of web development: Html, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as a comprehensive course of algorithms and access to SQL databases. And in the future, the foundation plans to expand the courses and transform the project into a community in which will have new materials constantly published and a continuous exchange of experience.

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"We know very well that the defenders of Ukraine don't need benefits and preferences, but two important things: a community where you're understood, and the opportunity to be involved and work on something important. We'll do our best to give these two components, and a bunch of theory and more practice on the new IT BRO Academy stream from React/Redux," the foundation writes.

"PLUS 1": honoring the memory and the Ukrainian military

The commemorative project "PLUS 1" was created to depict a new socio-cultural image of Ukrainians in complex processes of finding and creating their own identity. Through the art of portrait photography and the author's artistic texts, it describes the stories of the fallen Ukrainian servicemen, thus encouraging the viewer to empathize with the heroes of the project.

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The project raises complex new issues for Ukrainian society to glorify and honor the memory. Its heroes were yesterday's teachers, journalists, programmers, sailors, students, and the military, who were civilians yesterday and became military today. The project consists of an exhibition and a multimedia site.

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The main idea of ​​the implementation was to allow the military's loved ones to tell their stories. Thus, a platform for polylogue was created, where families who suffered the pain of loss were able to be heard, thus claiming a sense of empathy, support, and recognition. In addition to the main goal, the project's priority is to draw attention to Russian war crimes in Ukraine to further prosecute Russia. In particular, as a result of the advocacy and information campaigns, in autumn 2020 the Ukrainian Parliament passed the law №2689 "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Implementation of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law" in the first reading. For 2022/23 it is planned to conduct similar information campaigns abroad within the policy of public diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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"Espousing the ideas of humanism, the project tells the stories of great-spirited people who didn't stay away from the threat of losing Ukrainian statehood and protection of society during the severe socio-political upheaval, thus creating the latest heroic page in Ukrainian history," said Marian Prysiazhniuk of Veteran Rubric at "PLUS 1" project.

"Veteran Start-up Education": business training for veterans

Veteran Start-up Education is an educational project that takes the form of training modules, each of which includes a training seminar, practical exercises, and case studies of well-known companies with the help of guests: successful entrepreneurs, business representatives, and financial institutions. It is designed to provide war veterans with practical knowledge on creating an integrated business model and to promote the socio-psychological adaptation of ATO/JFO members.

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The training is designed to make it not only cognitive but also practically useful. For example, between modules, participants complete tasks and receive advice on how to properly build their business model and the final pitching of their project before the tender commission. As a result, upon completion of the training, each project participant has a developed business plan and receives a certificate of professional development, and the 6 best startups selected by the competition commission are submitted to the regional competition of startups in the Department of Economic Policy of Lviv Regional State Administration. 5 of the already submitted projects received a grant of up to UAH 50,000 for the purchase of equipment and implementation of a startup.

"Most civilians returning from the East to a peaceful life don't want to return to their previous jobs. They want to realize themselves as self-employed or entrepreneurs, but they need help, and there's a fear of starting their own business. That is why this project has helped dispel all fears and worries, provide confidence and help start a startup," we were told at Veteran Start-up Education. This, as well as the uniqueness of the project, its ability to solve the problem of reintegration of ATO/JFO participants, the quality of knowledge, and the opportunity to receive a grant to carry out their own business, are the main reasons, according to project representatives, to become the first in its nomination.

🚀 You can vote for the projects until November 4 at the link: https://www.changedrivers.com.ua/


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