2016 has been a very productive year for the Ukrainian cities member of the ICC Network. Following the signature of the ICC-UA Memo, the cities of Melitopol, Sumy and Vinnitsa participated in a number of ICC partner-city initiatives, campaigns and training so as to further promote the urban model of the intercultural integration. Several conferences, forums, study-visits, inter-religious breakfasts, information sessions and library gatherings were organised for city communities, students, educators and city administrators.
Melitopol further created information for TV programmes and released videos to be shared via social media with the ICC national and international networks; the city also participated in the ICC campaign on the occasion of the World Refugee Day in June 2016.
Moreover, a Center for Roma Youth was opened in Sumy, and a regional Center for National Minorities was launched in Vinnitsa. The Mayors of Sumy and Melitopol participated in a study visit to the city of Bergen, Norway. The representatives of municipal services from Vinnitsa and Melitopol took part in the thematic ICC trainings organised in Spain and Romania.
It is noteworthy, that in 2016, three more cities – Lutsk, Pavlograd and Odessa – has joined the ICC-UA.
The ICC-Index analysis of the cities-members is one of the conditions for the signature of the ICC-UA Memorandum. Two Ukrainian cities – Sumy and Vinnitsa – tested their policies through the intercultural lens in 2016 and received a comprehensive feedback including their respective ICC Index rating and detailed recommendations from the ICC Programme’s experts. Melitopol, as a city with a longer record of the ICC membership, undergone its 2nd ICC Index analysis in October 2016 presenting abundant number of facts and information related to the implementation of its Intercultural strategy. The local ICC coordinator, Ms. Lyudmila Afanasieva, commented “the 2016 ICC Index analysis was a true drill for us in good sense of the word, as it required every city’s department to focus on intercultural aspect of its work, to evaluate its performance, and sometimes to think it over again and again…”
During the ICC Index analysis of Melitopol, the Mayor of Melitopol Mr. Sergii Minko and city administrators organized a special meeting with the ICC-UA coordinator Kseniya Rubicondo emphasizing the importance of the ICC experts’ feedback and the ICC Programme as a whole for their city. The Mayor informed that the city is working successfully along the lines of the established “Melitopol Intercultural City Plan 2015-2020” and, among other things, is planning to launch interculturality as the city brand.
Except for the ICC Index focus groups carried out with a dozen of city departments and services, the national coordinator has also met with the Ethnic Minorities Association of Melitopol in the city library discussing the areas of more focused collaboration with their members. The Head of the analogous Association from the city of Zaporizhzhia (regional center) has also joined the meeting expressing his interest in closer collaboration with the ICC Programme and Melitopol in particular.