Under an agreement signed last November between the Kyiv Municipal Administration in the person of Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko and the international organization European Region of the Year, the capital of Ukraine has been designated European Region of the Year 2005. This title is simultaneously awarded to two regions for a period of one year. In previous years, the title has been bestowed on Madeira, the Balearic Islands, Karelia, the German-speaking community of Belgium, and several other regions. To foster the goals and objectives specified in the agreement, the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts (KNUCA), supported by Kyiv’s City Hall, has launched an extensive, long-term project entitled “We Are Getting to Know Europe. Europe, Get to Know Us!” intended for Kyiv’s pupils and college students. Olha Chykalenko, KNUCA professor of ethnic and cultural studies, is the manager of the project aimed at spreading comprehensive information on the EU and its member states among Ukrainian youth, as well as exhaustive information about Kyiv and Ukraine among Europe’s youth.
KNUCA recently held a ceremony to sum up the results of the project, which is being implemented jointly with the schools in Kyiv’s ten districts. Letters in Italian and English — 6,200 of them — were sent to the Italian region of Piedmont, also designated European Region of the Year 2005. The students of KNUCA have carried out 268 actions in 116 schools, lyceums, colleges, and gymnasiums for almost 20,000 pupils.
As a result of the project, European studies and information about European countries, including Ukraine, have been included in school curricula, work in schools has been revitalized, and thousands of young Kyivans have been engaged in specific, practical work.