On November 10, the Lviv Regional Youth Center hosted a presentation of the book “Christian Democracy. Solutions for Ukraine and Europe” and other projects implemented by the NGO Democracy Promotion Foundation in the field of education and information hygiene.
Yuriy Honcharenko, Vice President of the Democracy Promotion Foundation, presented the main activities of the Foundation, including book publishing, educational projects, and the InfoLight.UA initiative, which, with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, provides online training on information hygiene, fact-checking, and teaches citizens information security and the ability to resist Russian propaganda.
“With the outbreak of war in 2014, we (the Democracy Promotion Foundation) focused more on promoting the country’s defense capability, promoting volunteerism, education, and various publishing activities. We created the InfoLight.UA project, which conducts online trainings and informs Ukrainians through the website and social networks,” said Yuriy Honcharenko.
Political scientist and public figure Valentyn Balahura, who represented the InfoLight.UA initiative, emphasized that the project invited the best specialists in their fields, from cybersecurity to OSINT and IPSO, as lecturers.
“We need to explain, first of all, to young people that the next generations of Ukrainians should have value orientations. As for the InfoLight.UA project, we are now engaged in education not in terms of ideology, but in showing how the Russian Federation is trying to influence our brains and how to counteract it,” noted Valentyn Balahura.
He also believes that the combination of knowledge and the value dimension of activity allows us to better resist Russian aggression.
The book “Christian Democracy. Solutions for Ukraine and Europe” was also presented, with the participation of its co-author, Candidate of Political Sciences Valeriy Maydayuk.
“Today, not many people know that it is Christian democratic politicians, governments, and parties that have become the political forces that have built successful European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria… And if we take reforms and various social initiatives, it is Christian democrats who have done a lot to make Europe today the place on the planet that many people perceive as a “paradise of social welfare,” Valeriy Maydanyuk emphasized.
The participants thanked the Lviv Regional Youth Center, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Ukraine and the Sallux Foundation for their cooperation and assistance in organizing the event.
About the InfoLight.UA:
The low level of information literacy of Ukrainian citizens, especially after the start of Russia’s full-scale aggression, is strikingly visible and has a negative impact. In particular, this is the reason why fakes, disinformation, and propaganda are widely spread.
The state does not always have enough resources to counter this and needs partnerships with civil society organizations and volunteers.
The situation with information work in the temporarily occupied territories is very difficult, where Ukrainian citizens do not have access to objective sources of information and are in a state of constant stress and despondency.
Similarly, due to the lack of knowledge about secure means of communication, there is no information about the course of events in these territories, which means that Ukrainian society and the international community do not receive objective information and are often influenced by disinformation and manipulation. Martial law, the need to involve the entire society in the defense of the country, creates conditions for distrust and even certain conflicts in the interaction between society and the army.
Due to a lack of time and resources, government agencies do not always respond to these situations in a timely manner, which gives room for manipulation and influence by special information operations of the Russian special services.
In view of the above, the InfoLight.UA project implements training programs to improve media literacy and combat fake news and propaganda. A special emphasis is placed on creating an information product for Ukrainians in the occupied territories and on cooperation between civil society and the army. The implementation of these programs is aimed, among other things, at the interaction between society and the army.
The project is implemented by the Democracy Promotion Foundation (Ukraine) with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Ukraine (Germany).