History of the Foundation

On August 16, 1991, Resolution 155 of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR adopted a decision on the creation of the Ukrainian Foundation for International Youth Cooperation. This is how the history of the Leader Foundation, the first non-state youth charity organization established on the eve of the proclamation of Ukraine’s state independence, began.

The idea of the foundation was created in the Commission on Youth Affairs of the first democratically elected Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine 1990-1994 after consultations and discussions with representatives of the youth organizations, cultural and educational, scientific, commercial structures, state institutions and organizations that were dealing with youth issues at that time.

At the initial stage of Ukrainian state formation, the need for an effective instrument for the development of contacts and cooperation between the youth of Ukraine and foreign countries, the implementation of state youth policy was acutely felt, therefore the Foundation became a real incubator of new ideas and initiatives among young people, and its activity was and remains directed at creating favorable conditions and an effective mechanism for the disclosure of the intellectual and spiritual potential of young people, their personal abilities at the national and international levels.

Founders of the Foundation were: National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv National University n. a. T. Shevchenko, State Committee for Family and Youth Affairs of Ukraine, National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, “Sputnik” Joint-Stock Company, Union of Youth Organizations of Ukraine, “Proxen” legal firm.

As the first president of the UFfIYC “Leader” was elected the member of parliament of Ukraine Matvienko Anatoliy, Chairman of the Commission on Youth Affairs of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and as the first general director – Razumkov Alexander, head of the Secretariat of the Commission.

With the participation of the Foundation, a number of organizations were established that prominently declared themselves in the socio-political and cultural life of Ukraine:

  • Ukrainian Independent Artistic Foundation n. a. Volodymyr Ivasyuk, which became one of the co-organizers of the song contest of young singers of the same name, on which the new “stars” of the Ukrainian pop lit up for the first time – Alexander Ponomariov, Marina Odolskaya, Yurko Yurchenko (Nechistyak), Oksana Pekun and other talented singers;
  • International Foundation “Ukrainian Reforms”, headed by the well-known economist, doctor of economics, professor, academician of the National Academy of Sciences Valerii Heiets;
  • Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Studies, which was later named after Alexander Razumkov (Razumkov Center), which today is the most authoritative non-governmental analytical center of Ukraine;
  • The News Agency “The Ukrainian youth agency”, which launched the creation of a modern youth media network in Ukraine;
  • Film firm “Slavuta”, which became the organizer of the all-Ukrainian competition of children’s and youth’s films “Golden Chicken” (for today – the International festival of films, TV and radio programs for children and youth “Golden Chicken”);
  • On the basis of the Kakhovka Regional Department of the UFfIYC “Leader” (headed by Nikolay Bagraev), the Youth Festival “Tavria Games” started in 1992, which later grew to the status of the most famous international music festival “Tavria Games” in Ukraine.

In 1992, the Foundation initiated the First in Independent Ukraine Congress of Young Politicians with a wide representation of Ukrainian youth public organizations, with the participation of academics and representatives of youth parliaments from the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Austria and other countries.

One of the most important programs in the Foundation’s activities was implemented in 1994-1998 in conjunction with the Conrad Adenauer Foundation in Ukraine, the program of political education of youth. Over the course of the program, more than a dozen seminars were held in various regions of Ukraine on important political topics, which involved more than a thousand leaders and activists from all-Ukrainian and local youth public organizations. At the same time, the Foundation maintained regular contacts with partner organizations from Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria. Among the partners of the Foundation are the Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs of Upper Austria, the international organization Naturfreundejugend (Germany), the Convent Santa Maria Parroquia Valverde (Italy), the youth organization “Orbita” (Bulgaria) and others.

During 1994-1998, Kharkiv regional department of the UFfIYC “Leader” at the Kharkiv book factory “Globus” prepared and issued a 7-volume popular children’s encyclopedia “For children about everything in the world”.