Ukraine’s best ambassadors abroad are the youngsters – organizers of UCMC’s project “Hop, Nederland, Hop!”


Kyiv, March 29, 2016. Ukraine Crisis Media Center has launched the “Hop, Nederland, Hop!” project (Come on, the Netherlands, come on!). In the framework of the project young talented Ukrainians will visit the Netherlands and will tell the Dutch people why Ukraine is worth supporting at the referendum of April 6*, said the author of the project idea, co-founder and board member of Ukraine Crisis Media Center Gennadiy Kurochka speaking at a press briefing at UCMC. “These days one may find many reports in which Ukraine is presented as a land of war and of corruption that has not been combatted. Our main message is that Ukraine is first of all our children, they are our future. If the Netherlands votes against Ukraine it is going to be a vote against our children, against our future,” he noted. The project has a website. Motivating videos about children and their success stories are collected on the website.

Among the junior Ukrainian talents who will go to the Netherlands are an orphan from Donbas – football player Viktor Averin, painter Anastasia Baginska, violin players Varvara Vasylieva and Oleksandra Khmara, singers Anastasia Baginska, Oleksandr Podolyan and Roman Sasanchin, chess player Veronika Veremyuk, pianist with the Down Syndrome Liza Khalyavchenko, gymnast Daria Zhurbenko, young historian Vitaliy Nechayev, actor Yevhen Lebedin and fashion model Yuliya Mishko. “Our country’s best ambassadors are not our talented diplomats but common representatives of Ukraine – Ukrainian youngsters. […] After the Dutch people talk to them they will be able to make a more conscious choice in favor of Europe of creativity, Europe of freedom, Europe of talent,” said Natalia Popovych, co-founder and board member of Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

For the majority of participants the program in the Netherlands starts on March 31. According to the project coordinator Yelyzaveta Yasko, individual program is foreseen for each participant. For example, pianist Liza Khalyavchenko will perform in front of the Jostiband orchestra in Zwammerdam, gymnast Daria Zhurbenko and football player Viktor Averin will train together with the children of their age at sports clubs of Amsterdam. Performance by Yevhen Lebedin was also planned as well as the concert of Ukrainian folk songs and a vast cultural program. “Our project is about the dream of Ukrainian children who were born in the free Ukraine. Each one of them bears personal responsibility for the country in which we are going to live in. Each one of them shows with his/her persistency that he/she can follow his/her dreams,” said Yasko. Junior gymnast Daria Zhurbenko added that she would like to meet the Dutch children to tell them that she is “the same European girl as they are”.

Ukraine Crisis Media Center extends its gratitude to Western NIS Enterprise Fund for supporting the project.

* The referendum in the Netherlands is scheduled for April 6. The Dutch people will express their opinion on the Ukraine – EU Association Agreement. Referendum’s result is not mandatory for implementation however it is the first referendum of such type in the Netherlands. That’s why the Dutch politicians will not be able to ignore its result or openly disregard the demands of their voters without significant losses to their reputation.