The Bendukidze Free Market Center (BFMC), an Atlas Network partner in Ukraine, held a contest and workshop aimed at equipping young people with skills needed to create liberty-themed videos. The competition consisted of three stages; the first was an elevator pitch in which the contestants discussed what policy area they would like to cover, the second was a two-day training in Kyiv, and the third was a presentation of the finalized plan in front of six jurors.
The competition attracted 11 contestants and awarded two winners: StartUp Nation and Revolution of Dignity, both of which received $1,000 to complete their video project. BFMC hopes that this contest and coinciding training will both popularize free-market ideas among the Ukrainian youth, as well as give them the platform to transmit their own ideas to their peers.
“A lot of problems in Ukraine stem from low economic literacy and low support for free market ideas,” said Nataliya Melnyk, the communications director of BFMC. “Economics is no longer mandatory in secondary schools, and economics in universities is mostly the economics of socialism.”
Melnyk and the BFMC team believe that instilling these beliefs in young people and giving them the tools they need to broadcast those beliefs will help turn the tide towards liberalism in Ukraine. “By helping bring up a new generation of freedom lovers, we will do our part in bringing about a lasting cultural change in society that will leave our Soviet past in the past,” she said.
Becoming an Atlas Network partner allowed us to tap into an endless source of inspiration, ideas, and support, helping us overcome obstacles, deal with challenges (including COVID-19), and come up with new ways to make Ukraine freer with each passing day. We were able to create partnerships, exchange our experiences and advice, and share our stories with an international community that could not possibly be any more supportive.
Atlas Network supported this project with an Illiberalism Grant.