The international youth exchange project “Vilcha the Resettled Village” started in the Kharkiv region. Its purpose is to study the experience of IDPs from Chornobyl and ATO zone. 12 students from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and 12 Ukrainian students from different universities will take part in the project.
Vilcha is a village in the Vovchanskyi district of the Kharkiv region. The locality appeared in 1993 and became a new home for 2,000 inhabitants who used to live in the village of the same name, 45 kilometers away from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in the Kyiv region. People moved here after the nuclear disaster.
Thirty-one years after, local residents welcome immigrants from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukrainian and German historians are going to observe and study the way the IDPs from the conflict territory adapt to a new life and how both groups exchange their experiences.
The project will last six months and will consist of two stages: the first one will take place in Ukraine, the second one — in Germany. Participants will interview IDPs living in Vilcha, take photos and shoot videos. Using recorded conversations, video and photo materials, students are going to do a documentary and prepare a special printed edition.
“It is important for Ukrainian students to see the educational system in Germany, get acquainted with the structure of the seminars. For German students, in turn, this project is a great chance to focus on Ukrainian history, certain aspects that no one paid attention to for a long time. On the other hand, it is also an opportunity to get a job,” said the lecturer of the Department of Eastern European History of Ruhr University Olena Petrenko.
Text: Iryna Klymenko
Photo: V Gorode