Ukraine National Identity through Youth (UNITY)

Ukraine National Identity through Youth (UNITY)


Ukraine National Identity through Youth (UNITY) is a six-and-a-half-year, USAID-funded program that supports youth leadership towards a values-based Ukrainian identity.

Through the Youth Advisory Council, UNITY network, and partnerships with a wide range of civil society organizations, youth centers, employers, and government bodies, young Ukrainians will build knowledge, skills, and connections for improved economic and civic opportunities. UNITY will also engage diverse youth to actively  contribute to community-based problem solving and engagement, including age-appropriate activities to support pluralism and respect for diversity.

In response to Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine, UNITY will invest in improving access to education to address the critical needs and developments for youth to reach their potential and continue playing a critical role in Ukraine’s recovery.

By 2027, UNITY will engage over one million diverse Ukrainian youth to lead normative, behavioral, and institutional change in support of common values of human rights, democratic principles, and equity.


  • Expand economic opportunities for youth through innovation, entrepreneurship, and career preparedness
  • Broaden youth engagement in civic and community problem-solving
  • Support youth as they drive Ukraine’s pluralism and respect for diversity
  • Conduct research and learning on youth-related data, trends, and approaches to inform youth policy and programming
  • Improve access to safe and relevant formal and non-formal learning opportunities for youth

Quick Facts

  • Over 137,000 youth aged 10–35 participated in UNITY activities over 3 years
  • 897,000+ interactions with UNITY digital content aimed at skills and knowledge acceleration
  • 347 youth-led enterprises or initiatives catalyzed by UNITY
  • 30+ laws, policies, or procedures adopted or implemented to promote youth participation at the regional, national, or local level
  • 250+ organizations in the UNITY network that support youth

Project Activities

  • Youth Centers: UNITY-supported youth centers are inclusive, safe learning spaces for youth of all backgrounds and abilities. Among other initiatives, the centers will offer skill-building activities such as service learning and volunteering, as well as community-building events among diverse youth and their families, connections with mentors, and other educational and cultural resources.
  • Engaging the Public & Private Sectors: UNITY is targeting institutional change by working closely with relevant government ministries to embed a youth-driven civic engagement curriculum within educational institutions, and with the private sector to align local economic needs with youth skills and aspirations.
  • Norm-Changing & Engaging Communications: UNITY is leveraging social media and other communication tools to engage youth in positive discussions around diversity and inclusion, amplify youth voices to encourage civic and economic participation of their peers, share networking opportunities, and celebrate local successes.
  • Research: Grounded in inclusive, youth-led approaches, UNITY is contributing to the growing global evidence base of effective youth engagement, school-to-work transitions, and other learning priorities. IREX is also building the capacity of local institutions to collect and use youth-focused data.
  • Access to Education: UNITY is working with the national educational system to increase youth’s access to safe, quality and relevant learning opportunities through rehabilitating damaged educational infrastructure, strengthening educators’ capacities and providing accelerated learning programs to ensure youth are informed, discerning citizens who contribute Ukraine’s economic and social recovery and drive Euro-Atlantic integration.

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