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Open World facilitator, Yuriy Didula, joined the Open World family in September of 2014 and has traveled with two delegations to the United States. The last delegation he traveled with was a group of NGO and Civic Society Development professionals traveling to Brookings, SD. The group was comprised of five civic activists who work in social, cultural, educational and environmental fields. Yuriy Didula is a native of Western Ukraine, but since mid-2014 has been active in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, where he has led volunteer efforts to rebuild homes damaged in the conflict.

Open World facilitator, Sergiy Shtukarin from Donetsk, Ukraine, joined us in 2012 when he took a group of delegates to Atlanta, GA. Since that time Sergiy has traveled with delegates to Madison, WI; Wausau, WI; Phoenix, AZ; and twice to Birmingham, Alabama. Sergiy is an educator and human rights professional committed to the revival of the Donbas region. A civil society activist, Sergiy is passionate about the preservation of civil liberties and promotion of democracy in Ukraine.

What makes a city resilient? Resilience reflects a city’s ability to persevere in the face of troubles and to continue its mission despite daunting challenges. Resilient Columbia residents returned to their homes and businesses this week to pick up what was left after historic floods swept through this past weekend. Despite this rebuilding, they will welcome this week six Open World delegates from the Republic of Georgia, which has also experienced devastating floods several months ago.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two Open World alumni are presenting at the PONARS Eurasia Policy Conference this Friday, September 18 at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. Yulia Nikitina from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) is chairing a panel on security challenges for Russia and the West. She was a delegate with the Open World program in 2010 to Versailles, KY.