1 December 2012, Simferopol, Ukraine - First BarCampIdeas Aloud” devoted to citizen journalism and cooperation between public initiators and media took place inOutage KKDcafé in Simferopol.

1 December 2012, Simferopol, Ukraine - First BarCampIdeas Alouddevoted to citizen journalism (also known as “public”, “street” journalism) and cooperation between public initiators and media took place on December 1 inOutage KKDcafé in Simferopol.

Approximately 80 public figures, students, senior pupils, journalists and those interested in cooperation between public initiators and media, citizen journalism, new forms of communication on social activity, and activities of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) took part in BarCamp.

Classes on effective cooperation between civil society organizations and media, on journalism and new media, and trainings on coordination of volunteer activities utilizing internet-technologies were organized during BarCamp. Youth projects, volunteer programmes, as well as other socially important projects were brought into the public’s attention. Speakers included participants not only from Simferopol but also from Kyiv, Zaporizhia, Moscow and Lviv. The possibility to move freely from session to session and have plenty of informal discussions enabled the participants to cover a wide selection of topics varying from issues of journalistic ethics and information policy to feministic theories during the session breaks. 

The aim of BarCamp is to overcome mutual fear and misunderstanding between journalists and civil society representatives. Final event turned out to be even more successful than expected thanks to the active and creative participants. There is no doubt that they will promote their ideas gained here further on - so amazing it was to see how the discussions among participants did not interrupt even during the coffee breaks, and this is exactly when you realize that your activity was not in vain”, the event organizer Anastasiya Zhukova said.

On 5 December, within the framework of BarCamp and on the observance of the International Volunteer Day 2012, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) conducted sessions on the volunteer activities - including international volunteering - its coordination, and the role and benefits of volunteer activity for the society and personal development. The sessions were held in cooperation with “Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for MDG” project supported by the International Renaissance Foundation.

In addition to information sessions on volunteerism, photos ofPhilanthropy in Focus” (Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum), International Renaissance Foundation project, local civil society organizations, and United Nations Volunteers’ campaignsVolunteering MattersandVolunteerActionCountswere exhibited within the framework of the event. The Crimean United Nations Volunteers joined the global VolunteerActionCounts campaign by submitting the report of their activities in promotion of volunteerism during BarCamp to the campaign.

“Volunteering is an integral part of human culture in all parts of the world. If we gathered volunteers of all civil society organizations in the world in one single place, it would form the ninth biggest country in the world. Voluntary civic action based on strong civil society actors is a universally recognized important driving force” – Anna Zakharova, national United Nations Volunteer in Crimea explained while continuing: “Volunteering in Ukraine mostly has latent form – providing assistance to relatives and society – and certainly lacks press coverage, which results in closing up the youth’s access to this important resource. According to UNICEF, only 3-4% of Ukrainians are currently involved in volunteer activities. Not only huge contribution to society, but also personal and professional development of a person, self-affirmation, enhancement, acquisition of expert knowledge and useful contacts – is all carried out through volunteering. So this resource must not be neglected.”

According to Yulia Agybalova, representative of the Crimean Republican Centre of Social Care for Families, Children and Youth, addressing social problems is of great importance for society, but often neglected by media. "I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend BarCamp and learn more about the cooperation between media and civil society organizations, and how to utilize Internet technologies in promotion of it", she said. 

BarCamp is a modern type of conference, based on presentations and speeches of its participants. Free and easy conversations, providing opportunities for establishing useful contacts - these are all integral parts of BarCamp.

The abovementioned initiative is a final event of theIdeas aloudproject aimed at development of citizen journalism and communications among civil society organizations and youth leaders. It was realized by the Center for Regional Development "Top-Kaya" in 2012 with support from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED).