Local and virtual communities

The power of "together"

In an everyday life that is strongly characterized by conflicts and crises, strengthening communities both physical and virtual gains great importance. forumZFD is committed to creating and maintaining such communities in Odessa and beyond in order to bring people together and strengthen them in difficult times.

The revitalization of the courtyards in Odessa helps to bring people together and strengthen them in difficult times.

Revitalizing the courtyards, literally.

Since 2019, forumZFD has been working to restore the courtyards in Odessa to what they once were: Centers of social life. Through art, culture and engagement, they are once again becoming the heart of the local community.

More than a meeting place: art and culture in the courtyard

Art has the power to bring people from different backgrounds together. In these revitalized courtyards, a space is created where children and adults can interact with each other through creative activities. These projects not only encourage individual creativity, but also strengthen a sense of belonging and community togetherness. They are particularly important as they create a sense of normality and community in times of conflict and uncertainty.

Nadezhda, the manager of a neighbourhood project, describes the importance of this initiative: "Now that most children stay at home, don't go to kindergarten and only attend schools online, these courses offer children the opportunity to interact with adults and other children and use their fine motor skills. Some children come and don't even know how to use scissors. We also organize sports activities and fun games, with parents helping us in the yard. The residents from the surrounding houses come and take part in the activities. They ask us how we manage to create such a friendly atmosphere in our courtyards."


Building a peaceful community

Conflicts are inevitable in close-knit communities. Our partners therefore offer training in mediation and non-violent conflict resolution. In these workshops, participants learn how to resolve conflicts through communication and understanding. These skills are particularly valuable in communities where close quarters and social differences can often lead to misunderstandings and disputes.

The aim of these training courses is to empower the residents of the courtyards in Odessa to resolve conflicts independently and peacefully. This not only improves coexistence in the courtyard, but also creates a model for peaceful coexistence throughout the city.

Virtual community in times of flight

But it's not just on the ground, in Odessa's courtyard communities, that we try to foster community and connection. Our Parent Community also numbers over 4,000 people. They meet online and offer each other support, especially in times of war. Because particularly in tense times, the mood can quickly change. That's why we promote a culture of mutual listening and empathy, including in the digital space.


In this beautiful way, people learn to express themselves and deal with their trauma.

Ada Hakobyan, project manager