For Immediate Release
New Milford, NJ – Four leaders from Ukraine will visit New Jersey August 6-14 to learn about American elections and democratic processes, and the development of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The Cross Cultural International Institute will host the delegates for the Open World Program. Events scheduled throughout the week include meetings with the Rotary International Paramus Chapter, the Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, Elks Camp Moore, a residential camp serving children with disabilities based in Butler, and the Spectrum Center for adults with disabilities in Closter.
Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, the Open World Program provides Eurasian civic and political leaders with a firsthand opportunity to work with their professional counterparts to develop a betterunderstanding of the U.S. approach to democracy and a free-market economy. The visit is being facilitated by the National Peace Foundation.
Among the goals of the visit, delegates will focus on enhancing their knowledge of voter registration and monitoring activities, including learning about casting ballots using an electronic voting machine. Patricia De Costanza, Superintendent of Elections in Bergen County, and Kathleen Donovan, Bergen County Clerk, will offer the delegates an overview of the entire voting process from campaign to actual vote. New Jersey State Senator Gerald Cardinale and Guy Talarico, Chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization and former New Jersey State Assemblyman, as well as Frank DiBari, Mayor of New Milford, have lent active support to the elections-related activities.
On Sunday, delegates experienced the site where so many first encountered America. Beginning at Liberty State Park, they will visit New York Harbor, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Activities this week also include a visit to the United Nations and a meeting at the Ukrainian Consulate in Manhattan.
The delegates are Anastasiya Bezverkha, Head of Press Service, Representative Office of Crimean Autonomous Republic in Kiev; Serhiy Chumak, Head of the Poltava Regional Organization for the Disabled; Oleksandr Melnyk, Head of the Forum Youth Center in Vinnitsya; and Vladyslava Pykhova, Chief Specialist, Mutual Understanding and Peace, Ukrainian National Foundation in Khmelnitskiy.
The Open World Program enables emerging political and civic leaders from Russia and other countries to work with their U.S. counterparts and see American-style democracy in action. More than 9,700 participants from all 89 Russian regions have stayed in all 50 U.S. states since Open World began in 1999. Open World also has exchanges with Lithuania and Uzbekistan.
The mission of the National Peace Foundation, based in Washington, DC, is to strengthen the foundations for peace-building, peace education and conflict resolution by promoting democratic justice through partnerships, intercultural exchanges and citizen networks.
Cross Cultural International Institute is a private, nonpartisan, and nonprofit educational organization built upon the principles of volunteerism and community to strengthen human understanding and expand the good will of our world family through values that we all have in common.
For more information on the delegation’s visit, please contact Maryanne Olsen at (201) 262-7544.