a Berlin based NGO that is implementing projects in Ukraine and Germany in the areas of knowledge transfer, empowerment and culture since 2018.
  • 16 Projects
  • 8 Donors
  • 11 Partners
  • 5 Years
About Us
  • We are passionately committed to the implementation and promotion of various projects and are always striving to make a positive contribution to German-Ukrainian relations.

    Since 2018, it has been a key concern for us to make Ukrainian culture more visible, better known, and more interesting in German-speaking areas. We are also firmly convinced that knowledge exchange projects in the fields of science, environment, and infrastructure are enriching for all involved partners.

    In the current crisis, triggered by the widespread Russian attack on Ukraine, IWEK e.V. has faced the challenge and actively engaged in reconstruction projects.

  • With the project Mykolaiv Water Hub, we are building a startup accelerator and a scientific research platform in Mykolayiv, Ukraine.

    Through the project #VerfügbaresBuch, IWEK e.V. promotes the protection of Ukrainian books and makes them available to German libraries.

    Ukraine in Germany is our cultural promotion project that has been in existence for more than 5 years and makes Ukrainian events and initiatives known in Germany.

    The almanac “Books about Ukraine” offers a wide range of book recommendations that have been written in German or translated from Ukrainian and deal with Ukraine, its history, culture, and people.

Knowledge Exchange Projects
Mykolaiv Water Hub
Innovation Hub and Think Tank for Water-related industries

Mykolaiv Water Hub (MWH) has four components: (1) a soft-landing platform for EU investors, (2) an accelerator for water-related industries from the EU and Ukraine, (3) a think tank for water-related research and scientific cooperation, (4) an education and public awareness platform for the population.

In MWH we are pursuing the following SDGs: 6 (clean water and sanitation), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

Currently being developed in Berlin.

Funded by GIZ (till 2023), advised by Phineo Startups.

Founder and CEO: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon

Youth for Water, Energy, Food security and Environmental protection

In summer 2020, German and Ukrainian young people met in Mykolayiv, Ukraine and visited various water/energy/food-related locations: South-Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant and Bug Gard National Park, the water intake of a local water utility and Kinburn Spit, Oystern Farm and Tilihul Estuary.

Three educational videos for schools and universities are available online on the YouTube channel of Mykolaiv Water Hub.

Funded by Foundation EVZ.

Project managers: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon

Local coordinators: Diana Krysinska, Inna Tymchenko.

Youth creating new ideas for sustainable management of water resources

In summer 2019 students from Mykolayiv and Berlin met in their cities to learn more about water resources and urban water infrastructure. They visited water utilities of both cities and prepared a photo exhibition about urban water infrastructure in Mykolayiv (water supply and waste water disposal) at one of the main streets of the city: Soborna street.

10+ high quality exhibition photos were handed over to the local water utility (MKP Mykolaivvodokanal) and since then they are being used for public awareness purposes.

Funded by Foundation EVZ.

Project managers: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon, Yevhen Bezsonov.

Board Game: "Vodohra"
Education, Technology and Science

The board game “Vodohra” provides intriguing insights into the urban water infrastructure of Mykolayiv. The objective of the game is to construct a water utility by positioning cards, each depicting different elements of infrastructure, in the correct sequence: from river to consumer, and back to the river. On the backside of each card there are interesting facts about each specific element of urban water infrastructure: pumping stations, water intake, etc.

The game is currently being upgraded to an international English/German version in collaboration with Game Lab at Humboldt University of Berlin, with support of Phineo Startups.

The board game was developed by Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon in 2018-2019 and was privately funded.

UNOPS: Solid Waste Management Study Trip
for Lybian stakeholders

Together with United Nations Office for Project Services – UNOPS we have organised and study trip for Lybian stakeholders and public sector decision makers to Germany (Frankfurt and Berlin).

Participants visited FES (Die Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH) and UBA (Umweltbundesamt) in Dessau.

Main topics that were discusses: solid waste management on municipal and federal levels in Germany, creating of incentives for population, legislation structures etc.

Funded by UNOPS.

Projekt manager: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon

Empowerment Projects
Workshop and Report "DIASPORA 4 UKRAINE"
Input of Ukrainian Diaspora in Germany to reconstruction of Ukraine

On February 2-5, 2023 IWEK e.V. has organised a 3-day workshop for Ukrainian and German participants on possible input of foreign Ukrainians to reconstruction of Ukraine.

Almost 30 representatives of various NGOs, universities, municipal utilities have contributed to discussions, analysis and preparation of Report on evaluation of input of Ukrainian diaspora organisations in Germany to reconstruction and development of Ukraine, that was published in May 2023.

Funded by GIZ.

Project managers: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon, Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt

Ukrainian Books for the German libraries

The #VerfügbaresBuch project has been committed to amplifying Ukrainian voices through literature. From its inception on February 25, 2022, in the immediate wake of the full-scale Russian invasion, the project secured approximately 17,000 Ukrainian books for distribution across German libraries.

Our mission isn’t merely about providing books; it’s a comprehensive effort to sustain Ukrainian identity in Germany during this war. We were determined to reach audiences of all ages, presenting a diverse selection of Ukrainian literary.

We’re grateful for all who supported us in this cultural endeavour during this devastating war.

Main sponsor: Sergii Sukhanov.

Project initiator: Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt

DSEE: Diaspora and Engagement
Workshops for Ukrainians in Germany

In December 2022 in a series of networking events for the Ukrainian diaspora, we held a series of lectures, aimed at informing and further involving Ukrainians in professional circles and the important role of the volunteer initiative in the German professional and social life.

We organised three events for the audience of young expert in the field of IT, for displaced persons with medical background and for Ukrainian scientists/scholars in Germany. In addition, we explained in detail the history and culture of German volunteering and the prospects of participation in civil society for newly arrived Ukrainians.

Funded by DSEE.

Project Managers: Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt and Yevhenii Surniaiev

The Armed Truth - Images of Ukrainian Media

This is a student-volunteer project, in association with Universität Potsdam, UAPP and guided by Prof. Dr. Wöll, offers a deeper look into Ukraine’s reality through photographs, and a 30-year media landscape overview.

Our project is broadcast in various forms, such as photo exhibitions and lectures, all aimed at promoting dialogue about Ukrainian history, language, and identity.

We invite you weekly to participate, and engage in these discussions that strive for a profound understanding of the current situation. The enrollment to the course for WiSe 2023/24 is open.

Project coordinators: Yevhenii Surniaiev and Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt, Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Alexander Wöll.

Humanitarian medical supplies for Ukrainian frontline hospitals

The project MedHelpUkraine was launched the second day after the full-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine – February 25, 2023.

The team of volunteers have launched a call for German hospitals and private donors to donate medical supplies for Ukrainian frontline hospitals: painkillers, antibiotics, bandages, disinfection materials. Overall thousands of boxes were delivered to Ukraine: Mykolayiv and Bakhmut.

The project was closed in spring 2023. We are thankful to each and everyone who helped us to save lives of Ukrainians in this horrible war full of Russian atrocities.

Project coordinator: Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt, Project initiator: Roman Doroshenko

Cultural Projects
Almanac "Books about Ukraine"
Yearly literature almanac about Ukraine

IWEK e.V. is publishing yearly the almanac “Books about Ukraine in German language”. First two bands (published in 2022 and 2023) contain 40 book recommendations each: these are books about Ukraine and Ukrainians from Ukrainian authors that were translated in German language, but also books about Ukraine from German or Austrian authors. Our goal is to give an overview about Ukraine-related literature in German language.

Almanacs are being distributed among German, Austrian, Swiss and Belgian universities, media, political institutions etc.

Project manager: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon

Editors: Anastasiia Gusieva (1st and 2nd volumes), Oksana Shchur (upcoming volumes)

Ukraine in Deutschland
Platform about Ukrainian initiatives in Germany

The UkraineNOW.de online platform was created in 2017 and is managed by IWEK e.V. Our main goal is to spread information about Ukraine in Germany. On our website and on our Facebook and Instagram pages, we publish information about Ukraine-related events in Germany: political and historical discussions, scientific reports, concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, workshops etc, as well as information about Ukrainian associations, initiatives.

There are also book recommendations about Ukraine.

Project was funded by Ukrainian organisation in Germany and Embassy of Ukraine in Germany.

Project managers: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon (till 2018), Anna Smolyaninova and Olha Sirko (till 2020), Yevhen Surniaiev (now).

Aliarmia? Zmova? Znevira?
Podcast in Ukrainian language

This is our intriguing, weekly author’s podcast that delves into life abroad, the heart of the Ukrainian diaspora, political events around the globe, and so much more. Podcast exists from 2019.

The podcast is proudly aired on the Blah Blah Blah UA channel. Furthermore, we’ve made it easily accessible on a multitude of streaming platforms: Spotify, YouTube, RSS, Google Podcast, Deezer and iTunes.

Join us each week for profound insights.

Our guests already were: Dr. Marta Barandiy (Promote Ukraine, Brussels), Dr. Kateryna Rietz-Rakul (Ukrainian Institute, Berlin) etc.

Founder and manager: Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt

Podcast hosts: Yevhenii Surniaiev, Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt

About the Holodomor in German
Genocide of the Ukrainian nation

A collaborative project with the Holodomor Museum. Together, our teams has created seven educational science materials about the history of the Holodomor, its prerequisites and consequences, truth tellers, and its place in a global context.

The Holodomor refers to the genocide of the Ukrainian nation committed in 1932-1933 by the Soviet, communist totalitarian regime.

The project was launched in 2020.

Project Managers and initiators: Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt and Olha Syrotiuk

UkraineNOW: watch, listen, taste
Experience five Ukrainian regions in Berlin

IWEK e.V. in cooperation with Ukraїner decided to dive for one winter evening in 2019 with our guests into Ukrainian culture, songs, food and history. Five videos about Bessarabia, Poltava, the Carpathians, Pryazovia, and Polissia have been used to illustrate Ukrainian natural and cultural treasures. Five finger food options from these regions were offered to the guests.

Overall 70+ guests from diplomatic institutions have visited our event at the premises of the Embassy of Ukraine in Germany.

The project was funded by Embassy of Ukraine in Germany

Project manager: Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon

The project was also repeated twice in Austria.

Posters for Berlin Subway
Making Ukraine visible in Berlin

In autumn-winter 2019 IWEK e.V. with a goal to attract attention to tourist destinations on Ukraine has launched a campaign by placing posters with pictures from Lviv, Odesa, Carpathians, and Kyiv in selected 30 stations of Berlin subway.

Parallel to this project a flash mob and a survey of customers of Berlin subway has been conducted. For a flash mob Berliners were asked to spot a poster in any subway station and to make a photo with it. The winner (selected randomly) received a present – a book Ukrainian Insider from Ukraїner.

The project was funded by Ukrainian Embassy in Germany.

Project manager: Anna Smolyaninova

Photo by Olha Sirko

Our team
Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt
  • Danylo Poliluev-Schmidt joined IWEK e.V. in 2019 and is a Chief Executive since 2022.
  • He initiated the following projects: #VerfügbaresBuch, Podcast “Alarmia? Zmova? Znevira?“, “The armed truth“.
  • Team member of Mykolaiv Water Hub.
Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon
  • Hanna Slobodyanyuk-Montavon co-founded IWEK e.V. in 2018 and was Chief Executive until 2022.
  • Since 2019 she is a Founder and CEO of Mykolaiv Water Hub.
  • She developed the board game “Vodohra“.
Yevhenii Surniaiev
  • Yevhenii Surniaiev is since 2021 a coordinator of the project Ukraine in Deutschland and since 2022 Board Member of IWEK e.V.
  • Currently he is involved in the project #VerfügbaresBuch and Co-Host of Podcast „Alarmia? Zmova? Znevira?“.
Anastasiia Gusieva
  • Anastasiia Gusieva participated actively in the project Ukraine in Deutschland from 2017 until 2020.
  • She is currently organising a Ukrainian literature club “Ukraine Bookclub Berlin” and is a proofreader of the almanac “Books about Ukraine”.
Roman Doroshenko
  • Roman Doroshenko is a graphic designer and is contributing to the project Mykolaiv Water Hub (MWH) as well as MedHelpUkraine.
  • In particular, he created the identity of MWH, the infographics and design of the board game ”Vodohra“.
Iryna Baumbach
  • Iryna Baumbach joined the Ukraine in Deutschland project in 2020.
  • Iryna translates and edits texts for the project, in particular for the almanac “Books about Ukraine
Lesja Seifert
  • Lesja Seifert is since 2018 involved in the project Ukraine in Deutschland. She is one of the authors of the Facebook-Rubric #Buchtipp_am_Sonntag.
  • Selected book recommendations from Lesja may be found in the almanac “Books about Ukraine“.
Oksana Shchur
  • Oksana Shchur is a publicist and literature project curator. Since autumn 2022 she is residing in Berlin.
  • Since 2022 she is contributing to almanac “Books about Ukraine” as editor.
Dr. Boris Schmidt
  • Dr. Boris Schmidt joined IWEK e.V. as a volunteer helper in 2020.
  • He contributes – mostly behind the scenes – to the projects #VerfügbaresBuch, the almanac „Books about Ukraine“, etc.
  • Inspired by IWEK, he now learns Ukrainian – and he does progress!


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