ODUM was founded on June 18, 1950 in New York. It is an organization of democratically oriented Ukrainian youth, predominantly children and grandchildren of World War II political immigrants and victims of German forced labor camps mainly from Eastern Ukraine. ODUM strives to develop a sense of Ukrainian identity among its members, to spread knowledge of Ukraine and its historical struggle for independence, to foster national identity, to cultivate religious and regional tolerance and respect the convictions of others.
Organizations of ODUM actively exists in the U.S.A. and Canada. At one time, West Germany, England, Belgium and Australia had active branches and/or members. Activities are coordinated by a Central Committee, with national headquarters in each country. Individual city branches of ODUM have their own leadership. Membership is divided into junior, regular and senior, including honorary members. The education of members is carried out during periodic meetings, summer camps and at various local seminars and events.
Maintenance of Ukrainian traditions and heritage is a very important part of a member’s involvement with the organization. Branches have bandura ensembles, choirs, Ukrainian folk dance ensembles and at one time a large string ensemble.
Membership of ODUM is smaller than that of other Ukrainian youth organizations. Nonetheless, its members are active participants in Ukrainian community affairs. They are Ukrainian school teachers, members of church boards, members of cooperative organizations and other community groups.
ODUM seeks to develop a sense of Ukrainian identity among its members, to disseminate knowledge of Ukraine and its historic struggle for independence, to promote national identity, to foster religious and regional tolerance, and to respect the beliefs of others.