My happy face!

Awhile back, I mentioned that I spent most of my free time in September dreaming, planning and writing a SPA grant with my counterpart. Well, guess what? WE GOT IT!

The grand plan is to host two professional development seminars (1) Project Development & Management and (2) Fundraising, for teachers at my school, students in our student council and active community members. To facilitate the use and further development of these new skills, we will build a resource center in our school that can be used by all community member/teachers/students for miscellaneous projects. To guarantee the sustainability of our resource center and use of our new skill set, all seminar participants will help develop an annual city wide fundraising event in late spring. The groups that participate in this event who raise the most money, will be able to use all the money raised in a way of their choosing.

Our project team was awarded ~ $5000 for this project from USAID. You can read more about the grant opportunity HERE. You can also read our fully funded proposal HERE.

On February 26, 2013 our project team successfully hosted our first seminar on Project Development & Management (PDM). In attendance were two administrators of School Number One, four student representatives, one member of Romny’s Center for Handicapped Children, one member of Romny’s Orphanage, and twenty teachers of Romny’s School Number One.

The whole PDM group!

The whole PDM group!

We had two trainers, each from the Lugansk Center of Postgraduate Education located ~20hour train ride to the east of Ukraine. The main trainer was a professional methodist who executed the training the Russian Language. Her assistant was a Community Development Peace Corps Volunteer who has extensive experience in business and strategic planning.

One group and their project

One group and their project

The seminar started with a bunch of wide eyed participants completely overwhelmed with the PDM theory upchucked in their laps. Myself, I was worried we started our project with the wrong seminar, that it was too abstract or theory based for the concept to be introduced in our first round. However, about 45 minutes into the seminar, the practical application began. We divided the participants into 5 groups who were each responsible for creating their own project ideas, goals, SWOT analysis, and objectives. At this stage, all the smiles came out. Great ideas flew around the room and each participant seemed to enjoy being there.

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In the end, our project team considered the day a success. We gave ourselves big pats on the back and turned our eyes towards the next step of our grant implementation…building the resource center.