Lesia and I hosted the second seminar funded by our Small Project Assistance (SPA) grant today. There were 68 students and teachers in attendance. To compliment our first seminar on Project Design & Management (PDM) this seminar taught about Fundraising: what it is, how to do it and what to expect. This concept is entirely foreign to most Ukrainians and often considered an unachievable feat simply because it involves finding money where there is no money to spare. I cannot thank Lesia enough for trusting me that this topic was essential to our overall project idea and not a waste of time. I was frequently, almost always, met with laughs when explaining to my community that it is possible to fundraise in our community.

A friend of mine from a the eastern city of Lugansk and her counterpart presented an excellent seminar. The majority of our time focused on community fundraising but grant writing was also touched upon. The highlight of the presentation was giving examples of successful fundraising events that other Ukrainian communities have done. The idea that a cohesive group of trustworthy people can change the bad into good from their own initiative is sometimes too difficult to image without a proven base. This fearful first step is often the hardest obstacle I encounter when working with Ukrainians.

Our next goal is to use our new skills to host a fundraising event. It was decided at the seminar that the funds we raise will be used to refurbish our school garden.