Public Achievement in Ukraine
Our partners, the School Plus Network, continue to expand the Public Achievement youth organizing network in Eastern Europe. In addition to hosting "train the trainer" sessions at their base in Nowy Sacz, Poland, Ala Derkoswka and Julie Boudreaux regularly travel to school and community sites around the continent. In March they'll be going back to Ukraine.
Below is a snapshot from the Odessa region, where a group of six high schoolers formed a team in September to begin addressing difficulties faced by orphaned children.
"Their goal is to help kids from 4 to 13 years old in one orphanage. The group analyzed the problems associated with living in an orphanage and discovered that just visiting them once on holidays and giving them presents would not address the deeper issues affecting orphans such as a lack of self-worth, difficulty of living in a collective, having few friends, and being unprepared for future independent life.
"The team created a stakeholder map and an action plan. Using these tools, they wrote a project to “Our Children - Youth Bank” for a mini-grant to cover some of their expenses. What makes their project unique is that it includes the orphans themselves in all steps. The kids will be involved in competitions, field trips, and visits to the PA group members’ homes. The goal is to create a mutual relationship with the children, not just give something and leave. The PA team members understand that the children need to learn how to live in a “normal” home and have psychological support. The PA members will try to learn about the children’s lives and build friendships. They will also write to the local newspaper about their project."
Progress reports on Public Achievement projects in 11 countries are regularly updated on the PA-Unite web site.