(This post has been written by Noa Philippon, youth spokesperson of Biodiversa and one of the participants in the above-mentioned training course).
In August (from 8th to 15th) I had the chance to participate in the Training course “Follow-up and impact in international projects” that took place in Valmiera, Latvia. It was organised by YEE (Youth and Environment Europe), and hosted by a partner association from Latvia, Balta Daba. Participants were young people coming from 15 different youth environmental organisations, all of them partners of YEE. Biodiversa was one of the partner organisations and contributed to the training course by sending a trainer and me as a participant.
We had a lot of interesting workshops and activities about how to assess the needs of a community to make a project according to them, tools for the evaluation of projects and especially of the follow-up. We shared examples of successful and failed follow-ups and also about what mistakes were made during the process and how to improve them. I realized how important is the follow-up, and how we have to think about it already in the planning phase of the project.
After some workshops, we had to put in practice what we learned and we had to come up with ideas to make the training course more visible. We created some visibility tools as a video of the performance of the “Follow up” song (that we invented) in town, some creative and funny internet memes about the event to share on social networks (see picture below), a video with interviews to participants, trainers and organizers and an interactive video message online. We talked as well about the importance of the partners’ selection and also the profile of the participants.
I think all of us learned on how to make a positive and bigger impact after the project, both at a local and international level.
There was an NGO market where we all presented our organizations and talked about common ideas for projects. Last days of the TC we had time as well to prepare and write new projects, some of which have already been submitted for funding.
We also learned about funding opportunities for all kind of projects and initiatives related to the fields of action of our organisations.
In general, it was a very productive and useful project, where we ate vegetarian and local and tried to be as eco-friendly as possible (for example using cups with our names all the time, recycling or drinking tap water to avoid plastic bottles).
After the TC, from 15th to 17th August, the Annual Meeting of YEE was held. Short term strategies and quite some future projects were approved and the elections for the new YEE Board took place. 2015 Draft budget and Working plan were approved as well. It was a fruitful meeting and a lot of new international partnerships, collaborations and friendships were born.
In the new Board of YEE we have Anja Wilken as Chairperson, Zaruhi Stepanyan as External Relations Officer and Vice-Chairperson, Vasily Bashutkin as Treasurer, Ana Bianca Badea as Project Officer, Christiane Klemm as Publications and Promotions Officer and Lira Hakani as Member Organisation Officer.