Civil Activists – The Central Driving Force for Reforms
The first Winter School of Local Self-Government, organised by the FNF partner Center for Civic Initiatives, united 22 representatives from various Ukrainian regions in the Kyiv region – from Donetsk to Lviv.
The topic of the Winter School was "Civil Activists - The Driving Force for Reforms".
“Representatives of Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Cherkasy, Kyiv and other regions participated in the Winter School. We believe that people from precisely these regions are our target audience. We should do more for developing a civic society in these regions”, said Vitaliy Zahaynyy, Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Civic Initiatives (CeHrIn).
On the first day Ihor Dobko and Andrii Nechyporuk worked together with the audience on teaching methods. In addition, they provided the participants with appropriate coaching methods and tools. Oleksandr Solontai and Victor Andrusiv shared their experience on how to engage properly with an audience. FNF Project Manager Maksym Koliesnykov informed about the Foundation's work and opportunities to participate in educational seminars and trainings in Germany.
On the second day the participants of the Winter School worked on the following topics:
• The roles of the coach and how he/she works with the group
• Individual approach of the coach
• Practical aspects when it comes to coaching
• How to organise trainings and the work of coaching
• Training features: format of studying, information sources and others.
Kateryna Konstantynova, an activist from Zaporizhia, summarized her achievements concerning coaching: “Currently, I am preparing a coaching course. I have already considerable experience, but here I have the opportunity to further develop my skills”.
On the third day, participants dealt with the methods regarding presenting and public speaking. They were also introduced to debating and to participating in public events effectively. This was made possible thanks to Oleg Konotoptsev, CeHrIn Director of educational programs. CeHrIn Project Coordinator Bohdan Koval talked about "Visualization tools, information and communications tools for organising and coaching".
Oleg Mykhailyk, civic activist from Odessa: “The training aimed at how to talk to groups and how to capture the audience’s interest; it will be very useful for my future work.”
Summing up the event, Vitaly Zahaynyy commented: “The Winter School focused on people who see themselves as coaches. The purpose why people studied at the Winter School was to improve their skills and to share their experiences regarding local community building and working effectively in civil society institutions.”
After the Winter School, the CeHrIn team understood the demand for a modern and sound manual for trainers in the field of self-organisation and self-government. Despite the fact that there have been significant changes over the past ten to fifteen years in the field of local self-government it is still relevant to update social activists’ knowledge.
Olena Ivanchenko, Head of an NGO from the Kyiv region: “This is a very good opportunity to gain new knowledge and get a grasp of what you already know. As for the School, I am surprised of the qualitative selection of the participants and coaches.”
The Winter School of Local Self-Government was organised by the Centre for Civic Initiatives (CeHrIn) with support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Ukraine and Belarus.