The young NSOs’ leaders from the Eurasian countries - members of the Council of Europe had a unique opportunity to participate in one of the most interesting and ambitious projects of the European Scout Region - Academy - at October of this year.
Following the project of Europe-Eurasia cooperation between our regions and thanks to the financial support of the Council of Europe leaders of the Eurasia organizations visited an ancient Athens, where more than two hundred members, facilitators and guests from 35 countries, WOSM and WAGGGS representatives exchanged experiences and ideas during the Third Academy.
The program was favorably endowed with events and so varied. Participants had the opportunity to attend 25 different sessions, in their sole discretion, to obtain theoretical knowledge and share practical experiences, having discussions on such topics as: management of staff and volunteers, personal development, European Year of Volunteering, change management in organizations, social media, promotion of the Scout Movement, image and Scout method, growth strategy and development organizations, working with local leaders, the interaction between the generations, retaining of leaders, funding and fundraising, spiritual development and more...
In addition to really diverse opportunities for learning and getting new information, participants spent they free time fabulous during the evening activities organized by the hospitable Greek Scouts. Everybody got an opportunity to explore the Acropolis and other sights of the old city, visited an art exhibition in the Technopolis Gallery, presented their country at the international evening, shared a memorable night trip to the historic center of Athens on the double-decker bus, and, finally, the apotheosis of the event was "The Big Athenian City Game", as well organized by Greek Rovers.
Here are just some impressions and outputs from our members:
«From my point of view, the project was implemented on a very high level – it is quite difficult to manage such a big amount of people. The event was organized in such a way that everybody could attend only those sessions they were interested in – this helped to save a lot of time.
….In general, this event, the Academy – it is just a debut of Eurasian associations, only in tight collaboration with European countries we’ll be able to reach the level of development we desire.
Olena Halushka and Maksym Lebedev, Ukraine»
"The program was very interesting and diverse. We were particularly interested in topics «funding» and «fundraising» ... We took an active part in discussions and practical work, to learn from Scouts from other countries, and we are going to use it in our future Scouting activities.
Nune Margaryan and the Lilit Vardanyan, Armenia”
«… We studied new ways, how to develop and help to our organization. We are glad that we were in these sessions; because we will share our new experience to our leaders and friends and it will be fruitful for our organization.
We found new scout friends. We are glad that we had opportunity to be in Athens, we sew very beautiful places, understand new culture and traditions.
We wish this Academy success and we hope that the sessions will continue……
Micheil Tserodze and Revaz Bzhalava, Georgia»
«…We want to mention the role of favorable climate during the event for establishing of new relations, friendships and partnerships between National Scout Association of Moldova and other National Scout Organizations at Academy 2010 in particular and generally between Europe and Eurasia region.
Although the number of participants was high, which may lead to creation of barriers in communication, knowledge and good preparation of the participants have facilitated and simplified the process of solving problems at local and regional level during the sessions.
All the social activities organized by staff have created the opportunity for us to discuss and approach informal different problems and topics, which would be actually difficult to obtain during the sessions, also we had the possibility to find out the traditions and customs of all countries present at the event (intercultural evening), as well as the culture of host country…
…An important conclusion after Academy 2010 is that the experience, practice, tradition, history of scouting in Europe Region, together with the potential and human resources in the Eurasia region can align and develop scouting in our countries in order to make our world better than we found it.
Our position is that we need to organize commonly different activities, in this sense we propose to organize Excelscout at Eurasia Region, in the manner of Academy, in terms of content and information sessions, in the same time it will be a step towards a closer collaboration between National Scout Organizations within the region, as well as by inviting interregional experts (mentors, trainers) from European Region countries…
Sergiu Chirica and Vasilie Godoroja, Moldova»
"... We found “Funding”, “Fundraising”, “Growth strategy”, “managing staff and volunteers” as most useful for us since knowledge of these sessions may be applied in practice. Unfortunately, I will say that in our view the model of other sessions is not well suited for Azerbaijan, I think, as for other countries in our region, following the mental and traditional differences. Personally, I learned a lot from the session on Funding (good resources, programs, Foundations, suggestions when applying for a grant, what to do when getting out for a grant, etc.) During the game, where we had to make an application for a grant we "entered" the game so deeply that there were born great ideas that we are going to realize with guys from Georgia now...
Ilyas Ismayilli, Vagif Bagirov and Adil Hajiyev, Azerbaijan”
National Scout Organizations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine would like to thank to all members of the Organizational Committee, Planning Team and Greek hosts for the given opportunity.
Eurasia Scout Office staff sincerely grateful to colleagues from the European Scout Office for the initiative and the practical steps in implementing the project of cooperation, as well as for their invaluable personal contribution and efforts to the making possible the participation of Eurasia Scouts in the Academy.
World Scout Bureau
Eurasia Regional Office
P.S. If you are interested in the experience of the Academy, and you want to learn more about this event, read or download the materials and have a look for the photos, please, follow the link http://academy.scouthub.org/