On September 22-23, Ivano-Frankivsk hosted the final event of the Mentorship Program 3.0 to strengthen the advocacy and other capacities of civil society organizations.
For 8 months, 12 permanent civil society organizations mentored 12 CSOs (mentees) from different parts of Ukraine.
“Today, the role of civil society organizations is so huge that we are talked about almost all over the world. We are discovering new roles, new functionality in what civil society organizations can do – even under such extremely difficult conditions in which our country has found itself,” said Volodymyr Sheihus, Executive Director of the ISAR “Ednannia”, Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity Project Manager, in his opening remarks.
Olesia Kholopik, Director of the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, speaking about the peculiarities of the structure of this year’s Program, once again reminded about its uniqueness in general: “Our Mentorship Program is the result of co-creation. I’m happy to see how what started out as an idea in 2020 is coming to fruition. How mentee organizations also develop real plans from ideas and later implement them. On February 23, the program started, and then the full-scale war began. But the Mentorship Program continued. It continued thanks to the mentors and mentees, as well as a team that managed to adapt the Program to the needs that arose in wartime conditions.”
Anna Isichko, coordinator of the Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity, CEDEM, emphasized the role of the Mentorship community in the times of war: “The way the Mentorship Program worked in those first days, in the first weeks and months after the invasion, probably no other community could have.”
According to Tetiana Sira, a representative of the United States Agency for International Development, civil society is becoming extraordinary in helping the state, the government, and ordinary people. Ms. Tatyana thanked the participants and the team of organizers of the Mentorship Program 3.0: “We have been through a lot of trials right, we face a lot of challenges. Civil society, NGOs – i.e. you – have always been on the lookout for all shifts in Ukraine, protecting the interests of the state and normal democratic development. May the interaction that you have now get stronger, and may success lead you forward.”
IN PARTICULAR, THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM 3.0 WILL INCLUDE THE BELOW IN ADDITION TO THE ADVOCACY COMPONENT:
- Development of the organization’s ability to consistently raise funds from various sources for the sustainable implementation of the mission and to achieve the goals of the organization;
- Development and application by the organization of approaches and practices that ensure non-discriminatory treatment of men and women and that women and men receive equal benefits/assistance;
- Application of best international practices, development and implementation of approaches and measures to ensure the inclusion (engagement, involvement) of persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons, participants in military conflict, youth, the elderly, LGBTQI+ representatives, national minorities and other vulnerable groups .
During this time, mentee organizations developed and partially implemented 10 advocacy plans, 1 financial sustainability plan, 1 plan for increasing the organization’s capacity in the field of inclusion.
The Mentorship Program 3.0 was officially launched on February 23, 2022. The full-scale invasion affected the plans of the mentee organizations and their cooperation with the mentors. The priorities in the communities where the participants of this year’s Program work have also changed.
“This Mentorship Program has been a challenge for everyone: for participants, organizers, for obvious reasons. It has been implemented more as a response to challenges than as a planned activity. Figures and results of the program are first of all the result of activity and dedication of mentors as well as the activity and reliability of the mentees,” says Olena Matviichuk, Mentorship Program coordinator.
Read more about the topics mentors and mentees worked on, as well as preliminary results achieved in this short time, in the Mentorship Program 3.0 Yearbook.
“I’ve had mentoring experience before, but this year, a full-scale war presented serious challenges to all of us. Wee managed to boost the team building, motivation, task prioritization and flexible work planning skills. Also, during the mentorship program, we had a unique opportunity to reflect on new experiences, exchange opinions with our colleagues and search for answers about mentoring in the context of war conditions. This is a valuable and unique experience, for which I am truly grateful,” representatives of the mentor organizations comment on this year’s Program.
Mentees recount: “The mentor helped to adjust the advocacy plan according to the current context. She helped me find the key messages and areas to develop. She suggested the key stages of decision-making in the city council, and also helped develop the city program Project. It was she who pushed us to take actions that at first seemed unimportant or even impossible, which ultimately resulted in a successful cooperation result.“
At the end of the final meeting, the participants additionally worked on further plans. With Olha Hulai’s facilitation support, they worked out options on how to use the acquired experience outside the Mentorship Program.
Mentorship Program 3.0 to strengthen the advocacy and other capacities of civil society organizations from different parts of Ukraine is part of the Project Ukraine Civil Society Sectoral Support Activity implemented by the Initiative Center to Support Social Action “Ednannia” in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) and Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (CEDEM) with the sincere support of the American people through United States Agency for International Development.