Business In Depth Politics Science Society, 07/03/2017

Connecting Activists and Society

These days the second phase of “New faces” project is being completed.

The second program named “The Deputy School” started in November 2016.

Totally 26 people were selected out of 46 applicants, says the project organizer Olexander Chumak, and most of the participants were novices in the realm of public administration. Some of them became deputies of local councils in 2015, and therefore had a year of experience in this field.

Many of the “second wave” participants are getting ready to take part in the next election campaign.

The main features distinguishing “The Deputy School” from the first program were new practical modules on regulatory policies and budget analysis, political system and election process. The know-how of the program was introducing press-conferences of the participants instead of the final tests.

During the program workshops, the renowned experts helped to evaluate the efficiency of local budgets, discussed how to involve business for achieving social-economic growth of the territories, explained to the students how to promote themselves and how the election lists are formed. Olexander Chumak gives credit to Kateryna Orekhova for presenting budget analysis, Yulia Bidenko for elections workshops and Oleksiy Litvinov for regulatory policies lectures.

“The best specialists in their field were engaged in the training,” states Nataliya Bondarenko, the project manager. “We were aiming at building the team of new public leaders and social activists, helping them to create their personal brand.”

“Within the project, we are helping our students to prepare their final public presentation. Our PR manager is issuing press releases for them, we are inviting journalists,” explains Chumak. “The participants present their project results in public, work in schools or with entrepreneurs and deliver their plans for future. This is the most important part as we observe deficiency of communication between the activists and civic society. Sometimes people are simply not aware of exciting new practical projects which can be implemented.”

Some participants got united into groups by three if they worked in a similar direction to share their experience and raise their efficiency. According to the organizers, the presentations will still continue after the project is over.

The organizers point out that they are also trying to change public perception of a politician as a corrupt myopic official, who cares only for the sake of his profit. The purpose is to attract new, unblemished people who were ready to serve the public good and work with socially important projects.

“We continue observing our participants after the project is finished, we have some joint projects with the “first wave” graduates, and we help each other,” Oleksander Chumak adds. To a certain extent, he says, the project is “creating the society” extracting and activating its best part.

Reported: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Nataliya Bondarenko