First in Ukraine educational program for representatives of Social Councils at Lviv City Council departments is over now. For three months nearly 40 people had the opportunity to participate in education to develop their professional skills in efficient influencing government activities. The program was organized by the Institue of Leadership and Management jointly with the Institute of the City within the latter’s project ‘Communities in Action’.
This program became a huge inspiration for us because people strived for new knowledge. They were giving us the energy as well the understanding that it was important for them to develop their ability to articulate high-quality proposals for the government about systemic solutions. Apart from actually studying, the participants had a wish to share their own ideas with each other. They even initiated a facilitation session where they exchanged competences and were looking for future cooperation. We enriched the program not only with the knowledge of experts practitioners, but also created conditions for experience exchange between the participants. That was why the education process took various formats: from lectures to a movie night and a cooking class’, - says Iryna Krokhmal, coordinator of PROFI.Councils Program from the Institute of Leadership and Management UCU.
The participants noticed that one of the most important results of their studying became the creation of a joint platform for getting acquainted and cooperation between Social Councils.
‘Today Social Councils are separate centers at each department. The program gave us the possibility to search for common things and to work together. Before that, we were all a bit ‘preserved’ in our environments. Throughout our studying, we were directed at joint decision making. Now I understand that one needs to go outside, to listen to the others, and to create interaction networks which will give the possibility to reach common goals. I also understood that it is necessary to be more active and to try and involve others in it;, - says Yuriy Tyrkalo, representative of the Social Council at the financial department of Lviv City Council.
Lyubov Maksymovych, the representative of the Social Council at the economic department of LCC, says that the very idea of such education is good: ‘This program became the first in Ukraine. When I tell about it, people ask whether it will be held again. Also, I was interested in communication between us. There was no age limit there. I came to this environment from another generation. I have been working in non-governmental organizations for 20 years, and there are some people here who have worked for five, four, or three years. They are interested in my experience, and I am interested in their vision. The choice of lecturers has been very good too. There have been master classes, training. It was exactly what we needed. There were interesting people among the trainers, whom I discovered for myself. I knew about them before but never had a chance to attend their lecture. Thanks to this program I had an opportunity to communicate with them’.
The ceremony of certificates delivery for the participants of the program PROFI.Councils took place in the last days of November, at the same time as the official completion of the two-year’ project ‘Communities in Action’. ILM UCU implemented the educational part of the project which consisted of two parts: first - for the activists of communities, and second - for representatives of Social Councils. The activists of communities learned how to be more professional in order to successfully establish a nongovernmental organization of their own. For Social Councils, the program was focused more on the development of their cooperation among themselves, as well as cooperation with the government. Project coordinators believe that this first initiative will become an example of how Social Councils as a tool can work efficiently.