Thursday, February 9, 2012

GAD Conference: Plepa, Durrës

Since August 2010 I have been a member of Peace Corps Albania's Gender and Development Committee (GAD). Many Peace Corps countries have this committee and work on gender issues present in their respective country. GAD Albania is a group of 6 volunteers who work to spread information about gender development, issues, and roles throughout the country of Albania. As a committee we have made it our goal to educate and empower the Albanian youth because they are the future of this country and the ones who will need to start and encourage this transition.

In addition to the Gender Education Manual and the Educator's Training we held in the Fall, we also organized and facilitated a Youth Leadership Conference the 3rd weekend in January. 50 teenage boys and girls from towns all around Albania came together for a long weekend to attend the conference. There were sessions and activities that touched upon leadership qualities, financial budgeting, everyday life skills, body image, and project design and management.

Courtesy of Brenna Mickey
The project design and management workshop taught and allowed groups of Albanian youth how to design, create, organize, and fund a small educational project within their various communities. By attending this workshop, students became knowledgeable about how to write a project proposal and grant of their own and facilitate a  community project. Since attending the conference, students have been given the opportunity to design, write, and submit a project proposal to the GAD Committee with the hope of winning a small amount of grant money to fund their community project.

The GAD Committee applied for a Vodafone Albania Foundation grant in order to be able to fund the publication and printing of our Gender Development Education Manual, Educator's Training, and the Youth Leadership Conference. Without the grant money from the Vodafone Albania Foundation we would not have been able to hold these educational and promotional conferences.

Courtesy of Brenna Mickey
At the Youth Leadership Conference I presented on how to create a project proposal and grant request to a small group of Albanian students as well as helped further the beginnings of their proposals. I also led two fun activities focusing on relationships and teamwork. The kids seemed to enjoy the activities and understood the point of the exercises.

The Conference, as a whole, was a success! Everything ran smoothly, we were able to accomplish our goals, and, most importantly, the kids seemed to have tons of fun!

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