We had three main goals in this project. Our first priority was the development of participants’ skills. Second, we aimed at increasing the level of on-line activity to our new website http://www.ccg.ua.org. And third, to develop a sustainable environment which the participants can further their skills and increase civic participation.
During the last three months, 16 participants learned from expert trainers on the standard and legal principles of journalism, gender equality in journalism, advanced analytics in the field of investigative journalism, techniques of professional photography, and public relations. 16 articles were written over the last 2 months and over 32 hours of time working with an editor has been tallied.
The “My Voice” project reached over 350,000 via Facebook. More than 18,000 people visited our site throughout the project’s life. Before the project’s start date the Center of Community Growth’s (CCG) website averaged about 300 visits a month, but in the last two months the website had over 18,000 visitors. This is a spike of 2,900% in the organization’s monthly average of online traffic. Also, over this time CCG increased the number of Facebook followers from 600 to 1600, and accumulated over 2,900 likes which were directly connected to the participants’ articles.
In the closing month of the project participants created a new project “Humans of Volyn.” This project has begun to invite people across the Volyn Oblast to send photo and a brief description of the people in their community. The aim of the project is to collect more than two hundred portraits of people over the next year. We hope to show the rich culture of Volyn and provide a sustainable outlet which the participants can continue to communicate and follow their passion.
*These are the thoughts of Richard J. Roman and are not affiliated with the Peace Corps or its affiliates.