Media Neighbourhood Mentors from Ukraine and Armenia Meet in Kyiv

September in Kyiv was rich in mass media events. Besides the 64th World Newspaper Forum and the 19th World Editors forum, the Media Neighbourhood programme hosted a Mentor Training workshop in Kyiv, Ukraine. Media Neighbourhood is a 3 year project, funded by the EU and implemented by BBC Media Action, which is leading a consortium of international media organisations (IREX Europe, Fondation AFP, L’Orient-Le Jour, CFI, French Televisions Group, LDK and the Media Development Center) to deliver journalism training and networking in 15 countries across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

From 3rd to 7th September, 11 senior journalists from Armenia and Ukraine met to improve their supervisory skills as well as discuss their duties and the key issues that the media is facing today. Also mentors gained insight into using online learning resources and discussed building and contributing to the international network of journalists using the social media and online tools.

The five-day workshop was both intensive and productive. As well as improving leadership skills and practicing supervisory techniques, mentors met with Martin Day, Deputy Head of Mission, Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Ukraine; David Stulik, Press and Information Officer, Bianca Baumler, Communications Manager and Zoltan Szalai, Head of Press Section – all from the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine and Andriy Kulykov, host of the TV – programme “Svoboda Slova" (“Freedom of Speech”) on the ICTV channel.

One day of the workshop took place in a tiny village, Yabluneve, Kyiv region, where participants had a chance be present at the official opening of the renovated local school and to witness how a small community organization, Oberih became a change agent and worked towards improving the living standards of its villagers. This community participated in an EU-UNDP Community Based Approach to Local Development Project (CBA) and managed to solve some pressing problems through multilateral partnerships, mutual cooperation and self-help.

There were a lot of problems raised and included into Yabluneve village Development Plan but the most pressing one was energy saving in the local school that required immediate actions.

With the support of CBA Project, village council, district authorities, businesses and all villagers, community organization Oberih managed to successfully mobilize human and financial resources to replace 72 windows and 3 entrance doors in Yabluneve village school.

This was a striking example of a local organization taking initiative to build a community of their dreams, a community where every person makes a contribution and, a community where everyone cares and understands that he or she is important and valued.

Starting from November 2012, BBC Media Action will be leading a series of workshops in the framework of the Media Neighbourhood Project in Ukraine and Armenia, in the areas of professional journalism, new media, and management.

For more information, please, visit the project’s facebook page

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