US Mentors in Budapest

U.S. mentors delegation visit in Europe

US Mentors in BudapestThe Great Lakes Consortium – through WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. – as Contract Agent and Manager – received a grant for a two-way exchange between September 2011 and May 2013 from the U.S. Department of State for the “Citizen Legislative Advocacy in Minority Communities”.

The overall goal of this exchange is to provide a professional development opportunity for up-and-coming and mid level professionals to gain knowledge of U.S. practices in engaging citizens and community leaders in collaboration to inform changes in legislation that make a difference in minority communities (incl. Roma, disabled, homeless, immigrant populations) and strengthen democracy.

In 2012 two delegations with a total of 16 fellows in each from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia visited the U.S. from March 26 – May 5, 2012 and from October 1-November 10, 2012. They were exposed to diverse community organizing methods how to engage citizens as active participants in solving problems in their own communities.

European fellows participated in the U.S. in group seminars, round-table discussions, site visits, and had interactions community organizers and leaders. A 3-week internship with mentoring, multicultural events, and participation in volunteer activities as well as in the Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C. were also included in the 6-week professional fellows program. Participants did

prepare a 6-9 month individual and group Action Plan for follow on activities . They had various opportunities to experience the American family life and the diversity in the U.S. through staying with American host families during their internship in many states and communities across the U.S. They gained hands-on experience at both public and civil society institutions in the U.S. and a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture and people.

The first delegation of 9 U.S. mentors traveled for a reciprocal visit to Europe between July 8-29, 2012, and the 2nd U.S. Mentors group will travel to Europe from November 24-December 15, 2012. A third U. S. mentor group with 8 participants will travel to Europe from January 25-February 15, 2013. The U.S. participants of this exchange will have an opportunity to share professional expertise and gain a deeper understanding of the societies, cultures and people of other countries. They will participate in workshops, seminars organized by the alumni of this program and contribute with presentations, discussions and mentoring. They will also visit public and civil society organizations working with the alumni in implementing projects in minority communities and provide them on-site consultations. The U.S. Mentors also will meet with applicants for the new project “Building Grassroots Democracy in Minority Community”, which will host the first European delegation in the spring of 2013. We hope that community organizing will start and will have success stories in many communities by 2013.

This citizen civic exchange will promote mutual understanding, create long-term professional ties, enhance the collaboration between GLC and its overseas partners: CEGA in Bulgaria, Civil College Foundation in Hungary, CeRe in Romania and Center for Community Organizing in Slovakia as well as many U.S. and European partner organizations.

Read the newsletter to get familiar with the U.S. mentors, their interests and the itinerary in Europe

[issuu width=550 height=356 embedBackground=%234393cd backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=121124210244-e8a1ede556894eee89fa016442f76aad name=2nd_us_mentor_final_nov_23 username=gregstanoev tag=democracy unit=px v=2]

Extended deadline for Open Call For Participation in U.S. Exchange

GLC is extending the application deadline in each country. For those who are interested to travel on the Spring 2013 program needs to submit their application before the training and interview dates in each country (please contact your country director for the workshop/ interview date in November/December for your country).
For those who would like to come only with the Fall 2013 delegation to the U.S. the deadline is extended until January 1, 2013.
Participating in the country workshops is open to everyone who are interested to learn more about community organizing in the U.S. and discuss how those experience can be used in Europe! (Please contract your country director and make reservation for your participation in the Nov/Dec 2012 workshop in your country).

GREAT LAKES CONSORTIUM FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT in collaboration with C.E.G.A Foundation in Bulgaria, CC Foundation in Hungary, the CeRe  in Romania, and CKO in Slovakia

Open Competition for Participation in:

An exchange program for Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and United States of America

glc-democracyWe invite professionals from any regions of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to apply for participation in a 42-day fellowship in the U.S.A. We encourage professionals to submit their application who are actively involved in the legislative process and/or policy-making through their work in government, civic education organizations, citizen advocacy groups, community activists, community organizers who work with minority population.

The joint program will be organized in Toledo (Ohio), Detroit (Michigan) and in some of the larger cities as Chicago (Illinois) and/or New York (NY), but internship placement may include smaller communities across the U.S. An enrichment program of Professional Fellows Congress will be also in the itinerary where program participants from different U.S. State Department exchanges will have an opportunity to meet with government leaders and other program alumni and share experiences at the end of the visit in Washington D.C.

Deadline for submitting your application: 15th November

Read the full Announcement: Announcement_Revised
Download Application: Application_Revised

Young European Professionals in Toledo, Ohio

March 24, 2012 – Toledo, OH: On March 30 and 31, 2012, local community leaders will welcome 16 professionals from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to share information about the United States government, citizen participation, and community organizing. These guests are participants of the U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program. This year the Professional Fellows Program is providing professional development opportunities to up-and-coming leaders in the fields of legislative process, women’s empowerment, and entrepreneurship.
This international exchange program is the initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development of Toledo, Ohio is the organizer of this delegation’s 42-day fellowship to the U.S. entitled “Citizen Legislative Advocacy in Minority Communities”. While in Toledo, the delegation will meet with Michael Beazley, City
Administrator of Oregon, and Peter Ujvagi and Schuyler Beckwith, Lucas County Commissioners Office, to learn about community organizing activities in the neighborhoods of Birmingham and Lagrange. One Village Council and United North will host the delegation, providing an opportunity for the delegation to gain first-hand experience in community action matters in Toledo. The delegation will also meet with city of Toledo leaders Joe McNamara, City Council President, and Steve Steele, Councilman. In addition to these professional activities, the delegation will visit the Imagination Station and The Toledo Museum of Art. A welcoming event for the delegation will be hosted by the Hungarian Club of Toledo (224 Paine Ave., Toledo, OH 43605) on March 31 at 6:00PM, where guests will enjoy a traditional pork dinner with our local community. Ohio State Representative Teresa Fedor will be there to welcome the guests to northwestern Ohio.
“We have a lot to learn from one another,” said Dave Beckwith, Executive Director of The Needmor Fund and a project advisor. “Most of us in the field of community work deal with multiple cultures and nationalities every day. We can learn about ourselves by exploring the work we do
with others.” The Needmor Fund is a private foundation based in Toledo that supports community groups across the country.

Poster show competition during the Fellows Congress in D.C.

At the Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C. it will be a friendly competition amongst the poster show participants. Voting will be on paper ballots during the poster show on Friday, November 9th. The winners will be announced during the dinner cruise on Friday evening. The categories for voting will be:

· Most Thought Provoking

· Most Artistic

· Best Indivi

dual Poster (one fellow worked on it alone)· Best Team Poster (2 or more fellows worked on it together)