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Fall 2019 Newsletter
Program News
Youth Leadership through Sport (YLS)
A group of Ukrainian basketball and street ball players and coaches visited the U.S. in March and a reciprocal U.S. group visited Ukraine in July (photo above) as part of our Youth Leadership through Sport (YLS) program funded by the U.S. Department of State, ECA/Sports Diplomacy. The Ukraine program was run in partnership with Coaches Across Continents and the U.S. group was comprised of girl basketball players and two coaches from Harwood Union High School. Another YLS basketball exchange took place in the U.S. and Kosovo in June and September, respectively, in partnership with The Basketball Embassy. The YLS program  focuses on harnessing the power of sport for social change and the exchanges are designed to foster a greater understanding between people of the U.S. and partnering Eastern European countries by providing youth athletes and their coaches with opportunities to develop practices of leadership, responsibility, teamwork, mentorship, healthy living and self-discipline in a multicultural setting.
Russia Youth Environmental Program (RYEP)

This summer PH hosted two groups of Russian university students in the U.S. through the Russian Youth Environmental Program (RYEP) funded by the U.S. Department of State, ECA. Each group spent a few days in Boston, a week and a half at Dartmouth College with PH partner organization, Sustainable Learning, ten days in Vermont, and a few days in Washington, DC and New York City. During their time in Vermont,  RYEP students were introduced to activists, grassroots organizations, businesses, and universities, all of which have taken steps toward environmental sustainability and green initiatives. 

At the Chittenden Solid Waste District in Williston, students toured the Materials Recovery Facility and saw what happens to recycling after it's tossed into a recycling bin and carted away. They also visited two composting sites -- Black Dirt Farm in Greensboro and Green Mountain Compost in Williston -- to learn about the importance of composting and how to educate communities about its benefits. At the University of Vermont, students participated in two workshops: one led by Lauren Masters focused on creating projects inspired by biomimicry -- sustainable design solutions based on the natural world; and one led by UVM Political Science Professor, Robert Bartlett, focused on taking action on climate change.
Transcaucasus Professional Development for Teachers of English Language Program (TPD-TEL) 

TPD-TEL II funded by the U.S. Embassy Georgia brings together Abkhazian, Georgian and Armenian English language teachers through U.S. based Training of Trainers Summer Institutes (TOTSI) and Armenia based Teacher Training Summer Camps (TTSC).

American specialists for the 2019 Teacher Training Summer Camp (TTSC), Joshua Kurzweil and Brian Long, worked closely with the TPD-TEL II PH team to design a two-week program in Armenia in August for 19 Georgian, 19 Abkhazian and 13 Armenian English Language teachers. Ten of the TTSC participants were previously trained as teacher trainers through the U.S. based TOTSI (in summer of 2018) and these TOTSI-trained teachers served as trainers and mentors for the 41 new participants at the TTSC who received training in modern content-based language teaching methodologies. 
Bosnia & Herzegovina Legal Socialization Program (BLSP)
BLSP funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, held a Teaching Teams Training in August for 10 police officers and 10 teachers from Sarajevo Canton on the Legal Socialization curriculum. The training strengthened the teaching teams' capacity for teaching students about the rule of law, anti-corruption, and crime prevention activities.
BLSP staff also conducted an Action Plan Training in September for teachers and police officers from Tuzla and Zenica-Doboj Cantons. The goal of the AP training is to develop and strengthen the knowledge and skills of teachers and police officers in developing projects that encourage young people to be socially engaged in their communities.
The Ukraine English Access Microscholarship Project

During the Access summer camp in June, groups from Slovyansk and Starobilsk improved their media literacy skills as part of the Ukraine English Access Microscholarship Program funded by the U.S. Department of State/ECA and administered through FHI360. Students learned how to analyze different media texts, were introduced to the advantages and disadvantages of social media, learned how to interpret infographics, and discussed the role of media in society.
Momavlis Taoba

The mini-grant project, "We Like to Read Books," was implemented as part of the USAID-funded Momavlis Taoba (Future Generation) civic education program. In the village Kindzati Public School in the Khashuri municipality in Georgia, grade ten students started a Readers Club, renovated the school library and encouraged students of different ages to read books. Students organized literacy evenings, book clubs, and quiz and essay contests focused on the importance of books in the 21st Century. Students added modern literature books to the school library, restored old books and organized a "Donate a book to the school" activity. The Readers Club plans to continue organizing quizzes, book clubs and literacy evenings and to compile a book of literary works by students.
Countering Violent Extremist Organizations Recruitment Program (CVEO)

The CVEO Program funded by the U.S. Department of State's Global Engagement Center counters the recruitment efforts of violent extremist organizations in Azerbaijan, Georgia and North Macedonia. PH's organizational partner in Azerbaijan, The Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD), incorporated soccer camps into its "Initiatives for Empowering Local Communities" project. Two national soccer teams, Sumgayit FK and Qarabag FK, were selected to participate in the camps and lead activities. The camp in May with Sumgayit FK focused on soccer players coming together to fight religious radicalism and the camp in June with Qarabag FK focused on the theme 'Qarabag says no to radicalism.'
PH International Staff & Board Retreat
In May, PH International's Board of Directors and representative staff from all PH offices met in Telavi in the Kakheti region of Georgia for a 3-day retreat. The goals of the retreat were for PH staff and board to gain knowledge about and appreciation for the diversity of our organizational models, practice and expertise; gain knowledge about emerging global priorities and related opportunities for growth; and create meaningful new connections that enhance their roles and responsibilities at PH. Those gathered heard from experts and consultants on new, cutting edge themes and promising practices, and staff and board shared expertise with one another. Several board members arrived a few days before the retreat to visit program partners and learn more about PH's work in Georgia.
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