Our international ViabilityNet 2.0 program ended in 2016, but we are continuing its work through ViabilityNet 3.0. Launched in February 2017, the ViabilityNet 3.0 program supports community leaders from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, a network of partner organizations from the region, alumni from ViabilityNet 2.0 and connections between civil society and academicians working in community development.

Over the weekend of April 29-30, 2017, we brought the alumni of ViabilityNet 2.0 together for the first time to kick-off the alumni network. The main purpose of the network is to support the sustainability of the impacts of the participants’ work in their communities. It also serves to spread expertise and impacts to other communities in the region. The alumni also appreciate the opportunity to stay in contact, connect and share their challenges and successes with each other.

At the meeting in Prague, twelve alumni updated each other about their community work and also learned together through a workshop on local fundraising. The group met at the Buďánka Community Center, which we supported through our Living Communities program. During the 19th century, Buďánka was a workers’ colony in Prague. Twenty homes were built in the rocky terrain here, most of which were later demolished. A local association has salvaged two of the buildings and is developing a community centre in one of them. The centre includes a small café and hosts various workshops, film screenings and other events.

What’s next for the alumni network? We’re setting up a study visit for the autumn and small project grants that the alumni can use in their own communities. Alumni will also have a chance to serve as mentors to the new batch of community leaders in ViabilityNet 3.0.

Read more about ViabilityNet 3.0 here.