Behind each community process and behind each community change there is someone who leads and inspires others to be part of the change. Recognizing the key role of leaders, we are nurturing the leadership potential of emerging leaders from CEE countries who believe in private volunteer action, philanthropy and organic community development based on community strengths, assets and opportunities.
Via Foundation, based in Prague, is working with local community leaders through ViabilityNet 3.0, a program that offers them opportunities to learn, reflect, connect and grow together as well as funding for projects that empower their local communities. ViabilityNet 3.0 is focused primarily on the Central and Eastern European region (CEE), with secondary reach into Western Europe.
There are two rounds of the program. The first one began in August 2017 and ran through June 2018 with 13 participants from 8 countries (6 countries in the CEE region and 2 from Western Europe).
The second cycle began in August 2018 and will run until June 2019. There are 14 participants involved from 8 different countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and Great Britain). Two meetings have taken place in August 2018 (Slovakia) and November 2018 (Bulgaria), the third meeting will take place 19-25 February 2019 in Hungary.
The program is composed of the following components:
4 meetings – The meetings include site visits to projects in nearby communities in the given country, expert input on specific topics and individual and group reflection and learning
Support of a mentor
Grant for a community project to be developed and implemented during the program period
Participants will also have the opportunity to bring another member of their team to the last meeting of the program.
Content of the program
The program is based on the concept of resilient communities and focuses on work in local communities. These two topics and the theme of project thinking are transversal and appear in different ways during the program. Aside from these areas, we are also focusing on the following topics:
What are local communities: Perception of community and identity, local resources, power, wider community context, sustainability
How to be a local community leader: leadership style, personal capacity and work-life balance, working with a team, values and attitudes
How to work with local communities: Participatory approaches, motivation, transfer of competences to team members, communication, negotiation with different stakeholders, impact assessment, project management