Sunday, 14 August 2011

Volunteerism Grows!

Last year Jim started a project in partnership with the Carpathian Paths Foundation. This is a small NGO which has been working for years on developing, cleaning, and maintaining, trails and cabins in the Carpathian Mountains. The Carpathian Mountains dominate our region with their forests, rivers, lakes, alpine meadows, towns and villages. The region is rich in culture, activity and history. It is ideal for summer holidays walking, riding, mountain climbing, exploring. All tourism information about the area states that equipped campsites, hikers' refuges, groomed hiking trails or signs are very rare.  Jim has always viewed the Carpathian Mountains as a tourism asset in our rayon but also recognized the necessity to recruit volunteers to join in this massive refurbishing effort. In addition he felt it was important to start providing education about the mountains and ecological issues to the citizens of Ukraine. Having a vision of 100 volunteers, educational campaigns, and recognizing the need for marketing and promotions, Jim wrote and won three grants to support this project. This project has surpassed its goals. This weekend Jim had 13 volunteers from PwC (social responsibility corporate team), 5 Peace Corps volunteers, 3 youth he recruited, and 40 volunteers that the Carpathian Paths Foundation recruited. 61 people carried boards, put on a new roof, removed rotten floorboards, rebuilt floors, and picked up 10 bags of glass, metals and plastics that had been thrown in the woods.
In one year this project has gone from a small group of volunteers to:
4 week long rebuilding and cleaning projects. 3 cabins have been worked on. Over 40 bags of trash (glass, metals and plastics) removed from the forests.
A partnership with PwC (officially PricewaterhouseCoopers) a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's second-largest professional services firm. It has offices in 757 cities across 154 countries and employs over 175,000 people. They have supported the mountains project with 30 volunteers and have joined two projects. This association led to the filming of a “Voice of America” segment about the mountains and Ukraine wide news and publicity.A partnership with 30 Peace Corps – Ukraine volunteers. These volunteers have promoted the project and in the future the Peace Corps Environmental working group will join the project.

A partnership with PreCarpathian (Bolekiv) Forestry College. The 25 young women, men and professors were provided hands on training on forest management and the benefits of forest tourism.

A partnership with the Ivano-Frankivska Oblast and their financial support for future projects. They are now actively marketing the area, Dolyna, and have participated in two projects.

A partnership with the Green Mountain Club, State of Vermont, USA, who paid for a visit to the US for the Chairman of the Carpathian Paths Foundation in June 2011. The chairman visited the trails and observed some programs sponsored by the Green Mountain Club and personally saw the benefit of volunteerism and a clear vision of project management. 

A partnership with the US Forest Service, Office of International Programs, whose representative Nina Savransky will visit the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains in September 2011 and discuss the possibilities and opportunities for future cooperative efforts with Carpathian Paths Foundation.
The recruitment of over 50 volunteers from Western Ukraine.
Jim feels the program is poised to do great things if: leadership remains strong; volunteer recruitment and management is actively practiced; and funding for tools, materials and supplies continues to be sought.

Volunteers from PwC and Oblast


Foundation work

62 Volunteers and a 'almost' new cabin

Bottles, cans and garbage

The life of litter

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