Saturday, August 18, 2012

Team 1 heads to Nelsonville!

"Rocking" the research process at Paper Circle in Nelsonville, Ohio. In Nelsonville we learned about  Paper Circle's summer activity, "Circle Round the Square," which "helps children develop creative skills, improve their self-esteem, and foster friendships and group interaction through the creative process of making art." (quote from website).

Team 1 got a close look at some of the art produced by children in the "Circle Round the Square" - Here, team members Caroline and Ndiaga show their admiration of the "Cigar-box Guitars" produced this summer.


The second 2012 cohort of participants in the two-week "Communication for Development" workshop have begun their afternoon work with local partner organizations. Groups will move from formative research, to strategy draft, to presentation with partners, to strategy finalization.  Cynthia Hannah, workshop staff member and talented graphic designer has helped us depict one perspective of the two-week process, as an info-graph...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome Cohort 2!

The third edition of the UNICEF/Ohio University Communication for Development (C4D) workshop officially began on August 12th - we are happy to welcome a new group of UNICEF folks to Athens and Ohio University.

Our talented videographer/photographer Camilo Perez has been taking many wonderful photos (like this one of our dedicated and tireless staff!) - and we are looking forward to sharing these photos here. For example, I am hoping that  Sara, C4D officer from Colombia, will say it's okay to post a photo from our impromptu Salsa-dancing lesson yesterday... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Participants at a Glance

Press Release


Ohio University Partners with UNICEF on Communication for Development Workshop

Athens, Ohio
      For the second year in a row, Ohio University has partnered with UNICEF for a two week training workshop on campus, bringing bright minds from all over the world to Athens as part of a nine month blended learning course on communication-based improvement projects. The Communication for Development (C4D) Workshop brings UNICEF staff members from 37 different countries to Ohio University learn about utilization of communication to promote general well-being in communities around the world, and applying what they learn to help causes in and around Athens County. 
      UNICEF was created in 1946 by the United Nations to provide food, clothing, and health care for children facing famine and disease after World War II. Today, UNICEF continues working for children in 191 countries through country programs and National Committees to help meet basic needs and expand opportunities. UNICEF’s key focus areas include basic education, gender equality, nutrition, water and sanitation, child protection, health (including HIV/AIDS and children), and early child/adolescent development around the world. 
      UNICEF staff members, having already completed an extensive online learning course that began in early March, arrived in Athens last week to start their two week in-person training course on Communication for Development. Their mission is to use communication (such as dialogue, community activities, mass media campaigns, advocacy, etc.) to promote health, peace, and general well-being across the world. While in Athens they are specifically focusing on local organizations in Southeast Ohio. Participants are working with Live Healthy Appalachia, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County, Kids on Campus, My Sister’s Place, Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Partnership, and Rural Action. The participants working with Rural Action are also helping to produce a documentary about the C4D Workshop and the process of working with Rural Action in an effort to promote the Chesterhill Produce Auctions. 
      Rural Action’s mission is to foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio. In their partnership with UNICEF they are focusing on producing a strategy concerning the Chesterhill Produce Auction, and promoting a plan for sustainability. The Chesterhill Produce Auction was started independently in 2004, and Rural Action took over operations in 2009 then purchased it in 2010 with unanimous support of the stakeholders and the community. The auction promotes Rural Action’s focus on the value of local assets by supporting local food producers, and encouraging consumers to choose locally produced products. Rural Action and the C4D participants are working on a strategy to build stronger connections with the Chesterhill community, with an eventual goal of sustainability, so that Rural Action may turn over control of the operation to the community itself. 
      Over the past week UNICEF staff has met with Rural Action employees and Chesterhill residents to learn more about the auction and the community itself, as well as participating in workshops and information sessions at OU’s Walter Hall in the mornings. They have participated in focus groups and attended an auction to learn more about its place in the community in order to produce a successful communication strategy. Now in their second week in Athens, they are working on a plan to use communication to change the perception of the auction within the community, and work towards inviting the residents of Chesterhill to take advantage of this asset. 

For more information:

C4D participants show off the produce they bought at the Chesterhill Produce Auction

 Blackberries at the Chesterhill Produce Auction

 Every morning the UNICEF staff participates in workshops about communication strategies and theories, which they can then apply to their project within Athens.

C4D Participants met with Rural Action employees and volunteers in Trimble to learn more about Appalachia, Ohio, and the goal of their forthcoming communication strategy. 


Local Partner Organizations

More information on the local groups UNICEF staff are partnering with for the C4D Workshops.

Rural Action

The mission of Rural Action is to foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio.

Participants working with Rural Action will focus on the Chesterhill Produce Auction and the ways in which community connections can be strengthened.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Athens County

The mission of BBBS is to make a positive difference in the lives of area youth through professionally supported relationships with mentors and volunteers.

Participants working with BBBS will focus on youth mentoring and the ways in which service programs can be expanded to Washington County; the goal is to build a new network in the county with "bigs", "littles", and community members. 

Live Healthy Appalachia

The mission of Live Healthy Appalachia is to improve health in the Appalachian region through education, outreach, and advocacy for nutrition and healthy.

Participants working with Live Healthy Appalachia will focus on healthy lifestyles and nutrition programs, especially in schools, and will work to assist the organization t develop and identity and presence in the region.

Kids on Campus

The mission of Kids on Campus is to serve and empower underserved, at-risk children and their families through education, nutrition, and recreation.

Participants working with Kids on Campus will focus on academic enrichment and recreation programs; the communication focus will be parental communication.

Hocking - Athens - Perry Community Action Partnership

The mission of HAPCAP is to mobilize resources to empower individuals and communities by providing quality services that promote self-sufficiency and enhance quality of life.

Participants working with HAPCAP will focus early education, employment and training, safe and affordable housing, food and nutrition, community development, coordination of services, and advocacy for the poor. The communication focus of this group will be political advocacy and communication.

My Sister's Place

The mission of My Sister's Place is to provide a respite for battered women and children and ensure their self-determination.

My Sister's Place serves victims of family violence in Athens, Hocking, and Vinton counties. Participants working with this organization will focus on raising awareness of community counseling.