Parallel to community center renovation works, it was necessary to appoint center officers and to establish volunteer groups in each target community to support in the processes of organizing community center activities and ensure community members’ active participation in the events.
Taking into consideration the fact that medical workers have very good image among the population especially in the remote areas and had experience of working with our organization during the implementation of health projects, we decided to appoint them in the positions of community center officers. For nurses it would be very easy to ensure community members’ participation – especially in the events dedicated to health care topics. Mainly young women, housewives, teachers, kindergarten workers, medical workers, village administration staff members and elder women (in some villages) became volunteers.
Special training course for community center officers and volunteers was organized and conducted in June. The main goal of the training was to spread light on the idea of “healthy and peaceful community”, to transfer necessary knowledge and skills, which would enable them to independently raise issues of community’s concern, to formulate those issues and seek for possible options to resolve them, to be able to protect rights and simultaneously care the responsibility for not only their problems, but also the problems being faced by their respective communities, and, most importantly, to be able to mobilize other members of the community. The training course contained both theoretical and practical activities. Special emphasize was given to the clarification of the role and objectives of the mobilization specialist (mobilizer) and MEPIF principle – Mobilize, Evaluate, Plan, Implement and Follow-up.
Training participants were very active, expressed high interest towards the training materials and the project itself. They were especially active during practical assignments when each group had the opportunity to present an issue faced by their community and come up with possible options to resolve it. For example: efficient organization of village children’s spare time, improvement of the quality of drinking water and other issues.
According to the participants, the training course was very useful for them: “now I have a better understanding of my future work in the capacity of community mobilization specialist”, mentioned one of the participants.