Retreat Camp for IDP educators

During August 14-17, 2023, the NGO "Progresylnі" held a Retreat Camp, organized as part of the "Supporting Internally Displaced Teachers in Ukraine through Psychological Assistance and Professional Development" project, which received financial support from the German Marshall Fund of the United States under the program "Ukraine: Relief, Resilience, Recovery".
Tetiana Konovalenko
Deputy Coordinator of the Fundraising Direction
Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor
40 representatives of displaced education institutions or IDPs-educators, who were forced to relocate several times (since 2014) were selected to participate in the Retreat Camp.

Retreat Camp took place in the hotel complex "Halytska Korona" in Lviv region with the facilities aimed at creating the necessary atmosphere for the support and recovery of participants.
The program of the event included the opening of the Retreat Camp; presentation of aims and formats; getting to know the participants and splitting them in teams; World Cafe "Needs and Problems of Internally Displaced Educators, the Ways to Support Them" with a further presentation of the teams' achievements; master class "How to Strengthen a Teacher's Brand. Video and Public Communication" with a practical task and further work in a team; psychological training "Relationships, Borders, Conflicts: How to Be in the New Reality?"; A Live Library with Books "Resistance to the Influence of Emotions in the Network", "Successful Media Campaign: the Experience of the "Progresylni" Community", "Life Hacks of Progressive Teaching", "Air Raid Alarm: Actions and Responsibility of the Teacher"; presentation of teams' work; feedback from participants and teams; certificates ceremony.
Each day ended with summaries, and began with a reflection on the activities of the previous day.

During the event, photo and video shooting was carried out, the materials of which were used during the implementation of the second and third stages of the project.

During the Retreat Camp, attention was focused on:

- increasing the efficiency of migrant educators adaptation to life in a new environment;
- improving the quality of teaching in educational institutions, intensifying the professional development of teachers, preventing teachers from changing their field of activity;
- increasing the social influence and institutional capacity of the NGO "Progresylni" through the involvement of team members in the process of project implementation, as well as the involvement of new potential members from the Retreat Camp participants;
- the involvement of IDPs-educators in the development of the strategy of socio-emotional well-being, solidarity and civic consciousness in education of Ukraine.
Retreat Camp participants provided detailed feedback. In the answers regarding their own involvement, the participants noted their maximum involvement in collective cooperation, teamwork, the effectiveness of their own actions (participation in discussions, creation of joint products and presentations of work), and achievement of expected results.

Regarding the effectiveness of the organizing team, the emphasis was on clear and purposeful work, positive atmosphere, team motivation, good location, successful selection of topics, excellent content, balance between work and rest, empathy, opportunities for self-expression, courage in implementing events, interesting and useful performances, methods of presenting the material.
The participants pointed out the following benefits from the Camp: new business connections, new ideas, useful advice from other IDPs, emotional reset, desire to share the acquired knowledge with other colleagues, practicality, meaningfulness, and interesting cases.

The participants expressed their gratitude for the organization of the co-working space to support an active life position, promote a positive outlook, select trainers - practicing professionals with extensive experience, the opportunity to combine the discussion of important work issues with rest, a real retreat and reboot, exit from the bubble, socialization and integration into the space of innovative educators.
During the Retreat Camp, participants generated new ideas regarding the organization of communication and psychological support in their own education institutions, ways to make their classes lively and memorable, preparation for interviews and live broadcasting, and personal and professional development.
There was also shot a series of video-interview about the challenges, problems faced by IDP-educators and which "hurt". These videos are available on the YouTube channel of NGO "Progresylni".
Empowering IDP educators is a part of the NGO "Progresylni" mission. We are happy to succeed in this direction and are going to make these opportunities for IDP educators more diverse and available.
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