I’ve spent much of the last few weeks familiarizing myself with the organization that I am working with here.  After reading the 200+ page external review of Phase 1 of the CVC/COIN Project, attending a week long training session for country coordinators from the six countries participating in Phase II of the CVC/COIN Project, and collaborating with the local guru in research methodologies to compile training documents for the team, I feel quite well versed in the current state and organizational structure of the NGO.

Unfortunately my position here is still somewhat unorganized, and that has hindered my work.  It has taken longer than I expected to get going on my project.  In the meantime, I have been able to participate in some interesting events.  Here are some of the things I’ve been up to since arriving in Santo Domingo almost two months ago:

I met my team of youth volunteers that I will be coordinating to implement the social enterprise.  These volunteers will play an integral part in collecting research for me, so I conducted a training session to give them the appropriate background knowledge and skills to complete those tasks.

I attended the National Youth Public Policy Forum organized by the Ministry of Youth and by Youth Alert, an initiative funded by USAID.  The Forum was an opportunity for 500 participants from all over the country to reflect upon, discuss, and analyze the situation of Dominican youth and their realities, interests, rights, and responsibilities. The aim was to bring about empowerment of this population through the promotion of public policies under the general law of youth 49-00. Workshops at the conference were facilitated by some of our very own CVC/COIN staff.

A representative from USAID addresses an eager audience of  Dominican youth at the National Youth Public Policy Forum

A representative from USAID addresses an eager audience of Dominican youth at the National Youth Public Policy Forum

I also attended the launch celebration for the Human Rights Observatory for Vulnerable Populations.  The Observatory was established as a pilot project by the CVC/COIN Project Unit to promote human rights through public campaigning, media engagement and lobbying.

On my weekends, I’ve been able to spend some time discovering the rich history of the first city in the Americas that Christopher Columbus settled.

Melissa Donegan
Melissa Donegan

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