Conferences

Conferences can be a great secondary project, and are popular with both ED and HE/ENV volunteers. Conferences usually involve bringing 4-6 primary or secondary students from a few schools in a region (30 students or less is recommended) together in your banking town. PCVs from each school bring students and a counterpart and spend a few days together discussing topics often not addressed in the formal school setting.

Common topics include:

  • HIV & AIDS (include this to get VAST grant money!!)
  • Gender equality/women's empowerment
  • Goal setting/careers
  • Study skills
  • Self defense
  • Critical thinking
  • Reproductive health
  • Building self esteem
  • Communication and decision making skills
  • Life skills

 

Tips on successful conferences from the grants handbook:

1. The Life Skills manual is a good resource for planning curriculum content.
2. The total approved number of days allowed for the conference is 5 including travel days.
3. Well developed agenda must be attached to the proposal
4. No PCV costs can be included in the proposal (i.e. travel, lodging, etc.)
5. Travel should be restricted to within one region. If possible the venue should be a community
contribution.
6. Chaperones/teachers/facilitators fee should not exceed 20,000 Tsh/- per person per day
(unless justified), and the preference is that they be submitted as a community contribution
7. T-shirts should be a community contribution but may sometimes be funded if the T-shirts
contribute towards the goal of the project.
8. Food costs should not exceed 3000 Tsh per person per meal.
9. A local partner must be identified (not an individual, but perhaps an NGO, church, etc.)
10. A note on Monitoring & Evaluation: After the workshop, it must be clear what activities the
participants are going to do. Develop indicators towards achieving the activities they are going
to implement. Remember that when one organizes and conducts a workshop or a training of
any sort, one will actually be imparting knowledge and skills and at times influencing some
individual attitudes towards the subjects/sessions being taught and discussed. As such the
OUTPUT for that training will be the number of people trained, number of trainings conducted
at agreed level of quality standard, number of trainees that have passed the exam or test (Pre-
& Post-test are indicators) and others. The training indicators will be measuring the attainment
of these outputs. But the outcome and long term impact of your project based on the
knowledge and skills you had imparted to the participants will be measured after the training
based on the action plan they developed and implemented to answer the following key basic
question; “what changes the trainees in the project influenced in the community or family or
school after implementation?”.

 

Here's a few sample documents to use as a reference as you start planning a conference

Conference Schedule in English and Swahili It's important to plan your conference with a schedule, and display a copy in Swahili.
Parent letter in English and Swahili A letter should be given to the parents of the student participants so they know why their children will be gone for a few days. This is also a good thing to show to headmasters and counterparts to help explain the conference.
Success Story (English) See how much fun a successful conference can be!