On 13-14 March 2020, the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine All-Ukrainian Forum 2020: Responsible Business and Human Rights took place in Kryvyi Rih. The Forum happened right before the start of quarantine and the threat of an epidemic of coronavirus infection in Ukraine. In particular, the Government introduced restrictions on holding mass events of 200 or more people.
The Forum Coordinator Kateryna Datsko prepared a blog to share what challenges faced the organizers during the preparation process, and of course, what achievements succeed to gain.
“Firework of emotions” – this is exactly what you feel being Coordinator of the Forum of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine because you become a part of something big and important that inspires new accomplishments for legal clinic education growth.
Naturally, each organizational stage is about challenges and achievements that in summary create quality and successful events. This time, preparation of Forum was accompanied by force majeure, which I have to comment separately.
Force majeure: two days before the Forum both Poland and Ukraine governments announced the enforcement of quarantine measures due to coronavirus infection as it did not decrease spreading throughout the world. Such circumstances did not allow our foreign colleagues to travel and questioned the Forum at all. New work reality (online) allowed communication with foreign speakers and individual candidates to the members of the Board of the Association. In turn, having not lost productive mood and inspiration, and following the Ministry of Health of Ukraine hygiene recommendations, the participants gathered together in Kryvyi Rih, “a town of life length”, for resolution of strategic issues of the Association.
Now, I would like to comment on the main organization stages of the Association successful event under the motto “Despite everything!”.
Stage 1. (major) – Preparation of Forum Program
Challenges: Establishing communication with foreign and Ukrainian speakers as well as create an agenda in the way for their presentations logically complement each other and seek to reach the Forum goals. We also tried to do not forget the excursion program which would harmonically draw into event information content.
- Satisfied participants who received useful information for further growth of the legal clinics they belong to;
- 6 methodical Street Law course developments ready to be implemented to the legal clinics’ practice;
- Project of a concept of a topic Responsible Business and Human Rights by the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine.
Personally, for me, the experience of establishing effective communication with speakers, their orientation for needed result despite circumstances or work conditions, was unquestionably priceless.
Stage 2. (communication-logistic) – Communication & Logistics of the Forum participants
Challenges: To be in contact in any possible way (telephone, e-mail, Messenger, Viber, Telegram), especially in the frame of quarantine measures announced in Ukraine; to plan participants logistics to the place of the Forum correctly counting that Kryvyi Rih for them does not seem so easy orientation as personally for me.
Achievements: All participants were provided with the necessary organizational information on the Forum and were not late. After two working days during the Forum, they did not stop to thank for hospitality and appropriate organization.
Plus, my Facebook friends list added 15 new friends.
Stage 3. (Promo products of the Forum)
Challenges: Good ideas almost always come right before the event or to be exact, a week before. It is when we have to think of everything, print and deliver to the place of the Forum. Nevertheless, the Association communication team is used to working 24/7 and we managed to be everything we wanted. What we did not – will be a surprise for the next events.
- Participants received new branded products of the Association;
- Established connection when local polygraphic centers could understand us with no words;
Stage 4. (excursion)
Challenges: Catch on the excursion, and therefore strictly follow the timing of the event. Participants’ self-discipline and all organizer’s teamwork helped us follow this too.
Achievements: Getting acquainted with a work of ArcelorMittal University created an image of responsible business in its attitude to staff and the town.
Stage 5. (Forum conduction)
Challenges: Too much of everything you have to do simultaneously: to meet guests, control catering, registration lists, technical elements of the event (participants presentations, online connection), other small but important tasks. In such a case it is really hard to overrate the word “Team” which is definitely characterizes both the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine and my native Law Faculty of the Kryvyi Rih Economic Institute of the Vadym Hetman Kyiv National Economic University.
Achievements: The confirmed value of teamwork and even doubled teamwork experience for everyone anyhow connected to the organization of the ALCU Forum 2020.
To be present at any of the ALCU events it always an honor and responsibility because every year it gathers the best speakers and leaders of legal clinic education not only from Ukraine but foreign ones. Change of events locations (regions, towns, universities) positively influences the development of the network as that is how we can share experience, culture and history between different Ukrainian regions. I am happy that the Forum of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine 2020: Responsible Business and Human Rights turned out to be in Europe’s longest town of Kryvyi Rih, and I was honored to be its coordinator.
Kateryna Datsko, Coordinator of the Forum of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine 2020
This publication is prepared with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development according to the agreement with the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine in the frame of a grant provided by the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST). The author’s thoughts expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the Government of the United States of America.