Camp IMAC (Innovative Minds Against Corruption) is a two-week social innovation and transparency youth camp (ages 10-17) focused on providing young girls leadership and civic engagement opportunities. The camp addresses a major social need in Ukraine, as corruption is often cited as one of the biggest barriers to the country’s overall prosperity. Each day of the camp will address corruption in different contexts (eg: academics, medicine, law, etc.) through engaging activities, many of which were taken from USAID’s toolkit. Examples of USAID modules include quests, games, and role-playing. The proposed program also includes discussions and guest speakers. Campers will be divided into 4 teams, each led by one Ukrainian and one American counselor. Each team will be named after different professions (eg: doctors, judges, professors, businesspeople) to represent various sectors of society where corruption potentially occurs. Teams will compete against each other in various activities for points. Throughout the camp, teams will work on a project related to anti-corruption. The two options are to: (1) Create a video narrating a personal experience with corruption. Include an idea of how the problem could have been solved or avoided (2) Create a general plan for a project designed to combat ONE specific corruption problem (eg: bribing professors for grades) and present it in video or powerpoint format. The final product will be posted on the school website, and if deemed appropriate, be presented to local officials. As inspiration for their own projects, every day participants will be exposed to one anti-corruption organization or project already occurring in Ukraine.
My community was already active in implementing anti-corruption initiatives and expressed an interest in hosting a new type of camp for our students. These combined factors led to our agreement in planning a social innovation and transparency camp for summer 2020. As the main host of the camp, the local school will provide the venues and necessary materials to run the camp. Ukrainian teachers will be the primary counselors and be responsible for the selection and grouping of the camp participants. My main counterpart and I will work closely together to develop the two-week program of lessons and activities while maintaining a dialogue with our school director about the contents of the plan. By May 2020, we will host a training session for our teachers and also implement any feedback they suggest. After the completion of the camp in June 2020, my main counterpart will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation.
The most valuable benefits of the camp are: (1) the educators’ increased capacity in planning and executing programs related to anti-corruption and civic engagement and (2) community involvement, particularly for our young girls. After the camp, a Ukrainian teacher will be responsible for monitoring feedback and reporting results. The community will be able to replicate similar camps, as this Ukrainian teacher and the school director will be responsible for maintaining the resources on an easily-accessible Google Drive folder to support similar activities in the future. Moreover, our school will create contacts with organizations, which have agreed to send guest speakers. Our school will be able to reach out to these organizations for any additional support in the future, especially because they are located not too far from our town.