February was a very important month for the Great Baikal Trail association. The turmoil from not winning the presidential grant has subsided, and we have developed a clear understanding of our current situation and the tasks that stand ahead of us.
Below, we summarize the programs we worked on this month.
“I Want to Go to Baikal”:
• One of our primary tasks was to hold our first winter project, “Island in the Ice,” which ran February 18-27 on Olkhon Island. To learn more about the results of the project you can follow this link: «Остров во льдах». We also prepared for the project “In the Land of Prairie Winds,” which started on March 1st.
• We continued to develop two- and seven-day projects for the “I Want to Go to Baikal” program, and we began working on corporate volunteer projects. Our specialists developed a few types of programs and began reaching out to potential clients.
“World of Nature, World for All”
• We continued working on creating a year-round environmental education program for children. Additionally, two of our representatives participated in a hands-on seminar, called “Combining the efforts of environmental educators in the work to form an environmental worldview among children and adults,” which brought together representatives from Siberia and the Far East. This meeting for eco-educators was held February 6-7 in Vladivostok.
• We hope and believe that our summer trail-building projects in 2021 will take place, despite the challenges that have arisen, so we started preparing programming and project descriptions for our website.
• We are in discussions about the project on Sakhalin Island. We are also continuing conversations with Baikal’s specially protected nature areas about implementing our summer projects. One of these projects might be in the Baikal Zapovednik, thanks to a WWF grant.
• GBT specialists are continuing to obtain and share experience. We participated in the weeklong festival Green Cities, recorded a one-hour podcast about BBT with the eco-blogger Asya Mitskevich for the Pokolenie Zero resource, which will come out March 9th, and we published an article in Vestnik Ekoposoleniy (“Bulletin of Eco-villages) for 2020.
• Our specialsts at the “Competence Center” aren’t lacking work. We have been corresponding with the Agency for Tourism of the Magadan Region about the possibility of remote volunteer training. We started preparing for a seminar about the seminar program on Sakhalin in April. With Kronotsky Zapovednik, we discussed our involvement in a training seminar for volunteers. And we helped the Khakassia Tourist Information Center conceptualize an Ancestral Trail.
• We started a new application for the Presidential Grant Fund / Фонд президентских грантов. We also are writing a WWF grant with the Baikal Zapovednik.
• We corresponded with the online journal of charity work “The Philanthropist” / «Филантроп».
We also worked on keeping inventory and selling GBT souvenirs: seals, wooden toothbrushes, postcards, wooden cutlery sets. We developed and printed a design for [сидушки (поперы) … not sure how to translate this! Fishing lures?].
In addition to focusign on our key programs, we are conducting quite a bit of administrative work.
• Together with experts on operating non-profit organizations, we are establishing a system of internal management.
• We continued to learn, listening to webinars about fundraising and taking three courses: «Социальное проектирование в НКО», «16 писем донору», «Поиск средств для НКО».
• We did a great deal of work on our website, redesigning navigations, updating existing pages and creating new ones.
• We found a specialist, who is helping us with our brandbook and illustrations. We just need