Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
Guria Youth Resource Center started to introduce this innovation through Adolescents Health Project funded by USAID/CARE International. The project was tackling one of the most sensitive issues for local setting - adolescents’ reproductive health. Forum theatre appeared to be the most effective intervention to start dialogue around this issue. More then 1500 audience members had an opportunity to attend the performance. One of the adolescents shared: “I learned how to do things with a sense of responsibility, I now know how to support a friend, and I am very happy for that. I liked seeing the attitudes of the male friend who really knew how to help the boy with a problem”. The international evaluation expert concluded that forum theatre was the most effective tool having the greater impact on the community. This tool was the deciecive for the project success. Results of the project were presented at the 35th International global health conference organized by global health council May 27-30, 2008 Washington DC under the title “Innovations in Reproductive Health Programming” at the Transforming Communications about reproductive health session.The project results have also been published in the International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice “Global Public Health” Volume 4 Number 3, May 2009 issued by Columbia University. In addition to the project the organization has used this tool in 5 other project to bring social impact on vairous issues like children’s rights, citizens rights and responsibilities, transparency and accountability of local government etc. More then 3000 people attended the performances and each exit interview proved the success of the project.
As for the Young Volunteers House more then 500 socially disadvantaged youth had an opportunity to gain civic activism skills. More then 1500 people participated in various events organized by the group. Totally 60 issues of organization periodical newsletter reached approximately the whole region of about 140 000 people. One of the adolescent girls wrote an annonimouse letter for the article “I was dissappointed, I did not have an idea where I wanted to be, which way to choose, who to trust. This question suffered me. Now I am clear, now I know where I am going.”
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
As almost every non-profits in Georgia most of the income is generated from international donor funding. Only few part is covered through own services that helps to cover part of service provider salaries and ongoing costs. Guria Youth Resource Center operates Young Volunteers’ House that is free and is aimed to engage disadvantaged youth (coming from poor families) of 25-30 on annual bases to give them life, active citizenship and other professional development skills. More then 500 children used this service since its establishment in 2002. The Young Volunteers’ House operates volunteer, media and documentary clubs. Youth organize various volunteer events, create short documentaries and publish organization periodical. Organization funds the House programs through various donor funded projects, as well as pays salaries for the instructors (some of them are volunteers). We plan to create the sustainability for the House and decided to transform the Forum Theatre Group into social business to help the sustainability for the Young Volunteers House. The problem we face is: currently the GYRC posseses 250 sq. meter office space purchased by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Initially the building needed major rehabilitation works. With the assistance of various donors and private constributions we rebuilded the part of the office space that accommodate staff offices and Young Volunteers House. To make the forum theatre as the social enterprise we want to have separate accomodation for the theatre group within the organization office facility for rehearsals and regular public shows. At the same time there are some minor equipment needed. If we have an opportunity to acuire the Award funds it would enable to provide rehabilitation and start-up costs for the enterprise. Our organization will pay the construction specialists salaries.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
First of all we want to highlight that Guria Youth Resource Center professional staff, as well as already successful theatre group guarantee the success for the project. The following will be the project steps: a) Securing the accommodation for the enterprise – one big room, approximately 70 sq. meter and a hall way will be reconstructed. We also plan to purchase 50 chairs, folded walls and lighting for the space. Organization has sound system that will be used for the enterprise. b) Promotional campaign – after the rehabilitation we will be printing promotional materials with award funds to advertise the social enterprise. We have clearly developed advertisement strategy that reaches various sectors (government, media, schools, businesses). c) Staging the first performance-besides the specific performances dedicated for social change, we plan to stage popular plays for all generations to like. This will help us to attract more fee paying audience and generate funds for the enterprise. As for the first, opening show for the enterprise we plan to stage “the Little Price” by Ernest Hemingway. The theatre group will employ two professional actors and volunteer youth from socially disadvantaged families, those of willing to find self realization. Besides the forum theatre technology the performances will use so called alternative methods that can cause the interest among people.
What we think that can prevent the success is the low interest of general community to attend the theatre shows. We made the survey in the various levels of community and it appeared that people are hungry to see such performances and they are ready to pay small fees for this wonderful opportunity. We strongly believe that our theatre will be the oasis for people and threat of failure does not exist.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
Year One: Each year we are planning to stage 5 different performances on popular topics (this is rough assumptio). Approximately 2 shows will be organized in a week that rooughly is 96 performances. Each performance will involve 40 audience members as average. That is approximately 3840 people. The acceptable price for ticket will be 2 Georgian Laris which equals USD 1.10. We think this is very reasonable and affordable for community members. Approximately yearly income will be 7680. This amount will be used to fund Young Volunteers House Activities and Cover fees for two professional actors of the theatre.
Young Volunteers house will organize three volunteer (might be charitable or funraiser events as well) events, film two documentaries and publish four issues of periofical each year. The Young Volunteers’ House will involve 25-30 youth per year, as well as involve more then 1000 people as recipients of their organized events.
Year Two: For the year two and three we are planning to expand the audience and number of shows. As well as visit other regions to show theatre performances. This will help generate more income to enrich and expand the activities of Young Volunters’ House.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).