USA experience

Finally, I am at home. We saw a lot, and me personally learned a lot (I didn't ask other people from the group, so can speak only from personal prospective).

New York in night
If you remember, before the trip I established three goals, which I was going to achieve during this program. I below you may read some kind of report on it.

First goal was to learn experience of the USA in the NGO field, understand how system "civil society-government-business" works and define how this experience can be applied to Ukraine. During the program I realized, that everything is about money and taxes: people (society) & business pay taxes to government, and than they control how money is spent. Through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) business helps Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in their operating.Than corporates get "tax discount". For example, you are a corporate and have to pay $ 12 000 taxes, but some NGO asked you to support their activity and needed $ 7 000. If you pay, you may save $ 5 000m but this is possible only for NGOs, which have special status. But also it helps a lot for development CSR. I know that in Ukraine we have a law about such tax reduction, but not so many companies use it. Might be this is because they do not know or do not to get additional "headache", which will require more papers, time and bureaucracy.

The other point, which I got: in the States are a lot of problems too, for instance, they have a big issue in education field. Many people can easily drop out of school. They do not get full education, so they can't find a good job. Currently many NGOs try to deal with this issue. They organize different programs, discussion clubs, work with "difficult" families.

Second goal was to meet with JCI in the USA. Unfortunately, I didn't achieve this goal. The truth is I did my best, wrote around twenty letters to different people there, but all of them were so busy, some of them because of job, other because of not appropriate time, third group was in preparation for JCI National President elections. At least I met with Zach, a leader of College of Democrats at Marquette University in Milwaukee, who knew about JCI, because he is originally from St. Louis. This city has JCI headquater.

Third goal was to meet with young leaders, youth activists in the States; learn what projects they do; understand how they think, what do they care about; network with them. I learnt a lot about people there, but feel that is not enough. Young people are liberal and free in their minds. I mean really free.

New York city is the best. That's not only my idea. That said many Americans, with whom we have met. A lot of people bring you a lot of opportunities. A friend of mine Pavlo and me visited Ukraine's United Nations office, met with Oleksandr, who is the Advisor of UN Ambassador from Ukraine. It was interesting discussion with him about the role of the Organization in the world, challenges, current issues. Thank to him we have got a discount and an opportunity to see The Phantom of the Opera on the Broadway. That was really wonderfull. Then I couldn't sleep and went to see night New York city, down town area - Wall Street, sea side, Even I got an opportunity to take a ship to another island. That happened with me seven days ago, but I feel like seven months already passed over.

I would like to thanks the US Department of State, the Embassy of the US in Kyiv and to all the people, who created this program for us. A Big Thanks to Gloria - our giude and the most favorite women in the USA. And also thanks to people, with whom I have travelled - Olya, Pavlo, Sasha and Dmytro. It was the most wonderful time of the year :)


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