The end of the year is a time of reflection and planning and so we have compiled a quick, year-end review. Here’s some of what we’ve accomplished in 2014 and what we’re looking to improve upon for 2015. It has been a very dynamic year, full of positive changes and new developments.
We at Diaconia-Center for Relief and Development grew, as 9 new staff coordinators joined our Prague office, and we ushered in 4 new development projects across the globe.
No Flooding: Even though there were numerous flood warnings throughout 2014, thankfully, no large flooding occurred. This was excellent news for those families who were at risk. The lack of flooding enabled staff in our department of Humanitarian Aid in the Czech Republic to concentrate on developing disaster-reduction protocols that will be implemented across the entire republic. We were also able to follow-up with our relief efforts from 2013, provide greater technical and psycho-social help to those affected, and further train our volunteer work groups.
Continued support of International Humanitarian Aid Projects: In 2014, we organized collections to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, provided aid and support to people in war-torn Ukraine, and collected funds to assist refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Coordinators of our International Development Projects continued to work with partners in Georgia, Ethiopia, Moldova, and Jordan. Throughout the course of the year, we also organized three new projects. In Cambodia, we are now supporting community-based economic development for small-holder farmers. In northern Moldova, we are working to improve market-access and farm management techniques for small-scale dairy and vegetable farmers. And in Myanmar/Burma, we are providing aid and fire-safety prevention training for internally-displaced people in refugee camps in Rakhine state.
In 2014, our center also developed a Global Awareness Educational Curriculum for elementary and middle school students. The Global Awareness Curriculum is full of interactive, creative lesson-plans that encourage students to think more internationally, fostering awareness of the economic, political, and social issues affecting the world.
In 2014, we travelled abroad and our partners visited us. Here at the center, all of our coordinators made numerous international trips, visiting project sites, monitoring progress, and strengthening relationships with our local partners. In the summer, we hosted our partners from Moldova and Georgia, leading them through training programs, topic seminars, and best-practice exchange visits throughout the Czech Republic. At the end of the year, our American colleague Jeremy Ault spent two weeks working and meeting with all of the staff in Prague office.
In the late fall and early winter, our Public Relations and Fundraising section organized our first ever fundraising art auction. With over 30 pieces donated from various artists across the Czech Republic, we were able to hold a benefit auction, where all proceeds went to supporting our center. This was our first benefit art auction, and the event was extremely successful. We’re looking forward to expanding the auction for next year!
In the summer, one of our supporters and volunteers raised money for our center by riding his bike from Prague to Austria, which he completed in one day! The trip show-cases the dedication and creativity of our volunteers and supporters. Happy pedaling into next year!
Throughout the spring and summer of 2014, our center was judged and externally-audited by an independent foundation, and was eventually given second-place in the national Nonprofit of the Year competition. Our high score in the competition has inspired us to improve and strive to be named Mid-sized Nonprofit of the Year for 2015.
Our plans for 2015 are in full swing. The year ahead is going to be one of growth and stabilization, as we work to improve our overall capacities and strengthening existing projects. We would like to thank you for your year-round support. Without it, 2014 would not have been nearly as successful.
We wish you a Happy New Year!