Establishing DD Academy in Latvia and Lithuania
Expansion has always been a part of DD Academy’s plans for the future. Our first goal in that path is to open sustainable programs in our fellow Baltic states – Latvia and Lithuania.
The project “Expansion of DD Academy into the Baltic states” will take place from 31. March 2020 to 30. September 2021 and is necessary to improve DD Academy’s expansion capabilities.
The main target groups are DD Academy volunteers for whom we will provide training through the project and participants who will be participating in the new programs.
Main final beneficiaries are NGOs of Baltic states, both directly (during the project DD Academy co-operates with approx. 15 NGOs) and indirectly (DD Academy alumni are active citizens).
Main activities of the project are developing an expansion model for DD Academy and increasing Domus Dorpatensis’ leadership capabilities in three strategic domains:
1) finding partners and sponsors;
2) creating a network;
As a result of the project, Domus Dorpatensis has opened sustainable DD Academy programs in all three Baltic states. For this, partners have been involved and sponsors found (e.g. premises, transport, food), a network of local NGOs and active people has been established, and successful recruitment campaigns have been held in all three countries.
The journey so far
- In May 2020 we recruited 9 new volunteers who will carry out programs in Riga and Tartu in the 2020/21 season
- June and August 2020 was the time to prepare our volunteers for the new season. Training sessions have covered all the details about DD Academy as an organization and the program, and also the building blocks of learning and growth-mindset.
- Our expansion project has given us a great opportunity to also get smarter ourselves.
On September 5th we held a training sessions for our volunteers to learn how to find and work with sponsors and project partners. The training was done by Urmo Kübar, the former civil society adviser for the President of Estonia who has years and years of experience working with nonprofit organizations.
- Our Expansion team spent the spring of 2020 building our network in Riga. Our partners will help us find participants and will provide space for our sessions.
- We forged a new partnership with Riga Technical University who will offer their space for our sessions.
- The most important part of our recruitment activities has always been our info evenings. Fun events where we introduce the program and show off our teams.
– DD info evening in Tartu, September 15
– DD info evening in Riga, September 16
– DD online info evening and our project introduction, September 17
- After a successful recruitment campaign we accepted 26 new participants into the DD Academy program in Riga and 22 into the program in Tartu.
- Due to the COVID19 pandemic we unfortunately have had to postpone our program in Riga.
- Despite the hardship of the year, the DD Academy group in Tartu successfully reached the finish line.
What we plan to do?
The goal of the project is to help us build capacity in parts that are directly related to our expansion activities. By analyzing our strengths and weaknesses we have determined three main sections where we need to grow.
Building effective channels for communication and strong messages that speak to our target group will help us spark interest.
Building our network
To help DD Academy expand we need to build a strong network of local organizations that help us in reaching participants. We will be working with local universities, student organizations and others related to youth work to help get our message out there.
Our partners have always supported us in keeping DD Academy going. During the project we will learn how to engage with partners and sponsors even better.
kart (at) ddacademy.net
Kärt leads the DD Academy Expansion team and is responsible for this project. She is the main contact for possible cooperation in Latvia and Lithuania.