American Corners Regional Retreat
November 19&20, 2010
hosted by American Corner Skopje
The fruits of a year-long planning process came to existence on November 19 and 20, as 13 AC employees from Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Albania traveled to Skopje to meet with 10 AC employees from Macedonia, during the first American Corners Regional Retreat.
The retreat was an informal networking event for colleagues working in the same filed and an opportunity for exchange of best practices and success stories. This event was greatly supported by the US Embassy in Skopje. Cultural Attaché John Surface and IRC Officer from Rome, Laura Kaspari Hohmann were the ones to officially open this meeting and ACS Coordinator Olivera Trajkova wished everyone a fruitful first retreat.
The first day agenda covered the topics “Using Social Media for AC Outreach”, “Intern Programs for American Corners” and “Best Practices from the Region”. The topic “Working with Embassy Public Affairs Staff” was continued at the U.S. Embassy with PAO Angela Aggeler, Program Assistants Renata Trajkovska-Bubevska and Mustafa Ferati, as well as IRC Director Albion Abdullai. A special treat for everyone was H.E. Ambassador Reeker joining the last 30 minutes of the session.
The second day of the retreat was reserved for the topics “Education Advising”, “Fundraising for ACs” and “Working with PCVs and USG students and alumni”. English Language Fellow Mary Bromwell closed the agenda with tips on “Working with EL Fellows”.
After the official part ended, participants were given a walking tour of the Skopje city center, the square, the old bazaar and the Kale fortress by the AC staff and Interns.
Based on the feedback forms, the first American Corners Regional Retreat was a great success! The participants got to know their colleagues and exchange ides, they found the presentations useful (though they wished some were longer) and especially liked the visit to the new Embassy building and meeting PA Staff and the Ambassador.
To sum it up with one of the comments on the evaluation forms:
“It was a great opportunity to meet people who do the same thing, but in a different way”.
ClICK HERE to see more photos of the visit to the U.S. Embassy.
Click HERE to see photos from the Retreat.