It is hard for me to accept, but after over two and a half years (898 days today) in Ukraine, my service will be coming to an end on November 27th. That is the day I ring the bell on the second floor and officially become an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer). To say that this experience has changed me and made me a better person is an understatement. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to represent my country in Ukraine, a place I have grown to love and will miss dearly. With that in mind, I have one final project that I hope will leave a strong, lasting impact on Ukrainians and I could really use your help.
For the past year, I have been involved in creating, implementing, and promoting a social entrepreneurship project called Eastern Rinok (Rinok is Ukrainian for “market”) with other volunteers. We have created a series of trainings that teach Ukrainian artisans how to open, operate, and manage a shop on Etsy.com. In addition, we focus heavily on customer service, product description, and marketing practices not typically used by Ukrainians. To date, we have opened 28 shops which have collectively sold 76 items for just under $2000.
The Eastern Rinok management team is organizing a Training of Trainers to take place in early November, but in order to do so, we need to raise just under $2000 by October. This is where you come in, a 100% tax deductible donation made by you will help us make this project a reality. All donations are made here through the Peace Corps website.
Here is some more information about the training:
We want to help even more Ukrainian artisans become members of Eastern Rinok so that they can share their beautiful handmade products with a global market and increase their income, and thus their quality of life. The best way to help a greater number of artisans to earn this membership is to increase the number of Eastern Rinok Instructors the project has. That in mind, Peace Corps Ukraine’s Business and Economic Development Working Group, in conjunction with an organization in my city, “Discover Yourself Youth Resource Center”, would like to conduct a 3-day Eastern Rinok Instructor Training Seminar in November 8-10th.
10 Peace Corps Volunteers interested in bringing Eastern Rinok to their communities will attend the seminar with a Ukrainian partner from their site who has agreed to become an instructor. After the seminar, the pairs would be ready to return to their communities and immediately begin to train artisans interested in selling their goods on Etsy.
Due to low salaries in Ukraine, we plan to cover the expenses of the attendees. This includes meals, travel, and lodging. Funds will cover these areas. We have been able to get community contributions to help us in other areas, but without attendees, there is no training.
I appreciate all of your support over the past two and a half years. Help me improve the economic condition of 10 additional communities in Ukraine by making a donation here: https://donate.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=donate.contribute.donatenow&keyword=ludwig.
For additional information about the Eastern Rinok project, visit: http://easternrinok.wordpress.com/about
Find us on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/search?q=eastern%20rinok&view_type=gallery&ship_to=UA&ref=auto1 or by searching “Eastern Rinok” on the Etsy website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email. I am more than happy to clarify anything and again thank you for your financial support! Additionally, feel free to share this with anyone else you think might be interested in supporting.