YoungDiplo in the Race

YoungDiplo in the The Amazing Race for 5000 Euros. Challenges, Threats and Opportunities after Raiffeisen Communities Project Challenge

Between July 18 to September 30, YoungDiplo participated in the competition for a grant of 5000 Euros, organized by Raiffeisen Communities. The project ranked in the top 10% (22 out of 220 participating projects). The voting campaign open to the general public,  was held from 12 -30 September. We received 658 votes, and we remain deeply grateful for the help and support you have given us.

Throughout the campaign we focused on several target groups. In Romania, we targeted high-school students and students specializing in international relations, European studies, security studies, history, international economic relations and international law. The outreach campaign was based mainly on social networks. Our message was sent through Yahoo and Google student groups used for internal communication, Facebook, GRASP website as well as by traditional communication channels – radio, email and phone.

In addition to the support we received from Romania, we reached out for support to various alumni networks we belong to, such as Fulbright, Open Horizons – Dinu Patriciu Foundation or the Fund for American Studies. Also, YoungDiplo received votes from friends and colleagues around the world – U.S., UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, to Egypt, Morocco and Kenya.

As some of you may know, the voting system was not the smoothest process ever. Many of our supporters could not register due to technical problems, unresolved by Raiffeisen Communities – on the duration of the contest. Also, RC decided to change the rules of voting in the middle of the campaign, restricting the voting system to one vote per IP formula, a change that has disadvantaged many of the participants, given that Internet access through a common broadband network is widespread in Romania.

Moreover, due to the unexpected and unannounced changes, several organizations which have entered the contest, gave up the race, as a sign of protest and awareness raising about the changes. Unfortunately, the RC had no reaction.

Even if we were not among finalists, we are happy for the elected projects (some of which-especially in healthcare – are very necessary in Romania) and we take this as a valuable experience. We received suggestions and recommendations that will help us improve our program. Throughout the race we have stirred the interest of Romanian students worldwide and we managed to recruit valuable new members in the project team, as well as some extra volunteers. Above all, we have worked with special people, who, through their passion and dedication, have been a constant source of inspiration and energy with which we move forward.