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Community, Peace, Education
PH International strives towards a world where individuals and communities collaborate across borders to resolve global challenges. Our mission is to build a strong global community by fostering civic leadership, harnessing Internet technology, and facilitating cross-cultural learning.
PH International works in countries across Eurasia and in the United States to build stronger communities. Most of PH's work falls into four main fields:
TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPMENT
Since 1996, PH International has been actively engaged in community technology development and training programs. Whether working with schools or with community groups, PH incorporates the Internet as an indispensable tool for creating and nurturing an informed, civil society.
-Thanks to the Microsoft-sponsored IDEA program, over 3700 people in Russia and Ukraine have been trained in computer use through the free-access IDEA Centers housed in community buildings in towns all over the two countries. Trainees earn a certificate upon the successful completion of a course, and these certificates can mean higher earnings from white collar positions that they would not otherwise have had the skills to hold.
-During 2007, nearly 155,000 teachers reaped the benefits of PH's iTeach Program professional development initiatives for teachers in Russia. Over 95% of participants noted that the program offered educators tools to help students acquire skills necessary for life beyond the classroom.
PH International’s core values include a belief in strengthening communities and belief in a grassroots approach to solving community problems. Some of our recent programs include:
-Alternative juvenile justice programs in Armenia and Georgia, where police and teachers are working together for the first time to build civic responsibility among junior high school age youth and engage whole communities in keeping kids out of trouble.
-A leadership program for Russian teens to support youth-led community projects across the country through the development of a dynamic youth web portal that serves as a one-stop-shop for young Russians interested in getting involved in issues facing them and their communities.
PH International's educational initiatives provide unique opportunities for both students and education professionals to establish academic and community partnerships that encourage exploration of cultural diversity and provide the opportunity to share common experiences.
-In April and July 2006, 10 Vermont sophomore and junior students and 5 Jordanian / 5 Palestinian refugee students traveled to each other’s countries with the MEDIA program to work on joint media education and technology training, bringing a blend of Internet technology, cross-cultural learning, and civic engagement to both groups of youth.
Professional programs involve direct observation and hands-on, results-oriented professional training with counterparts in a US host community.
-The Community Connections Program is a professional development program for business people and professionals from across Eurasia. The program enables these professionals to work directly with their American counterparts to share information and exchange ideas over the course of a 3-6 week-long hosting program across the US. PH International is both a recruiting and host organization for CC.
News & Events
In 1985, three people in a small town in Vermont shared the idea that personal contact between people of the US and USSR could help ease the tensions of the Cold War. They were friends—a teacher, and architect, and a lawyer—and although they were low on expertise they were committed to finding a way for young people from the US and USSR to meet. “Project Harmony” began with the exchange of student choir groups between high schools in America and the Soviet Union when in the spring of 1985 a delegation of US teenagers from Harwood Union High School in Vermont travelled to Leningrad.
Today, PH International is a committed group of over 100 staff working in five countries on a wide range of community and cross-cultural development projects. Since those first years of breaking down walls and building personal relationships through musical exchanges, PH has grown in size and scope to embrace new countries, new ideas and new horizons. New programs in the Middle East and Asia are taking those same ideals and proven program models, and incorporating PH’s unique grassroots approach in different geographical regions.