One of the members of the 2017 Open World Delegation (Serving Children with Disabilities) was part of an organization in Uzhhorod called Mercy House which operates a social entrepreneurial farm and bakery called Mercy Farms. Members of the 2018 and 2019 CSCA – Uzhhorod delegations visited Mercy Farms and were quite impressed by this organization which provided a wide range of social services to children, families, the elderly and the unemployed yet operated like a for-profit business. Although not totally self-sufficient, a large percentage of their funding comes from the proceeds of their farm and bakery. Delegation members were quite impressed with Mercy Farms and the potential of expanding the concept of “Social Entrepreneurism” (SE) to other non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) in Uzhhorod. In early 2019, the Uzhhorod Council opted to support an inbound delegation of three NGO representatives and a facilitator/interpreter to visit Corvallis in the Fall of 2019. The 2019 May CSCA – Uzhhorod Delegation interviewed potential candidates while in Uzhhorod and final selections were made in the Summer of 2019. The delegates included:
- Olga Pryntsosva, Child Psychologist and Board Chair of NGO “Hope” (parents of children with disabilities)
- Liudmyla Siuzeva, Project Leader/Manager of NGO “Happy Kids”
- Valery Valko, Chief, Center of the Social Care for Children “House Of Mercy”
The delegation spent ten days in Corvallis attending seminars and visiting various organizations involved in SE activities. The delegation also designed a series of workshops to deliver to other NGO’s upon their return to Uzhhorod. The trainings were so successful that delegates have been working with other NGO delegates to create an ongoing network to support NGO’s involvement in SE. Additionally, one of the SE instructors for the delegation, an OSU entrepreneurial instructor from the College of Business, is exploring opportunities to spend time at Uzhhorod National University. Lastly, a virtual reunion of the delegation is in the process of development to be held in the summer of 2019.