Four staff members of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF) participated in a three-day online conference for partners of ASHA, American Schools and Hospitals Abroad, which is part of USAID, United States Aid for International Development. The conference was held from February 23 to 25.

ASHA is one of the financial sponsors of Collegium II of Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU). (Collegium II, seen in the photo, is scheduled to open later this year.) UCEF is the United States organization (USO) in the ASHA partnership with UCU.

“This ASHA Conference was a fantastic opportunity for us to learn how other successful NGOs around the world have been coping and thriving during the COVID pandemic,” said UCEF Chief Development Officer Alexander Kuzma, “We were also able to share some of our successes and best practices from UCEF and UCU. The breakout sessions were especially helpful as we were able to identify several universities in Latin America and Africa and Central Asia with whom UCU might be able to forge partnerships in the future.”

“The ASHA conference brings together organizations who are passionately working on a host of critical issues around the world ranging from education and healthcare to COVID-19 and climate change,” said UCEF Chief Growth Officer Inya Chehade. “Since education is the foundation of UCEF/UCU’s work, one of the key takeaways from the ASHA meeting has been the quick integration of blended learning environments across the globe. This is the future – a combination of in-person learning coupled with online virtual education. This is the new model moving forward and it’s here to stay.”

“It was very impressive to see the extreme international diversity of USAID’s programs. I also couldn’t help but notice that other projects with definite religious affiliation were supported, which gives hope for the Ukrainian Catholic University,” said UCEF Manager of Grants and Publications  Matthew Matuszak.

Also participating was UCEF Chief Financial Officer Nelson Bosacoma,

Some 200 ASHA partners, representing organizations from all over the world, participated in the conference.