Launched in March 2022, the Lisbon Project’s CarePods initiative enables beneficiary coordination volunteers to work together in teams supporting groups of beneficiaries who speak the same language. These groups are called CarePods because they are aimed at providing both volunteers and beneficiaries with care, support and encouragement. Through CarePods, the LP aims to increase a sense of belonging, strengthen communication and become more user led by creating a safe space for community members to share about their experiences, challenges and needs.
“This new concept is an opportunity to bring people together into teams so that they can work together to build community and support the beneficiaries in their CarePod,” says Beneficiary Coordination Director Tamara Curtis Archer.
We wanted to launch the CarePods initiative in order to increase the sense of connectivity among volunteers and beneficiaries. “In our previous system, our volunteers mostly communicated 1:1 with beneficiaries with the result – in many cases – of both volunteer and beneficiary feeling isolated,” explains Tamara.
“Since the Lisbon Project is ALL about building connection and community, CarePods seemed like a much more logical structure for us.”
What has been achieved so far? So far we have nine CarePod teams formed and six of them fully launched, with CarePod volunteers and beneficiaries connected on their WhatsApp groups; getting to know each other and getting excited together about opportunities both within and outside of the Lisbon Project! One of the CarePod priorities is to make sure beneficiaries are aware of LP activities and facilitating their engagement with the different programs!
Oksana Zinchenko, who is steering our newly formed Ukraine response team, has assembled a team of 3 volunteers that will form part of a Ukrainian CarePod. This CarePod is only the beginning to bridging Ukrainian refugees to different answers in Education, Employment and other programs at the LP.
“While there have inevitably been some challenges (mostly with scheduling) as we launched, it has been beautiful to see the relationships starting to grow in each CarePod and we are very excited for what this new structure will bring us in the springtime and beyond!,” says Tamara.