Monday, 14 July 2008

Sustainibility

Definition: Keeping the work in community going even after we've left.

Work placementIn Glasgow, Mima and I worked for Amina, the Muslim Women's Resource Centre (as featured in Voluntary Sector and Social Inclusion). For them, we helped organise a fundraising event which took place on the 7th June, just before we left Glasgow.

Whilst we were there the organisation of the fundraising event mostly fell to four people, myself, Mima, an Amina volunteer Ghazela and a member of the management committee Sofiiya. Through our time at Amina it became pretty clear that the regular volunteers weren't all that interested in fundraising and preferred to concentrate on either administration or the services Amina provides. These are both vitally important but without fundraising there would have been little money to pay for these services, except for the money received from the government or other sources. Mima and I being there highlighted the need to have dedicated fundraising volunteers in the organisation, so I hope that now we have left they will be successful in recruiting new volunteers so our work can be sustainable. A way Mima and I could help is for us to write about our experiences at Amina and how rewarding it was to organise the fundraising event to encourage others to follow suit.

Community Action Days
In our time in Glasgow Team 69 took part in a record number of CADs, including:
  • litter picking in Govan,
  • clean up by a revier bank,
  • gardening in "the Quad",
  • cleaning up a area of woodland,
  • marshalling the Great Scottish Walk,
  • painting a church hall,
  • painting a mosque's fence.
Each of them had varying degrees of sustainability. The one which I think will prove to be most sustainable is the clean up in Govan. This is because we made up less than half of the number of volunteers present, as there were so many members of the community obviously present. This is largely thanks to the efforts of Dania and Peter who through their work placement got the community to come along. Hopefully the community will continue and set up a regular clean up of the area.
In fact, all of the more sustainable CADs that took place involved members of the community, including the clean up at the river bank which was already a monthly event. A way we could have made CADs more sustainable would have been to encourage the community to take up the torch lit by us and continue the work we've done when interviewed by the press. Also on the days themselves, we could have tried to encourage members of the community to get involved for our future CADs. In future, it may be an idea to more widely publicise the CADs, not just to the team but to the people of Aleppo as well

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