Another Week Beyond – 2413

Yesterday, I had a discussion with some colleagues about how we may get residents in the neighbourhoods we engage to present themselves “better” to volunteers especially those from corporations who provide funds and other resources. This discussion was triggered by feedback that these residents do not brief the volunteers well enough on their tasks or explain to them how their time and efforts add value to their neighbourhood.

The goodwill from corporations is important for the sustainability of our work and obviously, we want to create a positive experience for these corporate volunteers lest we lose their support. However, this does not mean that training residents to be more competent in managing the volunteers is the solution.

These residents lack the skillsets to manage an event to the satisfaction of others, but they are not working for an organisation and only working for their community. When we access them via organisational standards, they fall short and doing so is not in the service of a community’s efforts to meet their needs.

The United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development defines social integration as “the attempt not to make people adjust to society, but rather to ensure that society is accepting of all people.” We subscribe to this and believe that people’s shortcomings do not define them and if we get hung up with the imperfections in people, we will never be able to discover their strengths and abilities.

Organisational logic is necessary for productivity and to survive in a set-up that continually strives for output and efficiency, one must always put forth their best side. Weaknesses are not revealed as they would threaten one’s relevance for the organisation. In a sense, organisations do not create the space for one to be wholly present.

On the other hand, a strong community is one which has the capacity to accept people’s imperfections. As we know, every one of us is imperfect and I believe that we would consider it a blessing when we find ourselves part of a community that welcomes us regardless of our warts and all. A community where we are fully present and where our failures, imperfections and shortcomings do not define or dimmish us.

Wishing everyone a holistic Easter Weekend.

For peace and community,

Gerard

Communities recognise and accept fallibility, and do not try to change it. When we view fallibility as a condition of being human, we see it is within the capacity of the family and neighbourhood to deal with the condition and even see the gift in it. – John McKnight & Peter Block

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond – 2412

Ignite! Is a group of youth studying in institutions of higher learning who share resources,encourage each other and serve as role models for children in their neighbourhoods. It has been in existence for about 2.5 years and at its peak there were 25 members. 2 weeks ago, when a meeting was called, 3 members showed up and they were concerned that the group would no longer exist if there were no new members. Quickly, they discussed what a recruitment drive could look like and they drew up a collective list of friends they could invite to attend an introductory meeting.

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Another Week Beyond – 2411

An elderly person contacted us and told us that he would avoid engaging with a colleague I shall call Jane. He told us that Jane had a demon within her. The message via WhatsApp to a few of us left us perplexed. We thought that keeping the conversation going on the phone would only lead to more confusion and so we told him that we will chat over coffee. As I sat with him together with another colleague, this elderly person spoke in an agitated fashion, and we sensed his fear. He related his experiences of how friends have been

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Another Week Beyond – 2410

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Another Week Beyond – 2409

Community offers the promise of belonging and calls for us to acknowledge our interdependence. To belong is to act as an investor, owner, and creator of this place.  – Peter Block Yesterday, lunch for 22 neighbours was prepared by our members of our community, at our premises with the harvest from our very own vegetable garden. While it was not quite a harvest festival celebration, it was nonetheless a joyous occasion. We were commemorating the end of an 8-session programme-cum-pilot study to explore the positive effects of urban farming on the physical and mental well-being of those aged 50 and

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PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond – 2412

Ignite! Is a group of youth studying in institutions of higher learning who share resources,encourage each other and serve as role models for children in their neighbourhoods. It has been in existence for about 2.5 years and at its peak there were 25 members. 2 weeks ago, when a meeting was called, 3 members showed up and they were concerned that the group would no longer exist if there were no new members. Quickly, they discussed what a recruitment drive could look like and they drew up a collective list of friends they could invite to attend an introductory meeting.

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2411

An elderly person contacted us and told us that he would avoid engaging with a colleague I shall call Jane. He told us that Jane had a demon within her. The message via WhatsApp to a few of us left us perplexed. We thought that keeping the conversation going on the phone would only lead to more confusion and so we told him that we will chat over coffee. As I sat with him together with another colleague, this elderly person spoke in an agitated fashion, and we sensed his fear. He related his experiences of how friends have been

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2410

Children roaming the neighbourhood on their own was a concern identified by 2 Community Fellows in October last year. They had observed that some children were unkempt and still in their school uniform at a time when most children would have had their dinner and preparing for bed. These fellows were worried for the children, and they found themselves questioning if their parents cared. They also looked for programmes in the community which they could refer the children to and thought that if there were none suitable, they would create one. During the school holidays last year, they reached out

Read more >