March 2011 Archives


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It's been a little quite around here lately - first I was sick, then on vacation, finally more concerned with the recent international events than able to focus on getting some new content out here at FTB. I've got some promising stuff lined up, but until then a few links, you may find interesting:

- ACTIVATE is CISV's latest publication that appears to be something of a Mocaic Magazine meets CISV News reloaded, focusing on programmes with community impact and NGO cooperation. I still haven't read myself through all the articles, but it's beautifully layouted (in the style of Mosquito Tactics, ahem...), and gives a nice impression especially to non-members on CISV's outreach. Congrats to the team behind it.

- Check out this video that summarizes Peace One Day activities in 2010, with a a message from Jeremy Gilley at the beginning.

- I haven't been visiting the Mosaic Website for a while, but their Stories page recently featured a whole ton of interesting links and videos. Good work,  Alex and others.

Keep'em in or kick'em out.

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Rou's departure as an IJR reminds us of our true mission.


"If in CISV I got all these skills and knowledge, and my country is going through such a big change, to hopefully a brighter future, then it will benefit a lot from these. I have always made it a point in my life whether during university or when I was working to always make time to volunteer. Now more than every I want to dedicate time to volunteer. However, due to the current circumstances I believe my volunteer time and energy needs to be spent here, in my country, through my jobs, blogging, volunteer development projects, and political participation."

CISV's educational goal is to create open-minded and tolerant and active citizens in the world. Let's say somebody has gone throgh the whole career of CISV from village to being a leader. At some point, it may be time to take ones experiences somewhere else. Obviously everybody starts working in a real job someday (which can be related to CISV, or even, inside CISV), and everybody makes decisions in everyday life such as when voting for certain political parties or shopping in the supermarket (keyword: ethical food). 

We've been much talking about how to retain our volunteers, and keep them inside our organization. Why do we have to look for new leaders anew every year? Can't we convince our people that putting even more energy in our organization will yield in more and better output for our targets (participants) and the individuals themselves? It's really a catch-22 to decide what's better for us:

Keep'em in or kick'em out?

This question has to be asked for both our participants (should they become leaders inside or outside the organization?) and people in leadership positions already (should they continue so, or move elsewhere, maybe to more hands-on organizations?) 

IPP, for example, has always tried to be a programme that exemplifies the wider world of humanitarian projects and motivate people to get their hands dirty. I know a few cases where people have actually become inspired by an IPP project to continue working in that field. 

Personally I've been in CISV leadership positions for the last 10+ years, so I guess I haven't been really been successfully kicked out. On the other side, I've been active on other projects (like my work place and a small aid organization for Nepal), so this is only partly true.

Back to Rou: I have been a harsh critic of peolpe leaving there volunteer position from one day to another without a subsitute in place, a behaviour that is partly related to an attitude I called "volunteer arrogance". But if you get things right, and Rou definitely has, with Tore in place to step in, there can hardly be a better moment to switch engagements elsewere: Egypt is a country in the midst of big change, people with Rou's talents and education are needed to make Egypt a democratic and free country - values we cherish in CISV. Depending a little bit on Rou's future work (no premature praise here at FTB!) she may become a prime example of what our organization is all about. If our output altogether is so hard to measure, at least we may have some spearheads!

Good luck, Rou, and thanks for your work in CISV.

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