People are your greatest resource in any community mobilization.
We don’t normally think of people as a resource. But the mere fact of working together with others provides a lot of opportunities. Different people have different talents, ideas, and strengths. A group can get a lot of things done that an individual cannot.
In this video, Samer Sharif, who works with an NGO called Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya, describes another group he is part of, and how working together lets them all do more things together.
In addition to Ruwwad, I am the head of Tajwal Safar. We aim to learn through wandering and roaming. Every month we do one or two trips to learn from our tour, from the path, the people and places that we visit. We like walking in mountains and exploring distant villages but a person can’t do this on their own, to walk in the mountains, especially since there are many areas that could be dangerous, could be close to settlements, close to the wall, this puts the person in difficulties as he might face the army, get arrested, or anything. But when we are in a large group, walking long distances gets easier. At times we walk 14 or 15 Kilometers and we don’t feel that we actually walked this distance because we’ve spent the time interacting, drinking, and eating as a group and walking gets easier. And it’s more encouraging to go to these towns, if a person goes along he might be considered a stranger, but as a complete group if they go to an elder and ask him to tell a folk tale about the town, people would be more accepting, as a group we were able to accomplish things that as individuals we wouldn’t have been able to.
Working with Volunteers
Volunteers are a tremendous resource for any project. It’s always important to identify people who can help, find out what their talents are possibilities are, and find where they can fit. In this video, Youssef Shoufan, who helps to run La Maison de Syrie, a Syrian cultural institution in Montreal, Canada, talks about how he learned to bring volunteers into the organization.
If you are interested in learning a lot about working with volunteers, the American University of Cairo has published a long guide to volunteer management that is a good resource.