Category Archives: Social upliftment

A solution to a underwhelming event

Recently, I was looking forward to going to a black event but this was dispelled as soon as I had entered the event.
There are several things which I will note:
  • The reception was not courteous
  • The leaflet had random pieces of information
  • No itinerary for the days events
  • No schedule for the speakers
  • The event information was a Facebook page
  • No activities for children
  • There was no menu
This could easily have been:
  • A warm welcome
  • Simple but effective design of a leaflet/flyer
  • A itinerary of what would be happening on the day
  • A schedule of the days events
  • Having a website as a first point of contact, with a Facebook page as a signpost
  • Speakers being on time
  • Activities for children
  • Food menu as it had a cafeteria
The effect of being more organised:
  • A value for money event
  • More support in future
  • A service which is worthwhile
  • More transparent operation
  • People who are capable of delivering a great event
  • Repeat custom
The event could have been cheaper, and the atmosphere considering the topic it was focused on could have been more welcoming and interactive. It is some thing which an event organiser may think about as well as the committee of the organisation.
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International Development

As a guy who was interested in international development, volunteered in a developing country and worked a admin job at a international development department in the government at one time and wanted to study international development but found it an expensive process just to volunteer with a Non governmental organisation. 

I remember being interested in working for some of the charities (known as third sector organisations), but I did no get into these organisations as I was black and working class, without a masters degree. I learned that international development can only be undertaken by those who are from the place or diasporas around the world through remittance and knowledge of social, political and economic development.

The different international development charities are sending aid to countries as a form of diplomacy to lay the ground work for private and external government agencies to come and take minerals. Most of the mainstream charities are on the surface not truthful, with where the money goes. Much of the money you donate can be spent on administration and consultants.

Charity directors, consultants and office staff get paid a lot and so only a fraction of the money you donate to a charity gets to go to people on the ground. If you want to donate to a organisation look for a group from the country who is working on the ground, buying supplies or actually building things.

This is not to say charities do not do nothing its just they are not the most efficient at using donations or funding and so you will find your funding someones “bus-mans holiday”.

Further Information (External sources)

Charity Jobs (CharityJob.co.uk)

Practical Action (practicalaction.org)

Projects Abroad (www.projects-abroad.co.uk)

Volunteering in international Development (theGuardian.com – UK article)

Bond (www.bond.org.uk)

Uplifting the Diaspora

As a guy who was interested in international development, volunteered in a developing country and worked a admin job at a international development department in the government at one time and wanted to study international development but found it an expensive process just to volunteer with a Non governmental organisation. I am interested in the process in Haiti.

I remember being interested in working for some of the charities (known as third sector organisations), but I did no get into these organisations as I was black and working class, without a masters degree.

I learned that international development can only be undertaken by those who are from the place or diaspora around the world through remittance and knowledge of social, political and economic development.

The different international development charities are sending aid to countries as a form of diplomacy to lay the ground work for private and external government agencies to come and take minerals. Most of the mainstream charities are on the surface not truthful, with where the money goes. Much of the money you donate can be spent on administration and consultants.

Charity directors, consultants and office staff get paid a lot and so only a fraction of the money you donate to a charity gets to go to people on the ground. If you want to donate to a organisation look for a group from the country who is working on the ground, buying supplies or actually building things.

This is not to say charities do not do nothing its just they are not the most efficient at using donations or funding and so you will find your funding someone’s “busman’s holiday”.

Further Information

International Development Meaning (Wikipedia)

Relief Website (International Development) – (Reliefweb)

 

Economy Of Knowledge

In the 1980’s and mid 1990’s (if your old enough to remember) there were people who were working in factories and mills. This was the case until the UK economy had moved towards a service economy (banking, customer service, technology based – IT and computer programming).

The aim of the government moving towards this economy was to maintain and create enough jobs for the current labour market, who were losing jobs as a result of moving away from a industrial towards a more knowledge based economy.

The movement should have been towards a entrepreneurial based economy and education system (in the UK). Since the education system was designed to prepare you for working in a bricks and mortar industry. The education system was slightly modified for the service economy as they thought they could up skill all the workers to work in the service jobs, as a result of getting a degree.

To get to this the national and local government looks at attracting investement and companies into regions, cities and towns as a way of providing more job opportunities. This is a good idea, which is why you see state of the art buildings being constructed around the place, as a place where businesses can set up or warehouse or industrial units built in the outskirts of towns and cities.

This in theory works but in practice the results are mixed since, many of the roles that these companies offer are menial as only low skilled tasks might be undertaken by that regional branch. Usually the research and development departments (the place where the more skilled vacancies are) are usually in the headquarters or home country.

The history of those born in the early 1970’s to late 1980’s being encouraged to join the knowledge economy was due to a skills shortage for high skilled jobs in the late 1980’s. In the late 2000’s there were more qualified people than jobs to match the skills.

This is evident today as black people who were adults in the late 80’s early 90’s with children did not prepare them for what was coming, instead of keeping hold of businesses we sold many of them of (with a few remaining) and told our children to join the knowledge economy in the late 90’s early 2000’s.

The economy is now changing from a knowledge based one to a entrepreneurial one, with the need to have more than one income. If the next generation and this one (18-40) do not have more than one income or at least access to one then we will not fare well as jobs are becoming less and less.

The government is attempting to get people skilled in technological areas such as computer science and sciences. It is great theses areas are looked at but as a people, we need to first and foremost look at developing business running skills, having an idea, developing it and then looking at many ways you can get income from this idea.

Further information

Knowledge is a myth (www.theguardian.com)

Knowledge Economy Myth (www.theweek.co.uk)

Regeneration not gentrification

There has been a lot of talk, road shows on and documentaries on gentrification within black areas, the story does need to be told. Having studied regeneration and worked in a aspect of this (digital inclusion). I know that there is a fine balance between regeneration and gentrification.

The aim of most local authorities, regional, local councils and municipalities in areas, which are deprived, is to attract investment into the area. This could be from national and multinational companies. To do this a local authority will build office buildings and warehouses which these companies can move into, once they commit to moving their operations into the local area.

There is also an ambition to develop housing and social activities of the residents in that area. This can be through having new housing being built which his largely funded by a supermarket.

Regeneration can benefit all if it is designed and local residents get to access opportunities the same as everyone else. This means you will need information about financial and social capital (something I have talked about before). The problems come when you are not able to get the information or resources to set up businesses or get new housing.

Gentrification occurs when big businesses come to a town or city, which has bid for them to come and set up shop, with the local councils promise of giving tax breaks and skilled workers. If you are not a skilled worker then you might not get a decent paying role and usually big companies bring staff with them so many positions are filled.

If you want to get housing, often you begin to be priced out by the people who have the decent jobs with the new companies who have moved in and are living locally with new shops appearing which are out of your budget.

Regeneration is a fine line, I often explain to people that regeneration is getting investment and developing poor areas to make them more prosperous, though the people who live their now need to prosper with the prosperity, not be or feel left behind.

To get away from the gentrification theme and build on a regeneration theme more people need information and access to regeneration resources and information. If you are interest (if you live in the UK) you can look on the upliftment information community resources page. We have also listed some links below to help you find out more about regeneration and how you can help develop your local area.

Further Information

Upliftment Information Community Resources

Direct Black Investment

Tesco Building 4,000 Homes

Supermarkets building Homes Above Stores

Regeneration – Wembley Regeneration Project

 

The Black Digital Inclusion

There are some people who do not have access to the internet as they may not have a device or regular access to the internet.

If you are a business or a service provider looking at this information, you could consider users with less access than some of your target audiences.

There are computer classes availible for those who do not have internet skills or computer skills but what should be considered is those without device skills such as smartphones, phablets and tablets.

I have previously been involved in projects with persons looking at accessing the internet and how it is accessed with some of the following aims to come out of this:

– Services availible to those who have not got regular access to the interent.

– Having a stall of your services with a tablet and smartphone showing how your service can be accessed through different means

– Providing information and (where possible) equiptment to persons who do not have the money to access the services.

– Working with companies and organisations to get access to computers, smartphones and Tablets to those who cannot access them.

– One of the things to consider for those who do not have access to devices which utilise your service is whether or not you have thought about this.

The importance of more people having access to technology:

  • Can Pay bills online.
  • Health advice and information available online.
  • Use emails to communicate.
  • Can use social media to contact friends and relatives.
  • Keeping up-to-date with the news.

This is part of a Mini Digital Inclusion Blog Series making you more aware of those whoare excluded from the internet socially.

Crowd – Gifting

There has been much emphasis on crowdfunding though there should be a view point towards people crowd gifting. I will explain further, suppose people were to donate items to persons who are seeking funds to raise for a venture.

This would occur by providing them with items which you do not want and listing through Ebay or a second hand selling site, you would then be able to take the proceeds from the sale after the item has been sold.

This would mean you could donate to a campaign if you did not have the funds by selling an item and pledging the proceeds to the campaign.

My viewpoint came from my experiences of giving to charities in the UK, where I often donate books and DVD etc to charity shops as I just cannot be bothered to sell them online and besides some of the smaller charities do some good work and I am very supportive of local charities who do good community work, I also buy many books and redonate them once I have finished.

There are online services online which can allow you to donate items and they will take the proceeds and pass them on to the charity/thrift organisation you would want the items to go to.

As stated above there are other ways in which you can ensure your funds go to another party, this could be through arranging with the individual or group recieving the funds that you will pledge the value of the item if it is sold.

There are things which can be looked at to see how and if it can work, at least it is something to think about.

Considerations:

  • Whether or not an agreement can be made to accept donations in this manner.
  • The items donated for sale may not sell.
  • To get the funds will require much effort as going to a charity/thrift shop as you will need to post and package the item to the sellar.
  • Unknown value of the item until sold.
  • Difficult to get a standard price of all items as most venutres will be for business, rather than charitable.

The Benefit:

  • More donations as many people will have items to sell.
  • Very Accessible to those with little funds but many items
  • Pledges do not have to be made until the item is sold and the value from that item gained.
  • More access to others who might have a passing interest rather than a full interest.
  • Takes dedication and interest in the campaign and the projects of the person/group asking for the donation.
  • This could be a way of asking businesses and organisations if they have any old stock which they can donate to sell for the cause/project you have.

Further information:

Selling for Charity (Ebay)