Tag Archives: caribbean diaspora

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.
Advertisements

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)

 

Black People and Coffee Shops

For nearly a decade now I have been going to coffee shops in my spare time, at first it was to write poetry and just detox on a Saturday afternoon after a hard week of working. Then it got to the point where I would go sometimes during the week after work, whether it was with acquaintances, project proposals or on my lonesome.

I noticed at this point in my early to mid 20’s that I was one of a few UK born Africans who was interested in going to coffee shops just to chill. I used to wonder why our people did not go to coffee shops in the 2000’s but it is for similar reasons why some still do not go now (though I notice more people in them these days). They would rather make the drink at home, though a coffee shop should not be seen as just a place where you go to drink a coffee rather a place to socialise, develop ideas, relationships or just disappear.

I find 8 years later that there are more people going to coffee shops who are African/black as more people are realising what you can do in a coffee shop and what you can discuss, without pressure of the environment or time constraints to finish your drink.

The Europeans use coffee shops to socialise and chill with each other, its only the British who think going to the coffee shop is a upwardly mobile thing to do or have it as a treat. I have noticed that coffee shops are beginning to open later and so more people who are from backgrounds which do not drink or drink little alcohol are meeting friends and family in these places.

Black people could begin to be more sociable by meeting in these places, rather than thinking there are few places to go maybe just enjoying each others company in a place where you can have a warm drink or cool drink (in summer) might be a good place to get your personal and professional goals off the ground.

To finish, I often go to a couple of well known coffee shops as I am allergic to milk so I get the milk free options. I sometimes go to independent ones, though my favourite coffee shop which had a great atmosphere decided to expand and lost the atmosphere, that is not to say all coffee shops are like that. Though some coffee shops are family friendly with child seats, as others are work friendly with chairs and tables whilst one thing which is guaranteed in all is free WiFi.

The allotment (black perspective)

I was listening to and reading discussions relating to black people leaving cities in the USA and being pigeon holed into the suburbs and countryside, with not much idea of how they can work the land,  and it made me think of my own background in the UK and the Caribbean.

My parents both Jamaican, would farm small plots of land as children, with my family on my mums side beings live stock and vegetable farmers, selling crops and stock to the market in Savannah La Mar or Negril in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Though this is happening less and less in the village or neighbouring villages where she comes from due to the increasing US materialism influence plaguing the West Indies.

In the UK as a child I grew up seeing all my older relatives having allotments in the north and regularly spending Sunday afternoons in green houses attempting to grow some jamaican and caribbean vegetation with mixed results. My parents still grow vegetation in their garden as I’ve noted previously my parents garden having a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on a small plot of land.

The issue here is the older generation are not encouraging younger people to grow food. My aim when I leave the south east of the UK is to have an allotment and to grow most of my foods using the sciences and knowledge which I have gained from the older black people I have been around. This was a given that most older black caribbean people grew their own food as young people and in the UK as adults with skills they learnt as a child.

In a climate of food being less organic and more expensive this is important. Inner city folk are less likely to have space or the capacity to grow food but some vegetables can be grown using plant pots. The more we remain reliant on the system for food the more vulnerable we become even if growing our own food is to supplement our diets we can learn to eat seasonally and know how to use the soil for our nutritional benefit.

The one thing I learnt is horse manure and sawdust are great for compost. My dad carries runs of this in his boot in the summer pulling it outside the house preparing it to be used to fertilise the ground. If planting food has another benefit it keeps you fit digging up the garden.

Taxi please !

I was travelling in the last couple of days in my home town after seeing family for the holiday period. I was getting a taxi from a black owned taxi company possible one of a few if the only ones owned in the UK and I was talking to the taxi driver about the owner. My point is though that he started from nothing basically a few cars and got a reputation for having a good and reliable service and has over 70 drivers, who drive for him.

 The black taxi driver I spoke to mentioned something which made sense and irritates me now. The fact that black people don’t support other businesses, will say something is not right like the aesthetics or a product is not perfect at the start. Granted it might not be but I would rather see my own people trying to be professional rather than support another race who is clearly prejudice.

 Also another thing is, in the north of the UK, Asian people have a monopoly, in certain areas, whereas black people don’t. They attempt to buy out black people, for example two Asian families live either side of a relatives house and they attempt to buy them out but she will not sell as they want to knock the house through so three houses are one.

 Black people do not think like this as its group economics and living with extended families, I find it annoying but also respect it as they thrive as a community. This relates to the taxi company as the Asians try to buy his business as its a lucrative earner but he won’t sell. I would like to see him and other black businesses get together on that part of the North to create a black business alliance (formal or informal). As these people (Asians) think we are not serious business people.

I hope the business grows but also the opportunity to invest or at least provide a resource for the development of a positive black movement in a sleepy town as such. Dare I say when I go up there I seem wide awake whilst others sleep.