Tag Archives: upliftment

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 and Franchising

Often, along with gentrification there can be regeneration which was discussed in another blog I wrote. With this comes the ability to get finances and support to open businesses and to become economically, socially and politically visible.

Franchises are a way in which you can create a business income, which can lead to a growth in employment in the local area. In the UK there are a number of businesses which are franchises which black people go to such as Chicken cottage, Subway and Costa coffee. The latter is one which is sometimes visited by black people.

In the US I am sure there are many different types of franchises which you could open in the local area as a way to get your first business. Other groups of people are able to open these franchises with the assistance of their fellow nationals (by grouping their resources together).

This is a way in which you can take advantage of local regeneration as new buildings are being built and possibly office and residential blocks, with some shops and services needed in the local area. If you know the type of business’s franchises you would like to buy into then why not.

The way you can get finance is possible through grants, loans and different schemes and often, finance can be more easier to secure for a franchise than for a independent business but you would need to have start up capital and collateral, which is where the group comes in (group economics).

If you are interested in a franchise then there are many things to consider such as:

  • Long term contract
  • Run the business in a uniform way set by the brand not you
  • Devoting all your time to it
  • Having some capital as collateral and start up cash and more

 

Further Resources

10 Franchise Considerations (www.entrepreneur.com) 

Costs of a Franchise (www.franchising.com)

Introduction to Franchising (www.startup.co.uk)

11 Steps to Franchising (www.franchisedirect.com)

Starting a Franchise (www.fitsmallbusiness.com)

Business As Usual

Recently, there have been the shootings and the deaths as a result. Black people on social media and over the internet have been talking about what to do next and how to go about stopping these things happening in the future. I remember in 2014, when my wife and I became more enlightened and started to see things from a deeper perspective. Micheal Brown was shot and we emotionally got sucked into the talk of taking action, at that time we were just finding our feet.

Over time we no realise that many people like to talk and as we are trying to set ourselves up to become more independent we are now not emotionally attached to the american situation since African Americans by and large only think about themselves and things which affect america.

I have set this site up and blogged over the last two years (even before Ferguson) to assist people with information and sources on developing their local communities through regeneration (since I have knowledge and experience of working in this area).

Many of the blogs I have posted are about community development through, physical regeneration (sweeting your walkway., doing your garden, cleaning/painting your walls), developing a regeneration strategy, creating black businesses and (a strong area of mine) bridging the digital divide, ensuring you are digitally literate so you can engage in certain conversations.

So, my position now is to be business as usual and continue with the work I am doing to become selfsufficient but also post information you might find useful on the website (at semi regular intervals).

I hope many black people are working towards, making things better for their people over a medium to long term rather than taking too much time out now to look at short term discussion points which do not deliver in the long term.

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)

Black People And Touch Screens

Introduction

This extended blog is a guide to how you can support black people who have little experience of the internet and using internet enabled devices.

I have previous experience in creating and testing methods in how older and socially excluded persons can access the internet with different types of technology.

Previously I had managed projects which looked at providing older and socially excluded audiences with devices and the internet and seeing which devices (netbook, touch screen smartphone and touch screen computer) worked best for their needs.

The technology which was most effective was the touch screen technology (smartphone and computer). This was due to the layout and the ease of access to the applications they could use to browse the internet, send emails and video call, which are all things older persons find valuable about their technology use.

(Note. Digital Exclusion is those who do not have access to the internet, either by mobile internet, broadband or television internet)

These Users

The black enlightened network does not always realise that is it is based online, and can network and share information with others around the world. Most of the participants are younger and have access to a broadband or mobile internet connection.

The digitally excluded, with information to share may not have such access or the knowledge on how to use these devices. Although online engagement should not start and end the participation, it can be a accessible start.

Being able to fuse together the older generations get up and go know-how with the younger generations knowledge of technology great strides could be made.

How The Digitally Excluded Should Use Technology

Technology which digitally excluded users should use, is suggested to be simpler and more convenient, than your own device, since they may not be as skilled as you are at using different devices.

Screen size is important as they will need this to read the text or see the pictures, though it should be noted that the bigger the screen the more expensive the device will be.

Screen size can also assist in having ease of access to some of the following:

  • Internet Banking
  • Paying bills
  • Online Shopping
  • Skype
  • Checking and Sending Emails
  • Using Social Media
  • Internet Browsing

The device should be set up with a way in which they can check emails and notifications, send and check text messages.

Touch Screen Devices

Most of the applications and web pages are now created to match either the smartphone or tablets size, whilst a touch screen computer will have a desktop view.

This means social media sites will have applications if using a Smartphone or tablet that is easily accessible, with just your log in and password required.

You may purchase the touch screen device for some of the reasons below:

  • They just need to touch the icon on the screen.
  • Applications are accessible on one screen
  • Keyboard and mouse are optional
  • Ease of access to Audio, pictures and Videos

Connections

Some of you will have access to a internet connection, others may not. If you have a friend or relative who is new to the internet but would like it to keep in-touch.

You may assist them in selecting a service which would meet their usage, for example an unlimited internet package may not be suitable to them unless they are going to be subscribed to netflix or making many video calls.

If they are just using the internet to look at the internet and interact with people on social media and respond to emails then a package with a lower data allowance/lower bandwidth will do.

 

Ratings Economy

As a technical person, who works on electronic devices and provides advise on technology, which a person should purchase based on their usage. I have utilised device ratings and customer reviews when looking for appropriate devices.

As a people we should look to purchase products and provide reviews, rather than just liking or to favourite a product or a service. The effect of just liking or to favourite, based on reading about or just seeing a post which looks good has no benefits for the business owner in the long term.

There are ways in which providing a rating and review can help with the prosperity and improving your experience with that business, which can include

  • More people will be aware of other people who have the a product.
  • A community of users can be built who can have a say in how the product is developed to meet your specific needs.
  • There may be giveaways or rewards for more loyal custom and genuine product feedback.

In this increasing internet purchasing age we are now using more and more customer reviews to purchase, this should be the same with black businesses if you have used the service then you should comment or leave a favourite, rather than if you have not.

As a consumer you will know the importance of a customer review. If people just like or favourite a product it does not say much. A comment about a past experience will help otherwise it is pointless as a company cannot provide the same great service/product to more customers due to your actions.

Economically fuelled black political participation

There are presidential elections coming and as Dr Claude Anderson speaks about there is the potential for black people to have a say in politics, within America, I am not saying we will get much but we must at least show some of the following:

  • Unification
  • Seriousness
  • Intent

Considering each of the above, we as a race are not currently unified, either in the US, Caribbean, South and Central America or in Africa. We need to put asside our differentces, in a discussion which I was having I listed at least 5 different cateogaries of black people which did not agree and were not able to see race as a way in which we could work together. These groups were:

  • Religious

  • Middle class

  • Working class

  • Concious

  • Entrepreneur

The religious persons, only unite with each others denomination, e.g. Christians unite with other Christians despite colour, Muslims unite with other Muslims despite the colour (on the surface) and other religions unite and support the other members. The middle class blacks largely leave the black areas which they grow up in and do not tend to invest back into the community as there is a individualistic point of view that I have to get mines, which is what the working class black people become indoctrinated and aspire to being afraid of working together as they fear other black people will leave the community and forget about everyone, which is largely true.

Then, there’s the concious people who can be exclusive and only want to work with conscious people and the entrepreneur, which is only in some cases considering the monetary value that a person can bring to them and their company, rather than the long term knock on effect of the social ramifications of looking at people as a meal ticket or a dollar sign.

The aim should be to get a representative of all these people in a room and consider that the common ground everyone has is they are black and that they are all treated the same when they walk out on the street and that if they blindly go out to vote then they will not get anything delivered to them. These past 6 years has seen the current presidency deliver anything to black people as a whole since we did not sit down and demand action in favour of our communities.

The set out could be as follows all the groups of black people meeting at the following levels:

  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

At the local level it could be a group meeting with a representative elected by interested members of the community, with an agenda to present to the different groups. The local groups of persons meet up and discuss what they want from the electoral candidate on a local level.

On a regional level the representatives meet with the candidate on a regional/state level discuss what they want in return for their vote. This would be after dialogue has been made with the candidates representatives on a local and regional/state level.

On a national level the representatives then meet with the candidate on a state level and discuss what they want. This would provide a seriousness and intent on the candidate getting the black vote rather than just providing promises, which will be difficult to fulfil when they think, ‘yes you voted, but these people financially contributed to my campaign’, since money talks.

There are many factions within the black community who can provide different resources to ensuring a presidential in the short and medium term can deliver what we need rather than a free black vote:

Religious – Numbers and access to some finance to fund a candidates campaign in return for action, which serves our purpose.

Middle class – Finances which can support the candidates campaign and ensuring that our communities are economically, socially and politically developed to serve our purpose.

Working class – Provide the ability to put finances together and undertake groundwork to ensure our communities can be developed to ensure our futures and welfare to a certain degree is considered.

Concious – Can provide information on how the representative can put policies in place to ensure black people can prosper as a whole (where possible from the candidates policies)

Entrepreneur – Provide economic empowerment to the local communities and how the candidate can implement policies to ensure this is possible.

Despite these ideas there is a 16 month window in which black people, can have a say through unification, seriousness and intent, by talking to the candidates and paying for policies to be in our favour even on a just below the surface as we need something in the short term to allow us to regroup as a people then make strides, to the next action we must take to improve our situation in the west.

Here are some sources:

Dr Claude Anderson (video) How to play the game of politics and win

New York Times – Who wants to buy a politician

Consumerist.com – Supreme Court Ruling on political donations

African Caribbean Society – President

As a black person who studied at university, I was interested in becoming involved in extra curricular activities. This was where I became president of the African Caribbean Society in the 2nd year of my studies. The position was suppose to be an opportunity to provide a cultural education of African and Caribbean history, to these students.

The plan was laid out that I would be seeking cultural events, such as film showings, getting speakers and organising trips to museums and cultural places. There was also an ambition for me to network with university African Caribbean societies within the region of the university (East and West Midlands).

This was the plan, but like with most elected positions, you are voted in with a committee, who must work towards this. Firstly, the committee had some people who were there for a CV and to have the status of being on a committee doing nothing, this included any ideas they had or I had, as a committee we would suggest ideas and vote on them and many ideas were agreed upon. This was the easy part, the difficult part was actually arranging the events, many of the people on the committee were either busy or lazy and needed chasing up to see if they had completed the tasks. This lead to some events being staged but not to the full capacity and some events having a relatively low turn out due to a lack of marketing.

This could have been due to faults of my own such as naievity as most of the committee and the members when asked which type of events they wanted, were looking for parties and going to different parties at the different universities and venues. The plan was to have a party as a small segment at different intervals within the year rather than on a regular basis. To offset this based on work and voluntary experience since this time period, there possibly should have been a partnership (formal or informal) with a black based music society created at the time. This would have ensured the cultural aspects of the society would have been fulfilled and the partying needs of the members would have been covered by the black based music society.

The second point about the networking, this was my original attempt at group economics or at least group sociology, where the aim was to host events and invite the other African Caribbean society to our events and then attend other societies events. As stated earlier this was successful in regards to the discussion and initial planning, though one of the biggest universities in the region at the time, was not interested as they felt they had their own network within their own city.

Had this have been undertaken at the time it would have allowed for the sharing of resources and the support of each others events and making events even more fulfilling with the potential of building and improving relations. The other universities lost contact and despite the society I was president of creating events, the interest in this fell and with a committee not fully cooperative the efforts were difficult, as my missus told me recently I may have been ahead of my time.

This experience made me not want to work in a voluntary capacity again with other black people, but I felt this was unfair, as I gained more life experience and volunteered more as I realised, there are people out there wiling to make more of an effort and to make a meaningful contribution to improve the community they are working in.

The reason I am writing this is, because I feel sometimes as a people we have some that want to work towards a cause and its the others around them that let the whole thing collapse. As adults or participants we should only participate in the best interests of the organisation and the people it is meant to serve.