Serving disadvantaged communities in West Africa by empowering local leaders who have a positive humanitarian vision for their community.
This blog maps the evolution of the organization's vision through the thoughts, experiences, and collaborative projects of our team. Visit GroundUpGlobal.org for more information and how you can help!
For the past two years, our team has been in the same geographic location and so meetings, tasks, and projects were all done locally, face to face.
Recently, we graduated. This means a few things: as an all-volunteer organization, we no longer have to divide our time between academics, work, community, and GroundUp Global. It also means we are currently living and working in different states.
Luckily, we are a part of the technology generation.
Along with the tech revolution, the concept of sustainability has become popular in development. Yet in a perpetually uncertain world where climate change, political revolution, and economic collapse are a serious reality, we see adaptability as a far more advantageous goal. The reasoning behind the sustainability trend is that by creating projects that regenerate rather than deplete resources (be this donor dollars or fossil fuels) long-term solutions to major problems, like hunger, poverty, and illiteracy can be managed more effectively.
If a project or organization cannot adapt to changing circumstances, however, what hope does it have of being sustainable?
In our work with Liberian refugees, sustainability also seemed secondary. Refugee circumstances are especially difficult because, while people do need sustained education, food, and health programs, their status as refugees or displaced persons is not sustainable, nor should it be. In this case, the only sustainable solution is the uncertainty of relocating to Liberia.
Placing the strategy of adaptability at our core means that instead of despairing at the team’s dispersal, we saw it as an opportunity to increase transparency. Our weekly staff meetings, once conducted in a conference room, are now held via google hangout, open to everyone, and broadcast live. They are also recorded to our youtube channel so that supporters, volunteers, interns, and even staff who could not make it to the live meeting have an opportunity to participate when it is convenient for them.
Using google hangout is not without its difficulties, but the ultimate outcomes of increased transparency and more complete information for our volunteers & supporters, make the small struggles worthwhile.