Here is a short follow-up on an earlier post I made several weeks back. In case you missed the first one, here is the link: On Becoming a Man – The Fundraiser’s Diary. Here are some additional observations and lessons I have learnt so far in the course of raising funds for the Nongov Community Primary Health Centre Project:
Changes starts with the very first step: Yes, it does. You may not be quite experienced. You need not have figured out everything from the beginning; perhaps if you did, the enormity and complexities might just weigh you down and kill the vision before it even gets the breath of life. It takes courage to step out in faith believing that positive change is possible and will happen. Trust me, there are so many lofty ideas I have murdered in the past just because I over-analysed the variables and constants. We do not need to lead lives filled with regrets – of friends we could have told the truth in love, orphans we could have helped through school, lives we could have blessed by just a five-minute speech. The list is endless!
You need people: This is nothing new; it’s a resounding truth. Friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers can, and will, prove very resourceful and supportive when you try to raise funds, create awareness, and forge strategic partnerships for your developmental project(s). Looking back at this point, I can boldly say that truly, as much as you can, keep peace with all men. There is bound to be friction every now and then in our interactions, but I have tried in my (few) years on earth yet to part with most people in good standing. Not that we are to suck up to people – that’d be rather selfish and timid of us. I make a case for respecting people for who they are and disagreeing with them when the situation calls for that, but still in a respectful way. Like that cliché goes, “we meet to part and we part to meet”. Remember that awkward moment when that secondary school senior who perpetually bullied you and made you feel like a ‘nobody’ suddenly appeared in your office ten years later to be interviewed for a (plum) job, by you?
Prepare for failure; don’t fail to learn the lessons: I feel a tad uneasy about this, but it’s the reality out there. Prepare to handle failure in a mature way when it comes – it will surely come, several times! There are many reasons why the project will not work – nobody wants to put their money where government has failed; they don’t want to cover up for the ineptitude of the government of the day; you are not a medic, so why and how do you hope to build a primary health centre; the poor will always be amongst us, so to hell with them? The last three months have been filled with many lessons for me. In the course of doing research and fine-tuning proposals, I have been exposed to the workings of government, seen how bureaucracy can kill developmental projects, acquired some useful knowledge about global health practices, met various people – like-minded young Nigerians and adults who have supported in various ways and cheered from the sides, tapped into my own material and human resources, and learnt to think ‘thrice’ because there is always a way out as long as one has the will and a commitment to see the goal(s) accomplished. Sometimes, all I needed was a little retreat the position from which I renewed strength. I have made mistakes and learnt to correct them. I have seen that though resources are scarce and the government might not have their eyes everywhere, individuals can initiate development and get the government to wake up to its responsibilities.
I pause here today and would like hear/read from you. What lessons have you learnt recently and in the past in the course of gathering support for a cause that meant much to you? How have you handled failures and dealt with people in respect during the course of your association with them?
Read more about and support the Nongov Project here: http://thenongovproject.wordpress.com
Photo Credits: www.trainings.am
Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu