The Community Collaboration Project (CCP) was launched at a 2 day training weekend at the end of January 2014. 25 representatives from 11 organisations came together for a weekend of instruction in theory and methodology, practical advice and guidance, and discussion about how we can face our shared challenges together. Please read the manual for information about the training session.
Participating organisations; Ikamva Labantwana Bethu, SALT, Amandla Edufootball, EWB, Fundisa Primary Fund, Grasroots Boxing, Nebula Skateboarding, Masakhaneni Community Development, Sozo Foundation, UPDP, Institute for Change, Axium, Communiversity, and Etafeni.
Collaboration doesn’t come easily to most of us. We have too long a history of perceiving the world and organising ourselves within it, ‘hierarchically rather than democratically, to compete rather than collaborate, to listen to authority over intuition, and to be subjects rather than active citizens’ Tana Paddock (Organisation Unbound).
We were all there to collaborate and make Vision 2030 a reality. The term ‘collaboration’ is spoken of more and more in the profit and non-profit sectors, but the actual process of how we can collaborate while pursuing our own agendas is much harder to actually implement and achieve. The aim is to reach a mutually beneficial compromise, which is by definition, extremely difficult.
Yet there is hope! People are recognising the need to collaborate in order to succeed and sustain. The boundaries that we have built to protect ourselves are being dismantled slowly but surely. The realisation that together we are stronger, better, and will inevitably last longer has led to a growing number of trusting relationships developing between organisations. Collaboration requires a huge amount of trust as you have to let other organisations into your world and you are required to enter theirs. It is all very uncomfortable at first, but as wise people have told me ‘you have to lean into the discomfort’. So we are.
It is exciting to see so many people from different communities all trying to do the same thing, which is ultimately to build a better future for South Africa’s young population. By connecting these organisations and providing a space for conversation a number of challenges have already been addressed. One inspiring example was the donation of 60 Answer Series books from an organisation with surplus to one with a shortage. This is exactly what the collaborative community is designed to be; a community of people working together and sharing their resources and expertise to reach a collective goal.
We can only do this if we work together with other like-minded organisations and individuals who are also committed to the ambitious aims of Vision2030. Through collaboration we can make better informed decisions, leverage (not exploit) the fruits of others labours, vocalise and publicise solutions, share best practice, reduce the number of ‘failed’ projects, and replicate positive change.
Collaboration makes sense, but what does it look like? Well, the collaborative community are going to work it out.
If you are interested in running tutoring programmes in your community, can identify an area for intervention, would like some advice and guidance on your project, want to invest in a project, or have a collaboration idea that will contribute to the attainment of Vision2030 we NEED to hear from you.