Networks remind you that you are
not alone in the world. There are
many others out there who have
been here before you and who are
often very happy and eager to help.
Learning from others and exchanging
knowledge is incredibly useful when
looking for direction. Use existing
online networks, local community
networks and personal contacts to
gain advice from experienced activists and subject specialists.
Through networks, you can also find
everything you could possibly want
for your project -
from finding a
mentor or evaluator, to raising funds
and recruiting volunteers.
And rather than just use networks,
be part of them! Encourage the
development of local and interpersonal networks between friends.
We want to see a network of global
youth that acts as a family: sharing
the load and supporting fellow members. Networks are the basic human
safety net. Find
Community networks: Community
networking helps raise project awareness amongst those it is affecting.
It is also incredibly useful for gaining
the hands-on support your project
needs. Through community networks
it may be possible to find free labour,
resources and advice. It will help create a sense of community ownership
of your project. Think about who
you, or your friends and family, are
connected to. A great way to do this
is to put yourself in the middle of
a pictorial web and spread out the
lines through your family and friends.
Ask each to give you five useful
names and watch your web grow!
The support of a large organisation in your field
may help your project gain recognition and credence. Professional
guidance can also be invaluable in
helping a project remain sustainable.
An established organisation’s support
adds legitimacy to your work and can
be useful in getting round obstacles
such as legal loopholes. Network
with these people, create strategic
alliances and, with their blessing, use
their voice and established position
to your advantage.
Often embassy officials, government members
and celebrities can act as powerful endorsers to a project. Network
with these people to attract much
needed attention to your project.
But be careful. Make sure media
interest in some teen sensation does
not detract and overshadow your
actual cause. Remember this is your
project, not their promotional tour!
Online networking and youth networks: The internet is an enormous
and fantastically useful resource for
youth-led development. There are
a number of websites and networks
devoted to this subject. These are invaluable for getting hints and
project management from successfully completed projects. But don’t
just look for success stories - sometimes it is even more helpful
to review projects that went wrong. These
stories are hard to find as youth,like
everyone else, do not like the stigma
of failure. And remember, once you
have finished your project, you can
contribute to this spirit of cooperation by telling your experience,
including mistakes, fully and honestly
in your reports. Remember we are in
this fight together! It may be too late
for you to learn from your mistakes,
but others can so share mistakes to
prevent others from repeating them.
Do what you say you’re
going to do!!
Everybody faces times when their
project seems nothing but an uphill
struggle. And when times get challenging, many of you may be
give up... Don’t!
It is very normal for you to go through a
difficult stage in your project. You need
to persevere and face up to whatever
challenge is thrown at you.
Think about the amount you have
already invested and the obstacles you
have already overcome. If you give
up, all of that will be wasted. But if you
keep at it, push for one goal at a time,
you will learn and grow and your final
success will be even more rewarding.
Another essential is keeping
your word. Make sure you always do
exactly what you say you are going to
do. If you are not sure if you will be able
to do something, don’t commit to it!
If we are honest, that is the major
concern that governments and big
organisations have about YLD. They
think we are unreliable and will give up
at the first sign of a problem. That is not
true! To change opinions of YLD, we
need to show a very high success rate
and prove that not only are youth are
the biggest bang for the development
investor’s buck, but that we are a very
low risk, safe investment too.
To date, we have pretty
much achieved a 100% success rate, often exceeding
our own and other’s expectations.
Now it is time for you to join this happy
tradition. By persevering you, too, can
prove that YLD truly works. And, if
things go wrong and you face insuperable obstacles, just remember:
DON’T YOU DARE GIVE UP!!
Keep the faith and Do What You Say
You’re Going To Do! Back