Eva Paterson, project Manager from Volunteers Peru shares some insights on how to ensure project sustainability by building community networks!
This week I will be writing about the importance of creating links within the community. This could definitely be seen as an alternative way of fundraising and creating awareness of projects in the various communities that we work in.
To put this into context, Volunteers Peru has recently made a connection with a local hostel to help our project in Arequipa, the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte. Typically this hostel has a yearly Christmas Charity where they collect donations for a local project. One of our volunteers had a friend working in this hostel. With this link it was decided to have the donations go to Torre Fuerte. After bringing the donations and visiting the home, the Events Manager of the hostel decided to keep collecting donations and make the charity an ongoing thing. Additionally they are hosting a Pub Quiz during the summer months to bring in some money for the home as well.
This simple connection that was made will now continually support the Casa Hogar Torre Fuerte. The things that are always needed in the home, such as shampoo and towels, are things that travelers will so happily leave behind before heading home or moving on. So instead of these things going in the garbage they can be used in the home, which in turn will save them from having to buy these things.
The importance of connections
These kinds of connections are so important and can really help to support projects. Furthermore, spreading the word of projects like the Casa Hogar can help them find donors that they might not have otherwise had. Other ways to make these connections is through businesses. For example, if you promote a local café or restaurant to volunteers and travelers, in turn that business, could provide a donation.
Harnessing these connections within a community can form great partnerships and benefit both parties.
In Arequipa we are at an advantage because it is a large city, but even in rural areas these kinds of links can be very important to supporting a project. It is these connections within the community that make a project more sustainable and give a chance for the local community to get involved in helping projects. Therefore creating these links can be invaluable and should be considered as part of an alternative funding for projects.
This post is brought to you thanks to the contribution of Eva Paterson. She is a Project Manager and social worker at Volunteers Peru in Arequipa.Volunteers Peru is a NGO that works with two projects, a home for abandoned girls in Arequipa and a school in the rural area Tomepampa. For further details about Volunteers Peru, you can also read this interview with Ella Smyth.