Its time for Community Challenge in Barcelona!
We have started an online workshop in the form of a friendly competition, to raise awareness of the socially excluded among the “included” peoples of their communities. The challenges brought to us were diverse and complex, asTernura Rojas mentioned, when reporting her Challenge from Spain about “Romani Women” who get pregnant at a very young age, remain illiterate, beg in front of supermarkets, and often fetch their food from waste bins, as depicted in the picture, below.
Amid the economic crisis of beautiful Spain, with 25% unemployment rates, it is strongly anticipated that the numbers of homeless people will increase. Does that mean another generic “food and shelter” response will be made?
Well, one way to help is, of course, to provide a shelter, and palliative amounts of food to move the homeless from one day to the next. In Community Challenge, however, we believe that people empowerment is the key. As the Chinese proverb says: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time.”
We also believe in the healthy exchange of ideas between people and nations: first, to promote mutual respect, understanding and tolerance; second,simply, because what works for some people could benefit other people as well. And undertaking that exchange is what Rojas has done during her two-week-challenge.“Learning goes both ways,” Rojas said. “I learn about their culture and they learn about mine, and we learn to respect each other’s. That way, we can introduce cultural changes in both cultures…”
The results are especially satisfying when the empowerment helps everyone in a community—those who reach out, and those who are reached. Learning about individuals like Ternura Rojas and so many other participants,who are social innovators, and social contributors—because they not only acknowledge social problems, but also provide great proposals and suggestions!
I look forward to utilizing all the wonderful insights gained from this opportunity to learn from each of you—and want to thank every donor, supporter,and friend. Without you, every one of you, this workshop would never have been possible.
Thank you again.
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