When you think about successful associations and the faces behind them, what are the first things that come to mind? Is it the meticulous business plans that, at some stage or another, came into fruition? How about the scrupulously drawn out financial projections that laid the foundation for future budgets and operations? The early marketing strategies that may have emerged in the form of business cards, social media posts, or flyers and phone calls? While each of these play a critical role, small or large, in an organization’s journey, there are three ingredients that are far more essential on the path to success: participation, passion, and persistence.
On September 22, I had the pleasure of attending a talk led by HAF President Yossef Ben-Meir at a gathering of driven and enthusiastic youths taking part in a Y-Peer Workshop in Ait Ourir. Y-Peer was designed as a youth-to-youth initiative that supports and promotes civic engagement and responsibility, with participants coming from across Morocco and other parts of the continent and the world. These workshops are a unique and incredible opportunity for these University-aged students to ideate, learn from each other, and gain empowering knowledge to drive them forward on their missions to develop associations for the betterment of their communities and themselves.
“If you’re not given the opportunity to voice your opinions, that environment has to change, or you have to change it,” this is only one of the inspiring messages Yossef delivered to these students during the hour and a half discussion; the importance of being heard, and recognizing that that inherent power in ourselves is paramount in becoming the change-makers of today and tomorrow. The workshop participants were eager and responsive, heavily identifying with this message, but also moving further to discuss their fears and individual goals. One of the women present stressed the importance of believing in our failures and learning from our experiences in our journeys through life, while also keeping that youthful spark of energy constantly alive and burning. We each have within us the energy to make a change for ourselves and others, and with enough hope and the right ideas, plans will emerge and communities can be formed.
Yossef ended the talk with stressing the importance of keeping in touch and maintaining the communities we form; it is through our connections with others and the world around us that we’ll find the most success in what we do. Participation, persistence, and passion are what drive us forward and build the foundation for positive impact. Of course, we can’t be on fire everyday, we’re all only human beings, but with enough motivation, grit, persistence, and passion, we can always keep the desire and spark of change burning brightly within ourselves and those around us.