Posted by & filed under Continuing Conversations.

I’ve been asked about procedures and any relevant information that will answer the question “How can I join the foundation and work on it?”

I’m replying as a co-founder and volunteer in Dadamac Foundation.

First it’s important to realise there are no paid roles in Dadamac Foundation at present, and no “per diems” or other financial benefits. If you are going to be involved it will be in your own time and at your own expense.  Although there are no financial benefits to working with us there are many other “rewards”. Taking my experience as an example, my life has been greatly enriched through the things I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made, the inspirational people I’ve met, and the satisfaction of using my time in interesting, creative and worthwhile ways. If you want to join us then read on to discover more about the roles you might play and the procedures involved.

Location, communication and interests

I need to know how easily we  can communicate with each other, and any existing areas of overlapping interest. Where are you based, what access do you have to the Internet, what are your interests?

  • Are you in the UK? If so where?
  • Are you in Africa? If so where?
  • If you are somewhere else, where are you?
  • What access do you have to mobile phones and/or the Internet?
  • What are your preferred “tools for talking”at a distance –  facebook, skype, emails, google, twitter, whatsapp, etc?
  • How easy is it for you to communicate in written English?
  • Do you have any current special interest in development in Africa? If so what and where? (“None” is a perfectly acceptable answer.)
  • Do you have any particular skills relevant to administration, communication or digital technology? (“None” is a perfectly acceptable answer.)
  • How did you find Dadamac Foundation and what attracts you to it?

Here are the reasons for these questions:

Location affects the ways we can collaborate. I’ll be helping you to discover and develop your role, so I need to know if we’ll be likely to meet face-to-face or if we’ll collaborate at a distance. I live in the UK. The kind of involvement I can help you to have depends on how we we’ll connect.

The Internet is important for communication in Dadamac Foundation. Our roots are partly in Africa, partly in UK, and partly “in the cloud”. People prefer various platforms for communicating.

Many of our meetings “in the cloud” are done in writing, not through the spoken word. People in Dadamac include speakers of many different languages. The common language that we use online is English.

There are many different perspectives on our work, and many potential ways of getting involved. I need to have a good idea of your starting point, so I can help you to find the kind of role that would suit you.

What kind of role do you have in mind?

Dadamac Foundation is an unusual organisation. It is not like a traditional “top-down” International Development NGO. It grew out of friends helping friends, and that history influences how it has developed and the kind of roles that people fill.

See Dadamac Foundation website for our mission statement and more about helping changemakers.

See It’s time to end this development disconnect for some of the thinking behind the mission.

We are at an interesting stage of development – how we go forward will depend on who gets involved.

The video below, from a Dadamac Foundation event in London in November 2015, gives a flavour of who is involved and what we are trying to do.

Roles in Dadamac Foundation:

There are various ways to get involved. These are the main kind of roles.

Changemakers

Changemakers are people like John Dada, Elfneh Bariso, Julliet Makhapela, and Joyce Elemson (all seen in the video). They are initiating change “on the ground” in communities where they belong, and they are sharing their ongoing stories with us, for reasons explained elsewhere. As Dadamac Foundation grows we expect to help more changemakers.

Information agents

We need more information agents so we can improve the quality and quantity of our support to changemakers, and develop more effective ways of curating and sharing the information they provide. Information agents are needed for a wide range of work. Examples include being a “changemaker’s buddy”(keeping in contact and writing blogs for the changemaker), finding information for changemakers, raising the visibility of Dadamac Foundation and the changemakers via social media, improving our information presentation (text, graphics, photos, videos) and developing our capabilities to manage and present an “information commons” to support development initiatives.

Financial supporters

We need people to help cover our costs through personal giving ( see the “donate” link ) or in other ways such as organising sponsored events, or acting as ambassadors and encouraging others to support the work of Dadamac Foundation and the Dadamac Changemakers.

Administration and governance roles

We need people to fill the usual roles related to running a registered charity.

Procedures

The procedures for getting involved depend on the kind of role that interests you, and how we’ll communicate. To get started please think about what is written above, and how it relates to you and your interests. Then contact me with plenty of information about who you are, and how you might like to be involved. Please make it as detailed as possible based on what is written here. I look forward to reading what you will write.