Together We Can: Online Communities as the Catalyst for Change
In the Caribbean creating change can be a slow and difficult process and many get discouraged. We have restricted human and financial resources, ‘collaboration’ - in many cases - is a buzzword and it is no secret that we have a chronic problem when it comes to implementation.
We often attribute the sluggish movement towards change to the lack of ‘political will’. We blame those in power for not doing enough to put policies and programmes in place for positive social and economic development. Yet we proudly claim we are democratic nations. Civil Society Organisations are well placed in Caribbean societies to advocate for change, mobilise resources and reach people at the community level. Unfortunately their capacity is not as strong as it should be and there are issues of sustainability.
Whether it is domestic violence, trade or disaster management, many issues are interlinked. Major challenges can be overcome with easier access to information, networking and fostering closer relationships, and pooling resources together for better social programmes and wider outreach. By working together with local, regional and international stakeholders and pulling on their strengths and creative talents, implementation becomes less difficult because everyone is sharing the load.
The truth is that change starts within each and every one of us. We are all leaders in our own right. When like-minded individuals come together and advocate around a particular issue, gather the right information and take action there is greater impact.
PulseWire and other online communities are excellent platforms for:
1. Finding likeminded people, particularly women. World Pulse is a fantastic platform for advancing women’s rights in the 21st century and discussing common issues that affect us all. I see these platforms as particularly useful in overcoming challenges associated with global governance.
2. Mobilising resources and advertising programmes catered to women across the world - Through the Action Center I can search and share opportunities with others to create business partnerships, take advantage of training or even look for jobs! I have already learned through an article on Pulsewire of a woman who was able to raise funds for a project through this platform.
3. Sharing and gaining knowledge and best practices by learning from others and exchanging tips for more effective implementation. I look forward to learning more from leaders in the NGO sector on addressing challenges of sustainability.
4. Finally gaining confidence - It was a humbling experience for my article to be featured last week and for persons to have taken the time to comment, share their stories and offer support. Sometimes the simplest things give you that little extra boost to continue your work against all odds.
I thank you my sisters!