So, I’ve been a bit MIA lately. I haven’t posted anything in a while. Aside from the unexpected publishing of my collaboration article – and sharing that – I’ve been off the grid lately. I didn’t mean to, but I got a bit distracted with another project. As all of you know, I am based out of Guatemala where I work alongside a nonprofit working with at-risk youth. I’m a jack of many trades with them: administrator, ‘mother’ to the kids, disciplinary, strategist, etc. One of the many hats I wear is in their development area. And, with the end of the year almost here, I found myself behind schedule with organizing their fundraising strategies.
A promise to myself going forward is to be better about balancing all projects. It’s a bit of a (bad?) habit I have. When I commit to projects I completely dive down their rabbit holes and am consumed by them until their completion. So there’s that.
But, I want to pull the veil back a bit and show you all in more detail what I’ve been up to. I talk about my work in Guatemala more in broad strokes than in greater detail. I think because I do a bit of everything, it’s hard to have a nice focus to share. But, life is messy and so is nonprofit work. No sense in disguising that. For over a year and a half, I’ve been with an organization called Champions in Action. We strive to break the cycles of Guatemala City’s red zones by connecting kids to mentors through soccer. There are so many studies on the positive effects on youth with mentorship and sports discipline.
In the development area, the end of the year is always the big fundraiser for the following year. This year was – interesting – due to some personal life craziness along with a series of staffing changes. And, I’ve found myself as a one woman development and marketing machine. In the past weeks, I created a concept, shot footage, edited videos and began social media for the campaign, in addition to pushing for donations.
I racked my brain on how we could quickly produce solid content videos to promote our work and successes within the campaign. I came up with an “Our Voices” campaign where we let the kids take over sharing. In late October, I spent the day chasing kids around our soccer league. It’s amazing how outgoing they are until a camera comes nearby. And for some, they thrive with the attention.
In the picture above, I saw one of the boys doing some warmups on his own. I asked him to do it again to film. Half his team (and a rando) jumped in too. I enjoyed it maybe a little too much watching them keep hitting and getting tangled in each other because they couldn’t get their timing down and insisted in being squished together to all be filmed.
At another point in the day, I had to keep coaxing another boy to talk to me. His mentor nominated him as tribute to be in the video and he was not having it at first. We spent a solid two minutes, or more, with me telling him to start talking and him being “huh?” “what?!”.
These are my days: part serious work, part mothering and another part “cat”-herding.