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Wall of Fame

The run is still on. I have so far fundraised 1068 Reais (€ 481 or $635) thanks to the amazing people below. That leaves 3932 Reais (€1719 or $2265) to go…

As a little thank you to all those that have already contributed to my fundraising efforts and thus supported me on my way to the Warriors programme I have decided to highlight them on my wall of fame…

Have a look at these incredible people! Add your face here by giving a small donation too…See how below…

 

Tanya Mowbray, UK
Sonya Silva, Canada

Kata Tuez, Austria

Padma Fielitz, Germany

Martin Baumann, Austria

Georg Feiner, Austria

Claudia Pichler, Austria

 

Kamariyah Mbamba, Sweden

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Michael Gugimeier, Austria

A huge thank you also goes to Bettersports for their support!
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Be part of it with me!

I made it! I have been selected for the Warriors Without Weapons programme in Santos! It is amazing an exciting opportunity for me to make another step further in my career.

As part of the process to successfully enter into the programme I have to fundraise 5000 Reais (€2200 or $2900). Although the overall sum seems to be horrific, I believe that little by little I can put it together. Therefore it doesn’t matter how little you are willing to donate. Nothing is insignificant! Even as little as 10 bucks will make a difference!

So here I would like to reach out to you with request for help. Be part of this programme with me by giving a donation. By supporting me, you support the larger cause – the marginalised communities in Santos, Brazil and the common effort of 60 selected participants from around the world to improve their community and their lives. Your contribution will enable me to give my energy, motivation and passion to help realised their dreams in one way or another.

Any contribution will be hugely appreciated and valued. In return, the organisers offer to put the supporter’s logo on the programme’s website and in the programme’s final report that will be developed by the ELOS team and may be sent to you via email.  I can also offer photos, reports and articles for those that could have any use of them.

 

Unfortunately time is my enemy, so should you be so kind and decided to donate, please click on the following link and make a donation:

 

Should you prefer another type of payment then contact me directly on danuska14@aol.com and we talk about other arrangements.

 

If you know people who might be interested in sponsoring, please make this link available to them too. 

 

I thank you in advance for your help!

Evaluation means to see the value in something

I love the game, though it didn’t go the way I wanted. I played the game in a very hectic, non-standard setting which created a lot of obstacles for me. I was travelling during the first 2 weeks, jumping straight into full time work while living in friend’s house. So throughout the whole process I was struggling with time as I was often limited/dependent on other(s) factors. So time was my enemy. Having said that, I believe the time frame is fine and manageable in an ordinary setting and therefore I don’t want to use it as an excuse nor as an justification of the way I completed my tasks.

I love the game as a tool for applying for the programme. I think it’s very creative and help you choose the right people. From experience I know there are many people out there who are very well trained or are naturally good in writing applications, thus looking very good on paper, yet when you meet them in person it’s all fake. I find this game a brilliant tool to prove the attitude and motivation. Thumbs up!

Would I change my attitude had I done it again? I guess I would. Knowing that timing was my biggest problem this time, I’d spend more time on planning (or so I say :)). Not sure how could I avoid unreliability of others, which was a big factor of changing my action plans (2x!) pushing me into last resort measures. I guess you can never influence the human factor. You cannot do it in life either, so the strategy is to learn how to deal with it. And I think I have…

Regardless of the result, you guys have 40 BRL with me…Let me know how I can get them to you…

5,4,3,2,1…GO!!!

 It was Saturday, the day of the party, the Halloween night. It was one of those days…I was running the whole day like a headless chicken…You know, when everything is just happening at the same time and you don’t know what to do first? Well that’s exactly what was my day like…lunch with a friend (not negotiable as he only came for a weekend all the way from Paris and I haven’t seen him well over 3 years), shopping for costume, making the poster, organising moving (I was moving all my stuff to Czech Republic after 5 years in London!)…

Step by step I was fulfilling my tasks. Time was passing and I was about to make the poster. By the way, at the end I set to fundraise for the Warriors, as waiting for the answers from other organisations was just not getting me anywhere…And with the Warriors I know how to get the money to the right place….

I made the poster – it had to be very self-explanatory and simple as I promised my friend that it will not anyhow change the character of the party. Simplicity is beautiful and can sometimes tell more than thousands words…So with a simple picture the text went as follows:

The Story of Warriors…

The true WARRIORS manage WITHOUT WEAPONS. They don’t fight useless and unnecessary wars; they don’t fight over territory; they don’t kill for money r unjustified cause. The true WARRIORS come from all over the world in peace and with open hearts to fight together for more sustainable and just world. They bring nothing but the energy, passion & motivation and by using their skills, knowledge and talents they work hand in hand with local community to address urgent environmental and social issues. The WARRIORS will meet in January 2011 in Santos, Brazil to work in a community for whom they’ll think and execute a project using local construction techniques and resources. Please, support the WARRIORS tonight by giving a small donation. Thank you!

 

 

  

 Armed with my poster and dressed up as purple witch I went off to the party. At my friend’s place I put up the poster in the kitchen with a money box….At the end of the night there was £15 (about 40 BRL). Better than nothing! Might not be a fortune, but I am sure the money will be well spend.

 

the pirate paid...

 

 

 

the heart queen paid...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

even the mad hatter did....

 

It wasn’t the ideal scenario…And it went a long way down from the original idea. But I guess it’s the same in the real life…it doesn’t work all the time. One just cannot get discouraged by the failures and keep trying. And I will…However long it takes, I will keep trying…

We are not alone…

Ok, I know I haven’t been posting forever, but it doesn’t mean I forgot about the Warriors. I was just buried under lots of work…yet I was trying to complete my tasks in between. So just so you know, I have done it! Not the way I wanted or anticipated, not the way I’d be particularly proud of. But I’ve tried… Keep reading to find out how my plans were developing, changing and finally what came out of it….

Plan A My original plan was to throw a party that would be accessible to as many students as possible, thus the potential of raising good money was high. So firstly, I needed a cause to raise the money for. I thought that this is a brilliant opportunity to help my friends in Liberia – very exceptional young people that are supported by the Strongheart foundation to transform their lives and help others in their community through various projects. I loved the idea of having the party supporting my friends as well as my warriors application. I had it all envisioned in my head: I ask the Strongheart Foundation for permission to screen their beautiful short movies…and I ask my Liberian friends for more pictures to show everybody how amazing the project is and how it’s changing lives. I wanted to print couple of posters more for decoration on the night than for promotion. After all, these days the best and fastest way to reach out to as many people as possible is through Facebook so I thought that I’d have the marketing covered like that.

I needed a venue. I thought of the perfect place – a university Student Union’s bar in central of London. Perfect location, huge space and open to anybody (regardless of whether you are student or not). It has all the equipment one needs for party – sound system, dance space, bar. I thought there’s no better place…and what’s the best, my friend Prince is the president of the SU.

I need DJ. I don’t know any famous ones, not in London at least. But I do have friends that occasionally DJ! And so I thought of my friends Nina and Claudio. If anybody knows how to do it, it’s them two.

the masterplan....

I thought I have a perfect plan and was very excited to make it happen. But then problems started to occur…one by one…

Time was always my enemy, but this time it was worse than ever. Not only I had max. 2 weeks to make it happen, I also work full time. That gave me only evenings to try sorting things out to start with. But I was motivated, so I was still up for the challenge. I met with Prince and presented him my idea. He loved it and was keen on helping me out. Yet what I didn’t expect was that he had to present it further and it had to go through some bureaucratic chain to actually officially get permission to organise the party in that bar. For that he asked me to write a brief summary of what I want to do. At that point I still thought, fine…not a big deal. But in order to write the summary I had to put down the cause I wanted to raise money for. I emailed the Foundation asking for the permission to raise money for them and using images and videos from their website. (a) I didn’t want to raise money for somebody/something without them knowing about it and b) I didn’t want to ask for money telling it’s going to Liberia, when it wouldn’t. Anyway, I emailed and waited….But no answer was coming and I started to feel anxious about timing…

I also emailed my friend Nina, asking about the DJing…and waited and waited…yet no response…

So it got to the point when I had no answers and my plan started to fall apart…I had to quickly change plan…

Blan B With just a bit over one week left to do it I was still determined to make it happen. The plan was great and I pictured that whole thing in nice colours. I couldn’t wait anymore for the permission from the Foundation, so had to choose another cause. My friend Sara was always talking amazingly about organisation she’s involved in – Shine on Sierra Leone. And so I checked it out and loved it! I figured they could use a bit of money for their project in John Obey village as well. So I thought why not?

Having no DJ made me re-think the whole idea behind the party as well…Without at least a semi-professional DJ the risk of total fiasco was huge…I thought that the way around it (and a selling/promotion point) could be having an “open mic” night kind of thing. Basically everybody could have a go on being a DJ for half hour (or less – I actually never decided on the time slot, as it never came that far anyway). To make the party more fun I thought there could be a THEME as well (esp. not having a specific DJ – specific music). SHINE seemed to be a perfect topic – broad enough to leave the space for crazy fantasy and creativity and in line with the cause (Shine on Sierra Leone).

Happy with my new plan, I was quickly hit by another challenge – the time and bureaucracy. As mentioned earlier, to have the space it had to be approved by the board (or somebody) at a meeting. All of a sudden it seemed to be impossible to manage it in such a short time.

Plan C Desperate and unhappy about the developments of my efforts I decided to give it a last shot. Having only 4 days left my last try was to take advantage of the season – HALLOWEEN. My friend was having a party which she invited me to. It was a small, costume party. Not an ideal scenario but at that stage, it was this or nothing. And I decided I’m not going to give up just yet.

So I scratched everything I had in my mind before (except the initial idea of fundraising) and started to plan from the beginning. I asked my friend if it’s ok to do some kind of fundraising at the party. She wasn’t convinced about the idea from the very beginning so it took me some two days to assure her, that everything will be fine, that it’s not gonna be anything big and I will not pressure anybody to contribute (which I wasn’t gonna do anyway). I promised that all it takes is to put a self-explanatory poster in the corner and if people feel like donating they will…I, or anybody else, would at any point be standing there, avoiding the party…that was the deal. Fair enough.

And so now it was one-off shot or nothing….

Great ideas are born from small causes…

 

As usual, this task prooves to be a challenge for me.Travelling around and not being fully party of any community makes it a little more difficult to approach people or try to change something. I’m in London now and the advenatge here is that I have lived here more or less for past 5 years and know people. I also have a good relationships in my old work place, University of London Union (ULU), which is why they give me jobs when I need it. Anyway, long story short, the London students are the only community I have some access to, as I work for the ULU for 3 years and have always been actively involved in other Student Unions. Therefore, given the short time I have for completion of this task I had to come up with somethine that will involve the students.

There are over 150 000 students in London and I have always felt like their potential for being actively involved as changemakers has been vastly underestimated and unused. Many students are involved in various societies and are fighting for different causes, yet on the whole, I always had the feeling there can be done much more. So I thought I will use this chance and try to get more students to think and help the others. How? Fundrasing! Fundraising itself is very boring and honestly I hate it myself (probably because I’m not very good at it). But I think that there are ways to make it more fun than just stand on the street trying to convince people they should pay. No! They should give money because they want to, because they themselves feel like it’s the right thing to do not because somebody is playing with their emotions and conscious. So the fundrasisng efforts and inititatives have to be made more fun and accesible, something they want to be part of. And what is it that all (London) students love? Party!

So my idea is to throw a fundraising party, whereby I not only bring the cause (or project) to wider public, I also make the students to be part of something without forcing them. From experience I know that good deeds are bringing this great feeling of satisfaction and motivation which may result in more students being actively involved even after the party, and possibly raising money for other causes later on. So let’s see if it works!

I make the difference

I know that this exercise should have been an eye-opening after watching carefully what I’m doing/consuming for a week, but under my circumstances I cannot complete the task like this as my reality is different week to week. Hopefully you will take my insights and reflections over my life in general.
  
My Excess…Despite all my travelling and being “homeless” for so long, I know I posses a lot of stuff. When I was packing and clearing my flat in London 10 months ago I did get rid off a lot of stuff.

Clothes: For few years now I’m trading clothes with my friends. Living in expensive city like London I never had money to buy new clothes. So I exchange with my friends! I gave away a lot and took some. Those clothes that nobody wanted (some jeans, t-shirts, belts, skirts) I brought to charity shop. Since then I hardly bought any clothes but I have another bag ready for charity shop or friends!

Paper: When I was at university I accumulated lots of paper! Hundreds of copied pages of books, study packs, notes…I always thought it’s too much of a waste (money) and pity to just through it away after graduation. So I sold the study packs for little money (rather symbolic, like £5 or £10 as oppose to new ones for £30). Such business worked well for both sides. All the copied study materials (box of good 50kg!) I donated to my friend who’s teaching Politics and Development studies at Czech university, where the course is still developing so they have lack of resources.

Bike: With a broken heart I gave away my bike which was the best transport ever in London. Not only it’s cheapest and most sustainable option, due to London traffic it’s also the quickest most of the times. I had my bike for over 3 years and so when I lost my flat I had nowhere to store it. I left it outside the charity shop. It only took 10 minutes for two boys to spot it and take it home (funny enough, they lived in the same house as I used to, so my bike didn’t have to move far :))

The rest of the stuff I kept. Many of the practical things (like kitchen utensils, bed sheets etc.) I kept because eventually I have to find a new home and then I don’t want to buy everything again. I really use everything till the end. London life taught me many lessons, one of them being NOT WASTING! So I use the toothpaste till the last bit, shampoo till the last drop, coffee till the last grain…

I know I also kept lots of junk, but it has somehow sentimental value to me. Whether it was a present or a little note left on the mirror…these little things have no value to anybody but me, so forgive me that I keep it…:)

My Consumption…Last week – definitely excessive! And very out of ordinary. I admit that I gave in to luxury of ALL INCLUSIVE 5* hotel in Rhodes Island, Greece, where I participated in Rhodes Youth Forum and Dialogue of Civilizations Forum. I certainly don’t approve wasting so much money in conferences but once it was already paid for I might have just tried to enjoy it. I’ve never been to 5* hotel before and certainly never had ALL INCLUSIVE access so it was all very new and at first very exciting. But soon all this glamour and superficial stuff was just boring. I did love the food but I’m glad I’m out of there cause I would soon explode, had I have so much nice food all the time. Once I discovered the magic of Greek yoghurt with honey and fruits, my everyday breakfast was set. Fish, potatoes, veg, salads, water melon and some crazy colourful desserts were always on the table. And though I ate a lot last week, I never went for second plate (and trust me, this was very tempting!) The amount of wasted food in the hotel was just tragic though. My heart was crying everytime I walked in any of the 7 restaurants available for the guests. I wish Rhodes had lots of people that could benefit from the everyday leftovers. But it’s all glamour and wealth so I can imagine it all went to waste 😦

So now I left the posh life and I am back to reality. Well, food-wise only as I’m still in Greece (in Athens), where I’ve never been before. Being here on my own expenses means I’m on my usual low-budget scheme. It’s fine, I’m used to it. So my diet now consists of coffee (something I will never be able to give up), biscuits and crackers. Oh, and strawberry juice (another of my addictions, but they don’t have it everywhere, so when I see it I buy it). (Un)Luckily, you can’t find strawberry juice in London!  

drinking coffee, drafting this post in a notepad and reading book...(great way of spending morning!)

strawberry juice...yum...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
  
Anyway, cutting down on my consumption from last week will be super easy. Cutting down on my normal consumption will be rather difficult. Since my life is “on a road” (or constantly moving), my diet, my electricity and water consumption as well as recycling is not entirely in my hands. I’m very much dependent on my hosts.
 
Recycling…is not so much of an issue as most of my friends, as well as family and co-workers, recycle. Some more than others, but ultimately the facilities are there so I go along.
 
Water & Electricity…As a guest I’m always very conscious about that fact that my friends are kind enough and very hospitable to let me stay so the least I can do is not to waste their money and resources. Everywhere I go (and this has been true for past few years) I’m very conscious about switching off lights and turning off leaking water. I know however, that this doesn’t necessarily apply for other appliances (TV, stereo, computer) so I’m pledging right here and now to work on it and stop irresponsibly waste energy by keeping things on or stand by.

Food…Again, not having own fridge or kitchen rather complicates keeping a healthy and balanced diet. So my diet is often shaped by where I am and who I am with. In general, I know I have to eat more fruits (which is quite expensive sometimes) and cut down the junk (crackers and biscuits). I tend to eat lots of those as it is the easiest thing to buy on a go. So once back in London, I commit to eat more healthy and go back to gym regularly.

My Trash…Staying in a hotel now makes it a bit difficult for me to recycle properly. But I wanted to make the effort somehow to show you that I not only care, but that I am up for the challenge this task presents. Although I had to adjust the rules a little bit to my circumstances. I also wanted to show that recycling is possible anywhere in the world and can easily be done anywhere! Little I knew that this may not necessarily be true…

All I wanted is to recycle my trash from the hotel in Athens. The hotel facilities didn’t offer different bins for separated waste so I decided to be on a mission to find a containers on the street. You would not believe how difficult that turned out to be. Some parts of Athens are very dirty with rubbish everywhere and to my surprise it took me a while to find recycling containers. My hotel was fairly central, but walking around the area it took me good 25 minutes to find them. And they were not close at all!

And even then I was neither impressed nor convinced about the efficiency of the system as everything recyclable goes into the same container. I can only hope that there is a system in place that separates plastic from glass, paper, metal…later on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

I tried…And though I am not 100% happy about the discovery of local recycling system I did my best to contribute my little bit…and every little matters…I hope.