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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….

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