BGood Collaborations: Partners with buildOn for a School-Build Haiti Project

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Non-profit collaborations have been a means for organizations to accomplish similar goals in a big way! The boost gained from such short term or long term collaborations can increase the overall efficiency and community outreach efforts, an organization intends to reach.

Our efforts to collaborate with other entities who share the same passion, vision, and purpose as we do, is one of the ways we create a strong positive social impact. With our B The Light program, our core mission to provide access to the highest-quality leadership development experiences in order to empower the next generation of local and global leaders.

To support our mission, BGood Worldwide’s first step has been to partner buildOn, a nonprofit organization who works to combat the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through global service and education. Through the engagement of participants in groups, The School-Build Haiti Project efforts will result in the construction of one primary school in Haiti. This school will serve over 400 children and adults from a rural community; acting as a catalyst for sustainable and positive community development.

This collaborative project is open to a variety of participants who seeks to 1) receive mentoring and a leadership development guidance, 2) to engage in their local community, and 3) to use their acquired resources in a global group service trip to build a school in Haiti. This spring, we will begin recruiting students from Nyack College to participate along with participants in our B the Light programs. We encourage individuals who seek to make a positive impact on their communities to get involved!

Nyack College is an educational institution well known for being diverse and creating ‘difference makers’ ready to take on the world. Focusing on five core values (academic excellence, global engagement, diversity, personal transformation, and social relevance), Nyack College has been able to integrate faith-based and spiritual learning into a community of mentorship culture amongst faculty and students. They strive to produce community and global leaders who seek change and are divergent in their efforts to produce that change.

Nyack College Students

We know the journey to completing the construction of the school in Haiti starts well before breaking ground in the winter/spring of 2020. There is personal development and academic growth to be done along the way. That’s why our project begins in the spring of 2019.

During that time all team participants will receive 30 minutes of online mentoring and a leadership education course each week. Our curriculum focuses on skill-building in four content areas; communication, problem-solving, technology, and resource-acquisition. Participants will also complete a 1 hour a week local community service effort in their surrounding areas to apply the skills gained from the leadership development curriculum.  We believe the combination of leadership development and local community service offers participants consistent support to development their unique leadership skills while also giving them an opportunity through The School-Build Haiti Project mission trip, to use those skills directly in a global community.

Our hope is that by partnering with variouys college and univerisity student such as Nyack College students, our project will make a positive impact for not only our participants, but the local community in which they will complete community service efforts, and the Haitian community that will benefit from the construction of a primary school.

buildOn: buildOn U.S. and Global work to combat the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through global service and education. Their program tackles critical issues within their surrounding communities, contributing services, and taking an ongoing commitment to immerse participants in a cultural experience. buildOn puts an emphasis on leadership and team building by engaging students in dynamic cultural workshops, deep reflection activities and thorough explorations of issues facing their host community.

To learn more about the great accomplishments of our partner buildOn, please visit their website at www.buildon.org .

This project and partnership is made possible by the generous contribution by a grant, from the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation and knowing ‘what needs to be done’.

Ellis L. Phillips Foundation: The Ellis L. Phillips Foundation is a small family foundation dedicated to the ideals of Kathryn and Ellis Phillips, to identify “what needs to be done” and provide strategic investments in projects that serve as catalysts for the greater good. Their grants aim to make a sustainable contribution to charities and organizations, in which they have special knowledge and interest. As collaborators, the foundation makes investments in various industries such as environmental, human services, visual and music, historic preservation, philanthropy, and foundation- initiated projects.

Youth & Community Engagement Goes Hand-in-Hand

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What is community engagement?

Simply put, community engagement is an initiative by its members to create a positive social change. It is the partnership between members of the community through their involvement with the planning and decision-making processes. They can express their opinions and exchange new information that would be helpful to others. This engagement is very hands-on ranging from community council meetings, parent involvement with academic initiatives, youth organization events and programs; as well as environmental initiatives.

Since, the idea of a ‘community’ is inclusive of all members, their engagement provides perspective. If ones opinion differ from popular opinion, creating a balanced understanding through conversation can add layers to the decision-making process.

With developing communities, it is important to encourage and educate the next generation. Allowing younger members the opportunity to voice their opinions and share new information, tends to offer a new perspective that may have been previously overlooked.

Most often, we look to our youth as the leaders of tomorrow. They are members of our communities who actively participate, explore, and engage in its development. Dedicating their time and talents to produce a positive impact is a fundamental pillar of what defines youth community engagement. Their involvement provides a space to recognize their personal abilities by helping  improve upon the conditions and challenges that directly impact their everyday lives. It can also increase the amount of empowerment for themselves and members of their community.

To keep up their desire to be involved in their communities, youth need to be educated by methods not commonly found in a classroom. By using programs, technologies, and focusing on topics young people hold a passion for, the youth can become more aware of the issues affecting their community. Taking advantage of communication tools such as social media platforms, will allow them to be more hands-on with bringing awareness to the community cause. Youth are more likely to be involved in fundraising initiatives such as sport tournaments, selling desserts and beverages, or creative arts showcases. These initiatives create the opportunity for youth to be able to showcase their unique abilities and use their social medias to share this information with peers from other communities.

Empowering youth to be a valuable part of the discussion is another great way to get them engaged in the community. They would be more likely to provide their input if they feel it will be a valuable contribution to the discussion. Not only do they gain a stronger sense of self-efficacy and confidence, but they also build stronger connections through their sense of belonging and relationship built with older members.

With information be shared and relationships being built, community members are building lasting traditions that can be practiced long term. For example, community sweep days, clothing or food drives, holiday sports tournaments, summer cooking parties, and various other ideas can help strengthen the connection and pride community members share.

Having youth and adults working together to produce meaningful results for the community is what a true community is all about. If you are considering making an impact in a positive way in your local community, establishing a partnership with other members of your community  is a chance for you to co lead instead of sitting quietly to the side, as well as further engage by providing frequent and thoughtful contributions.