There are suggestions for service longer than a day or that happen often (like an once a week or month opportunity)
Where did you see signs of hope today? Where did you see signs of growth?
How are you interacting with the overall community you are serving? What are barriers to fully participating?
How are you feeling? How can this group support you over this trip?
Throughout the week, encourage the participants to look for positive signs in the community and people who are working to improve conditions. This will help with the questions after the week and thinking about next steps.
Take along flip camera or even cell phone cameras. Encourage the participants to record interviews and scenes from the trip. Before going on the trip or engagement, discuss with the group some ground rules for use of the cameras. You should only do this activity if it is cultural appropriate. Please check with a community member before even thinking about this project.
- People should always be asked politely if they would be willing to film.
- Only film surroundings (like homes or buildings) if invited. Be aware
- Accept no’s graciously.
After the trip, assign participants to look at the footage and to create a short video. This video could be useful in further fundraising for ongoing work in a community.
Here is an example of a film that Greg did back in 2010 on work he did in West Virginia:<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/12814602″>Big Creek People in Action Helping Neighbors</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user4116296″>Greg Woods</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Buy several disposable cameras and give them out to both trip participants and to community members. Ask everyone to document their day. Again you should only do this activity if it is cultural appropriate. Please check with a community member before even thinking about this project.
At the end of the trip you can make collages, scrapbooks, slideshows, which can be shared with the community. Friends have commented to us that sometimes this activity allows for the first portrait ever to be taken of them and it is a sense of joy.
If the artistic talents exist within the group, paint a mural in community with the community’s permission of course. When planning the mural, involve the community members and listen to their suggestions. This project can be done throughout the week and different people could work on once a final plan has been made. You would want the mural to reflect the values and character of the community, not just your group.
During your trip, have art supplies available for group members to use at appropriate times (ie during free times during the day or in the evening). If possible have group members take extra if they are working in a place where community members will be, so that community members can join in with the art making.
Some people reflect better through artistic ways and it also allows for another way to connect with fellow group members or community members in a more relaxed way.