Dear fellow YLPCE-ers! I miss you so much! How is everything going? All your projects running smoothly? I have decided to take some time and describe the project I have been working on to y'all.
When I returned from Belgrade this summer, my energy was pumping. And I really mean that- literally. I wanted to go straight into planning projects and changing the world, all by myself. Soon, I realized this is not going to work well. I had to slow back down to the normal tempo and was forced to take things slower and with more thought.
I made myself a goal of three projects:
- My local community helps an individual in our community;
- My school community helps some individuals in my wider community (Slovenia)
- Different communities work together to help a distant community
As always, I had to start at the middle- just how I roll:)
A year ago, I produced a recipe book, filled with international recipes that were donated by the international students at my school. It turned out to be a great success. I wanted to work on this again and a bit more. In December I contacted the PTA at our school if they would be prepared to support a similar project this year as well. They were almost as excited as I was and have, of course, said yes. I saw this approval as extra motivation which I was lacking after about 4 months of being ‘inactive’ in this field.
We later on decided that the book should have a theme- lunch box. By deciding on this, we made our product useful and appropriate for the community where it would be primary sold- our school.
Soon, recipes started to fly in, I gave it a little push every morning at the school assembly- people were getting annoyed and started to send recipes:). I got my team together- two peers, Ana and Maja, my school mates who helped be determine the design of the book and helped me with the organization.
With the help of PTA, I explored the parents in our school community and soon found a father who was keen on helping us with printing. Soon, the negotiations have started. After about 20 long and short meetings, we had our format and price decided on. PTA agreed to pay 4.5e per copy and to print 100 copies.
After some further negotiations with that father and two other companies that were happy to help us, I was able to get the books donated to us- no cost whatsoever.
After a few sleepless nights, me and my friends have finished organizing, we found a translator who helped us with the dictionary at the back of the book, a PTA mom has helped us with nutritional information and the other members of the PTA stepped together to find the information required. Book was sent of to print.
After a long week of anticipation, we had the books. 200 of them, ready to be sold. We started to sell them on the International Day, that our school hosted and the sales have not declined since. Another 100 have been donated by the printing company and a PDF version also became available.
All of the money is donated to slovene teenagers in need through Projekt boterstvo v Sloveniji, hosted by Zveza Prijateljev Mladine. ZPM is an NGO which deals with different issues of youth in Slovenia. They have a help phone line, a program which takes unprivileged children to the seaside in the summer and, the most recent one, Projekt boterstvo. Through this project, unprivileged children of Slovenia have been identified and are given a specific amount of money by a donator each month. The money is used for bus tickets, food, clothing, shoes and all of the other things children need but cannot afford. After listening to some of the stories these children have to tell, everybody can realize they need help.
I am proud. We saw a problem in our community (boterstvo), we looked for proven and reliable ways to raise money (recipe book), we recognized what our community would like (lunch box recipes), connected people to help and reached our goal- to help. PTA was so impressed that other money that was raised at the christmas bazaar and other school fund-raising activities was also donated to this same organization for the same cause. Mission accomplished? Mission exceeded!
I would not have been able to do it without YLPCE, which gave me the skills to recognize issues, find solutions and connect people. It only feels good to be a leader when you see you have made a change:)
Now? I’m currently organizing the event in my local community, a long form improv show where we will be raising money for a handicapped girl from my closer community. Project number 3? Rice Race!
Some advertising: The book contains about 100 recipes, every recipe contains nutritional information and can be adjusted. The covers are colorful, beautiful and stainless. The inside paper is thick and you can write on it. The spiral binding allows you quick turning of the pages, a table of content organizes the recipes and there are some links which can help you find even more recipes.
If you would like to help with our recipe book project, please let me know. The price per copy is 5e and you can also get a PDF edition if you prefer. Contact me on my email, firstname.lastname@example.org or through my Facebook account. I would really appreciate your help!
Read you soon;)