(Athens Expedition Team)
Sorry for not writing an update post on our seventh day of the hackathon. Sunday was a flurry of activity finishing up our business assessment for Campfire Innovation. We started off the day working in our teams to finalize slides. I focused on fundraising strategy and CRM. Others on my team focused on volunteer acquisition and marketing. At 2:00 PM each of the three teams presented their findings. My team's overall focus was on business strategy for Campfire Innovation. One of the other teams focused on a data map tool for Campfire Innovation. The third team focused on business strategy for Solomon. Each of the team's presentations were very well received by the nonprofits. I know that they will able to take these business suggestions to help fine tune their strategies going forward.
My take on the refugee crisis
Over the past few days I had the opportunity to spend time on the island of Paros reflecting on my experience in Athens. In all honesty, I have no clue about a resolution for this crisis. It is such a big problem that it seems impossible to get your arms around. So with that being said, here are a few thoughts.
This refugee crisis is complicated. Not only does it impact the refugees, but it impacts the locals in the countries they are relocating to. In order to have the refugees assimilate into their new cultures, I think it is very important for both sides to be open to learning from each other.
Governments have a huge role in the way this social issue pans out. Elected officials all throughout the European Union are determining things like total number of refugees admitted, which countries get top priority, and what type of job opportunities these individuals qualify for. All of these have a big impact on European politics, and as a result global politics. It is clear the difficult decisions that these officials have to make as they navigate their way through the crisis. It is also clear that this is going to continue to impact European elections as we have seen in the past few years. In my opinion this crisis is a global one - not just isolated to our European friends.
Nonprofits are really stepping up and helping fill in the gaps left by some of the local governments. I saw first hand the great work that nonprofits like Solomon, Campfire Innovation, We Need Books, Doctors Without Borders, Catholic Relief Services, UNHCR, and others are doing on the ground in Greece. Without their help this would truly be a very bad situation.
My time volunteering with Effect.org has been an amazing experience. I will be returning home with a deeper understanding of the refugee crisis. I will also be returning with some great hands on experience in building and managing refugee and resettlement programs at a nonprofit. I know that our team left behind valuable and actionable items that each nonprofit can use to further their mission.
I wanted to quickly thank a few folks for making this trip possible. First, thanks to the team at Effect.org for arranging such a great trip. Second, thanks to Salesforce.org for giving me the time off of work to volunteer during this trip (it is part of our innovative 1-1-1 model). Third, thanks to all of my new friends that I met in Athens - it would not have been the same without you. And finally thanks to everyone who donated to my campaign, I really do appreciate it (and Effect.org does as well)!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my trip or the crisis. I would be more than happy to chat about the experience.