CHiPS soup kitchen and women's shelter: Communications and fundraising
When I moved to New York City from Europe, the first thing I noticed was the number of homeless people. How, in a country so rich, could there be people without a roof over their heads or a meal at dinner time?
But I also noticed there were some fantastic organizations working to fight the scourge. That’s why I got involved with CHiPS. The soup kitchen makes sure nobody in Park Slope goes hungry, and the women’s shelter gives homeless young mothers the chance at a fresh start.
Since I started volunteering with CHiPS, I’ve been working with a small group on rebranding the organization, expanding its reach and raising funds. As well as managing its Twitter and Facebook accounts, writing for the blog, editing the newsletter and working with the local media to raise awareness, I’ve also organized fundraisers, including a Shuffleboard and cocktail evening and an open house.
In 2012, with youth unemployment in Algeria at an all-time high, the government called on UNICEF to conduct an analysis of youth services in the country.
I worked with a team of four researchers to carry out this analysis. Through desk research, I reviewed the state of youth participation in four different areas: education, the labour market, self-expression, and health, sexuality and wellbeing. I was also in charge of national and international media monitoring on the different areas.
The project was cancelled after the president’s ill health led to political instability, but we were able to present a preliminary report.
Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies: Media monitoring
Is there a way of predicting mass atrocities before they happen? Looking at past examples – the Nazi atrocities, the genocide in Rwanda, the post-electoral violence in Kenya – it becomes clear that some signs were there, if only we had known what to look for.
To gain a better understanding of those warning signs, the Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies set up a media monitoring project. Media monitors analyse the local press in at-risk countries, providing a weekly report on the situation. The reports seek to inform policy-makers, academics and NGOs of developments on the ground. For almost two years, I was a media monitor for Zimbabwe, tracking events there, including a controversial election campaign.
International Catholic Child Bureau: Book editor
In 2002, the International Catholic Child Bureau published a book that explored whether faith and spirituality could make young people more resilient in the face of adversity.
It was originally only published in French, but due to interest, they decided to translate it into English. I edited it, making sure the content stayed as true as possible to the original but without reading like a translation.
Disabled sports federation: Communications
Football is more than a sport: it has the ability to bring people together around a common passion. Nothing, even a serious disability, should stop people from playing the beautiful game.
Thanks to the work of FIPFA, young paraplegic athletes can play football, and even take part in national and international competitions.
I volunteered with FIPFA for almost five years, helping them write and translate their regulations, donor and sponsorship appeals, and other communications material.
Fair trade organization: Advocacy
The concept of fair trade is simple: producers in developing countries get paid a fair price for their goods.
Artisans du Monde is France's biggest fair trade organization. As well as selling fair trade products in 170 stores across the country, they also organize awareness-raising events and educational activities.
For almost a year, I volunteered on a full-time basis with the Bordeaux-based network. I worked in the store, making sure customers knew about the story and people behind the goods they were buying. I also helped run a range of events, such as fair trade taster sessions, a Christmas market, and a film screening and debate.