This is a blog for ChildPact’ donors, supporters, stakeholders and members. And not only for them. It is also a place for all those who want to see how an organization works, thinks, grows and breaths. This will also include our own friends, parents, grand-parents and all those aunts and uncles who do not quite understand why we are so obsessed with our jobs, work un-paid extra-hours and skype our colleagues at family weddings and funerals.
It is a blog written by the members of the ChildPact secretariat, by our board members, by people who have something to say in our field (child rights) or who simply have special stories to share about children they meet and child-focused situations that they create or witness.
With this blog we want to tell you about what we do, based on the assumption that personalized and detailed accounts have more weight than general information. If we tell you ‘orphanages are dangerous places, ask your government to close them down’, it is less effective than informing you that this particular child or group of children has been abused there and may have even died for a totally preventable cause. Similarly, if we say ‘we are an advocacy-oriented network of networks that brings together 600 NGOs’, it is less effective than telling you how we contributed to changing unjust or harmful legislation that improves the lives of millions of children.
This blog comes from a frustration: communicating the mission of a coalition is a very difficult thing. If babies are thrown in a river, we will understand, join and donate for those who go into the water to save the babies. But we will need a minute to understand why some of us need to go upstream and change a few rules so that the reckless or the wicked who throw children in the river are prevented from doing so in the future. We may even think that the upstream-goers are wasting their time and our resources, while children are drowning. We will try to stop them and in any case we will not give them a cent of our money, even if ultimately they, from all people, might be the ones who will stop the tragedy.
We want to allow people to peek into our decisions and into our professional conscience so that our supporters, donors, stakeholders and our own personal friends and families can understand our daily struggles and joys. Our stories are a productive pastime that we indulge into so that we can take a step outside our objectives, logframes, strategies, targets and ultimately out of our own brains, in order for us to better think about what we are doing. Paradoxically, in an overly-connected society thinking time becomes scarce and this blog is an innovative way for us to create thinking time.
We will make mistakes that we will hate seeing others repeat in a vicious circle that wastes energy and resources that could be better use for children’s benefit. But if we do not share from our lessons, we won’t have the right to fight the logic of the ‘wheel re-invention’. We want to create this right for us, at the cost of letting others see how maladroit or naïve we could be in a particular instance.
We want others to be part of our human and professional experience. When we will write the stories of our biggest accomplishments or our saddest failures, we will do that to create a common ground for communication that will help us overcome the impulse of burrying our heads into the sand. We will be afraid, of course, to share some aspects of our stories, but we hope that our honesty will not haunt us, but it will allow us to create a special rapport with you and maybe even have you engaged in our stories.
But most importantly, this blog is a space for eliciting your advice. We know that we do not know it all. A Romanian saying reads ‘Only who he does not work, will avoid making mistakes’. We work hard, so we will do make mistakes. We want to hear your advice on how we could make fewer mistakes, on how we can fix those we already made, on how to avoid making new ones, on how to be more worthy of your trust, investment and expectations.
Some of our blog posts will be brilliant, while some others will probably be more or less than mediocre. That will be the moment when we will need you to understand that bloggers are not born, but they are made through practice. Give us your honest feed-back, help us grow and through repetition we will strive for perfection. In writing about and in standing for children’s rights.