As a concerned youth and affected by the menace of drugs and violence, I undertook to play my part towards better community and a future hope. By coordinating some young adults from various social institution and interested individuals, we created a campaign to sensitize our neighborhood about the growth of drug usage among our members of the society and its effects. The main aim of the project was to create a deep awareness to the wives, husbands, friends, brothers, and business executive among others. By focusing on the individual effect, we aspire to achieve a more active reaction and a greater defense against the problem. The price the people pay by keeping silent and watching the drug passes hands under their watch is expensive to both users and nonusers. Our project was mainly centered on running a full-day event. It was to start with a walk from a common neighborhood through the little streets and main avenues of the town and eventually ending at the central park. Of course, we expected media coverage and a bright band to lead the procession.
The project being extensive and a common topic carried its share of shortcomings. By virtue of being an all-inclusive project, there was a challenge of bringing positive diverse views to few, manageable points. The point is to ensure that most if not all individuals feel they are part of the project by considering their views. This guarantees active participation as well as provides a channel of project ownership. By presenting our diverse views, it became apparent that we were all for a common objective. However, we adopted different approaches. The youths were more inclined towards a carnival and a colorful event graced with media and prominent musicians. Contrary, the aged members, felt indifferent. They expressed the sensitivity and gravity of the issue and the possibility of countering our main objective by being misunderstood as a celebration to our fellows’ plight. It was also disturbing listening to negative opinions from individuals who though the exercise is a futile act apparently based on statistics. However, our main problem was pegged on how to mobilize enough resources to reach our desired goal to realize the expected impact.
I was comforted by the enthusiasm shown from interested members. We resolved to form a small committee to create an efficient and an effective project. I thought it was important for us to focus on the positive and discard the negative opinions. This left us more time to focus on the project and contribute more ideas. Because the problem cut across all levels of our community outfit, we saw an opportunity to accommodate the approach based on its merits. This meant accommodating more individuals and inviting special expertise like medicine and psychology. By appealing through the media, we received a humble donation towards our course especially from churches and distinguished citizens and above all attention. The town authority felt honored, and provided security and other non-cash items.
We did not wish to waste the current oomph on the project by setting a date, which most people will be at home. We decided on a Saturday, a week away for the common meeting. This gave us five days to draw a project from the proposed frame to the distinct detail. By Wednesday, we painfully realized that the project needs were highly underestimated. Involving a range of stakeholder groups and patients suffering from the menace was an involving activity. Contrary to the earlier perception, some people fell back on their pledges. This meant redoing the some points to meet the changes. That evening we invited some help from volunteers who offered to perform some specialized tasks. Pushing extra effort and eventually cutting back on some details helped to achieve much on a limited time scope.
Reviewing the whole activity, I now clearly understand the folly of poor research and the advantage of involving the community. Our main research method was observation; this would be achieved by learning and watching the harmful effects on unique individuals. By critically looking and using our minds, we create a channel to getting the truth about a scenario. However, it should be taken with caution considering the assumed assumptions may not be true. Interviewing a group of community members and creating an air of openness created a vital link for the community to own the project. The open-ended nature provided more idea and free flow of thoughts. However, it is risky considering that some individuals are overly negative and hamper a positive action. In dealing with project in aid, its success rests upon preparation and execution. It is important for project managers to strike a good balance among the two.