In my current job I get to talk to people who are incredibly excited the work they are doing in their community. They know exactly how they are going to carry out the project they intend to do and can produce all the relevant documents to prove their accounts are legit and they have thought about everything employing a community worker involves. You come away from talking to these projects with a feeling that there are people trying to make a difference in the world.
There are other communities who we have to call to ask why they haven’t provided the paperwork the Trustees require in order to decide whether to award a grant. Sometimes they say that they don’t have the skills to put the application together properly, that providing what we want is out of the question. They reel off a list of organisations they have tried to get funding from and failed. You know that you will be photocopying every application and sending a wad of about 1000 (I kid you not) pieces of paper to each trustee and that most of hte trustees will not notice one missing bit of info. You also know that one of the Trustees will and the project will, therefore, not get the grant. Both you and the community are left feeling that there is no hope for that area, that they will not be able to do the project they feel they need.
Then at greenbelt I helped out with a similar charity. They got loads of people and especially children to write to Gordon Brown about inequality in Britain. Gordon Brown may not listen, but I believe a seed was sown in some of those involved that will bear fruit. One lad who wants to be a lego designer said he wanted the government to give each child lots of lego. It sounded a lot less crazy than some schemes that have happened! It gave me enough hope to get me through a lot of conversations with the disheartened.
Oh and truthsign’s meditation was really moving