People often ask what it is that we actually do. Activities in Finland can be quite different from the activities in Zanzibar, even though there are also some similarities. The daily execution of the project activities in Zanzibar is naturally the responsibility of the local partners, but there is still a variety of things we do here at home. The activities vary a little through the course of the year and different people have different levels of input, so being a volunteer in the KIPPO project doesn’t mean selling your soul to us 🙂 Here is a short collection of things we have been already doing during the year 2017 with our group of volunteers.
Our work in here in Turku includes the project management, all kinds of paperwork and communication between project parties but also different kinds of awareness and fundraising activities. The busiest time for project management activities is around november-april because that is the time we have to do annual monitoring and report to our donor (the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland). Our continuous, routine part of the project management includes e.g. planning and updating our use of the project funds. This is mostly done by our project treasurer, but everybody can participate in the meetings where we plan on what instruments and practices are used for following the spending of money. Also in our meetings everybody can participate in planning the budget details and communication methods (events, facebook, website, blog, etc) or monitoring & evaluation tools. Communication through our fb page, blog and other media is all done by our volunteers. These are also tools that we use to fill the communications/information sharing duties that the project brings along.
Some project actives in a meeting discussing about fundraising and activities in Proffan Kellari restaurant.
Sharing information about the project and its aims is a big part of what we do in the finnish end of the project. Also, due to donor requirements, we have to collect 15% of the whole project budget through our own fundraising and volunteer work. Luckily awareness raising and fund raising activities can go hand in hand and we can (/have to) use our own creativity and contacts to make it happen (this is how e.g. our support concerts have begun: with love for music and knowing a few bands/band members).
So far we have organised:
A coffee&cake sale at the Turku university
The start of our public fundraising and awareness raising was the little pop-up cafe we had in a lobby at Turku university. We baked some sweet cakes and savoury samosas and served them with coffee and tea. While at the same time offering people information about our project. Simple and fun!
Ready for people to come for a little coffee break!
Yummy carrot cake muffins.
A support concert called “Beats to Zanzibar”
As said before the support concerts have started through the project volunteers’ love for music and connections to different types of bands and artists. Previously we have done a few concerts around rock music (Rock for Zanzibar <3), but for KIPPO we went in a different direction. Beats to Zanzibar brought people together to listen to some amazing rap music on a saturday evening that both the artists and audience enjoyed.
Feeling the music in the crowd.
Come here to pay your entrance fee.
Participated in Restaurant Day
When it comes to Restaurant Day we do have some history from previous projects. Our Mbogambgoga restaurant has served delicious Zanzibar-inspired vegetarian foods at least on 4 occasions. So, again, we got our hands dirty with the dough and filling and rolled up some samosas. After very unstable summer weather we did get some sunshine and warmth on the Restaurant Day in August.
Samosas in the making.
Follow this sign!
Participated in a Tanzania Geospatial ICT -themed seminar
Even though geospatial ICT might sound a bit far away and high tech compared to our project, it was a pleasure to participate and bring up the view of smaller grassroots level action among the university and business participants. Also it is good to know what is going on with some bigger institutions and what kind of cooperation is happening on other sectors than just NGO work. In addition to the seminar presentation we also did some fundraising by arranging two snack breaks for the seminar.
Our coordinator Veikko giving a presentation about our work.
Participated in the Turku university Opening carnival
Because our group of volunteers consists of students mostly it is important to make new contacts and share information of what kind of possibilities participating in a development cooperation project can provide for students. Project management, budgeting, fundraising, communications and monitoring & reporting are all fields of work that can prove to be useful in later life and provide some filling for your CV.
A quick pic between the gusts of wind that were trying to destroy our table.
Lottery in the Market of Possibilities event
We participated also in the Market of Possibilities (Mahdollisuuksien tori) in Turku. After figuring out how to put up the tables/booths it was nice to see different actors in the fields of development cooperation, international work and culture and see all the possibilities that people have to join different organisations and make a difference. We also had interesting time talking to people and explaining what we do and why. Our lottery of items from Zanzibar gave us and the people participating lots of laughter and good moments.
Project coordinator and volunteer ready to share information and sell lottery tickets.
In the future we will continue to organize all kinds of events and happenings to both share information about Zanzibar and forest issues and to collect money for KIPPO project’s self financing share. We will also continue to meet in Turku and soon we will start to really plan the coming monitoring trip to Zanzibar that will take place at the end of the year. This means checking and updating plans, budgets and activities for next year (both in Finland and Zanzibar), following up on the past years activities and their outcomes and hopefully learning something new again.
If you are interested in the project you can contact us any time and anywhere. You don’t need to have special skills or previous experience, just a little time and interest and the rest you will learn on the go.