IDEAS FOR SOLIDAIT PROJECTS & ACTIVITIESThis is a list of ideas for Solidarit Projects and activities that have been shared by people interested in Solidarit. You may like to develop one of these ideas into a Solidarit Project or activity with others, or, you may have ideas that you would like to add to this list - just get in touch with the Solidarit Secretariat. Note that as these ideas are developed into Projects with a Project Guideline, or become irrelevant, please inform the Solidarit Secretariat to remove them from this list.
1. GENERAL IDEAS FOR SOLIDARIT PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES ........ 1 2. IDEAS HELPING ASSOCIATIONS & NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS ........................................................................................... 11 3. IDEAS HELPING SOLIDARIT ....................................................................17
1. GENERAL IDEAS FOR SOLIDARIT PROJECTS & ACTIVITIESI. Teaching patients and prisoners. To find an association with which we can collaborate to give lessons (French, English, mathematics, reading anything) to kids in hospital, prisoners, or other people in need of this kind of help and with whom we can share knowledge. II. The Shoe-Box Christmas Gift. Each participant is asked to pack a shoe box full of Christmas presents, including toys, games, clothing, and toiletries and donate a transportation fee. The boxes can be collected centrally in November and distributed to poor children worldwide in time for Christmas. III. The Christmas Wish Tree. This is a tree that has Christmas wishes on it written for example by children in orphanages or people in cancer hospitals. People are invited to pick a wish off the tree and try to fulfil it. IV. Angel for a Day The Volunteers in Action organisation in conjunction with IUVE Belgium has an Angel for a Day program. (See also http://www.iuve.be/en/activities/volunteers_in_action). It is a social action program that organises four events each year dedicated to orphan or economically poor children.
Belgian students organize the day with healthy and fun activities. Examples of these activities include organised sports, games, going to the cinema or an amusement park and meals together. The objective is simple: give each child a day that he or she will remember and that will give them hope for the future, as well as feeling that they is part of society and not forgotten. It could be possible for Solidarit to either do something similar or to simply help Volunteers in Action and IUVE Belgium on this activity. V. Sports Activities. Awareness-raising and Fundraising through sports activities.
VI. The EU Cyclists Group The EU Cyclists Group has approximately 700 members of EU Institution staff. There is a tremendous opportunity to work with them to have a significant cycling event for a worthy cause. It is just up to your imagination. See www.eu-cg.info for more information about the EU Cyclists Group. VII. The Schuman Cup Football Tournament. The annual European Commission Schuman Cup Football Tournament could easily be tied to long-term to raising awareness about Earthquake preparation or elderly people that die alone and lonely. VIII. Shave for a Cure / Colour for a Cure Shave or colour your hair to raise awareness of and funds for charity., particularly alternative cures for cancer. Based on the same principle as The World's Greatest Shave to Care and Cure, one of Australia's biggest fundraising events. Participants shave their hair as a way of showing solidarity and empathy for people with leukaemia, many of whom lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Colour for a Cure is a fun alternative to shaving and involves temporarily colouring your hair to match your favourite sports team, a logo or just for a wacky new look. Usually the shave is done in a public place as a fun event, where volunteers agree to have their hair shaved (short, if not off) or coloured in a big group. It is a great public event; great publicity and can also be wonderfully DIFFERENT. A whole Unit may agree to be involved together. They could challenge other units to do the same. Commissioners and MEPs can also be encouraged to be involved. Various events could be held in the lobby of the buildings at lunchtime etc (anywhere there is a crowd). People willing to take part just need to decide whether they would like to shave or colour their hair, then go and find sponsors to support them in their brave undertaking. They ask friends, family or workmates to sponsor them. In return
for their donation they get to see them with their brightly coloured, or very short, or no hair at all! Another possibility is to offer to donate money etc if other individuals agree to be involved. People may decide to do it without sponsors and just make a donation as well. For ideas and the look at support for The Leukaemia Foundation, go to: http://www.leukaemia.org.nz/lbf/events/shave-for-a-cure.cfm Or, http://www.worldsgreatestshave.com/wgs2005/ IX. Serve The City. This is like an intense form of Solidarit for a day or a week! It is organised by people in Brussels through a church community called The Well. Serve the City is a program completely based on service for others. They get large numbers of people together to do many project activities similar to Solidarit but on mass for a day or over a week. It is well organised and great activity to promote and join in with. It is also a great opportunity to meet lots of people. Maybe you would like to get in touch and help coordinate involvement of staff and trainees of the EU Institutions. Activities range from: - helping the handicapped ride bikes in the park - talking inner city children to ride horses - ballroom dancing with the elderly - manicures and beauty treatments at a womens shelter - playing Ultimate Frisbee with refugees, to - painting and practical work at a centre for underprivileged mothers and children Check out www.servethecity.be. X. Visitations Organised community service visitations of terminally ill children, schools, spastic centres, those living with cerebral palsy, the elderly and the lonely. Pooling Resources The Solidarit Central Charity Fund is a fund for a specific humanitarian project selected each Commission Traineeship period that receives a percentage of the profits of each of the Trainee National Parties. It is a major initiative contributes a significant amount of money to those that really need it. If practical, there is also the possibility to institute within Solidarit that each year, 10% (for example) of all Solidarit fundraising activities go towards a targeted beneficiary (or indeed to the Central Charity Fund Recipient of each traineeship period.) This would be a good motivational and unifying step. The beneficiary could be announced via the usual means and a nice cheque presentation etc organised.
One Big Project. It would be great if there was also one Big Project that as many people as possible could be involved in that could somehow accommodate as many staff and trainees of the EU Institutions that want to be involved as possible. This could either be one big Project once a year or once every traineeship period. It could be an integral and ongoing part of Solidarit This would hopefully help to inspire not only the participants but also other people around the world of the example they can set and the difference they can make. It would be an absolutely fabulous example both to the peole that the EU Institutions serve around the world and to other international institutions. There are a lot of possibilities for what One Big Project could be. One idea for a big Project was the Solidarit, staff and trainees of the EU Institutions Big Sleep-out. There would obviously be practical limits to the numbers of people that could do this. It may potentially be better as a traineeonly project. The Big Sleep-out Project could raise awareness and money for homelessness and/or refugees, however, it could also be for another cause. One possibility is to do it in conjunction with the Belgian Projects section of Medecins Sans Frontires (MSF) Belgium.1 The Big Sleep-out could involve participants getting sponsored by as many people as they can and sleeping outside in a big tent in a very prominent location in Brussels (such as the Grand Place, the courtyard of the Palace, the coutyard in front of the Berlymont Building, or other open areas like Place Jordan et cetera), or in another relevant city. A Big Sleep-Out was successful done annually in Sydney outside the Opera House to raise awareness of homelessness. It raised a lot of media attention about the cause and is a chance for many people to be involved. Thousands of people of were involved in Sydney. It has to be very, very well organised. The staff and trainees of the European Union Institutions would be doing something through such a public event to help those in need and it would have to be carried out to the highest public standards; alcohol for example should not be permitted. Consideration has to be given to such things as: Security Health (especially if it is done near Christmas - it would also be very cold, but this factor could obviously help to raise a lot of attention and therefore awareness). Gaining relevant permission from authorities.
Mdecins Sans Frontires have organised a Refugee Camp In Your City InTENTsive care with Mdecins Sans Frontires project. Refugee camp in Your City is a recreation of a refugee camp and its facilities, it aims to create a better understanding of the vulnerability of life for displaced people and refugees who have fled their homes. Visit the MSF website for more information.
Hiring a tent and the wooden floor that goes with it (MSF had indicated they may be able to do this). Researching and coordinating the cause that you decide to do this for. Informing everyone about what to wear and what to bring (such as headcovering, their own blankets, duvet, Teddy Bear). How to collect the sponsorship money. The best way to organise this is perhaps under the umbrella of an NGO. MSF Belgium was keen in 1998 when the idea was first raised. Try, first of all, to speak with Anouk Delafortrie (email@example.com , telephone 02 474 7488), or Mr Peter Casar, the Head of Belgian Projects for MSF Belgium. (The original meeting between (Traineeship) Solidarit and MSF with regard to this was in November 98 at which time MSF was enthusiastic but committed elsewhere.)
Youth Solidarity Day Youth Solidarity Day is a fantastic day which promotes Humanitarian Aid information to youth. It is normally held in the European Parliament chamber, Brussels. ECHO is heavily involved in organising Youth Solidarity Day which invites student representatives from schools all over Europe for the occasion. Get in touch with the ECHO Information Unit, as there are excellent opportunities to cooperate with ECHO on this great event. The Public Relations section on the Master File has more information about Youth Solidarity Day and a copy of the Resolution agreed to by teenagers voted and adopted on Youth Solidarity day 2002 at the European Parliament.
XIV. EuroVision Song Contest. To use the EuroVision Song Contest as a Fundraising party. XV. Virtual Volunteering Virtual volunteering means volunteer tasks completed, in whole or in part, via the Internet. It's also known as online volunteering, cyber service, online mentoring, tele-tutoring and various other names. Virtual volunteering may provide volunteer opportunities that people can complete via home or work computers because of time constraints, personal preference, a disability or a home-based obligation that prevents them from volunteering on-site. Virtual volunteering may contribute time and expertise to a wide variety of needs. For example: helping with a marketing plan or graphic design for a notfor-profit organisation or assistance to a school; it could involve things like email contact with a person that is home-bound or mentoring a young student. See http://www.serviceleader.org/new/virtual/
Calendars A Calendar with photos from Brussels of trainees has been produced in the past and sold as a souvenir of the five months of the Traineeship. It is possible to do a Calendar - with a theme perhaps - of prominent staff to sell throughout the Council, Commission or Parliament for example!!
Prayer Group Develop a reflective Prayer group or an inter-faith gathering for meals and prayer and music in the Institutions?
XVIII. www.Bubbleday.org.au, or something like it. XIX. German Carnivale tie cutting. On the Thursday before the German Carnivale a German tradition allows women to seize power for a day. As an outward sign of this they are permitted to cut the ties of men...unless men had bought protection in the form of stickers. The women, may however outbid the man by paying the price of the sticker, then remove the stickers and cut the ties. This idea may need some developing and coordination of which groups are involved. It needs care and obviously people should be informed about the event in advance. It is a good chance either to buy a lot of old ties and to also sell them for the occasion or for guys to get rid of their old ties by wearing them on this day. XX. XXI. http://www.wakeupsydney.com.au/ Ideas ranging from kindness cards to mindful consumption Yoga, meditation and relaxation classes. Perhaps a staff member has skills to teach these classes? Perhaps a teacher may be found cheaply? One of the benefits of such a project is that it can be done before work, at lunchtime and after work at work. Yoga: At the physical level, yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders. It is extremely effective in: Increasing Flexibility Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons Massaging of all organs of the body Developing a sense of awareness of an impending health disorder or infection which in turn enables the person to take pre-emptive corrective action Detoxification Toning of the muscles
These physical benefits are the main side effect of practicing yoga. What yoga essentially does is harmonize the mind with the body. Meditation: Some of the selling points for meditation include:
Zumbathon Zumba for The Cure" A Dance-athon to raise funds for and awareness of breast cancer. Based on the dance exercise routine Zumba - which involves Latin inspired dance moves and hip-hop blended music. A classic Solidarit type activity which involves having fun with helping others. (It also is good exercise and encourages us to perhaps express our artistic dancing sides in a dance party atmosphere regardless of gender, size or age). The Zumba-thon described below involved various types of large outdoor Zumba classes, education about the importance of exercise, early detection and healthy living, entert...