Like most things related to great causes on the periphery of one's daily work, it was a matter of do it very quickly and as best possible - or just let it pass by quietly. In which case, Cape Town might not be (offically) part of the meaningful global conversation between connected people about one topic: access to clean water. I blogged about our experience at the Twestival this week, where 185 cities came together on one day to raise awareness for charity : water:
Because (1) the issue of access to water is very much an African issue with 19 of the 25 nations in the world (with the greatest problems in terms of access to water) all in Africa!, (2) Africa is a big part of the world map and needs to be represented in initiatives attempting to solve its problems, (3) social networks are inherent to communities in Africa even if the technology do not support them, (4) there is an opportunity to promote social media and Twitter to Cape Town residents and (5) we can! and all great things start with a first step.Cape Town South Africa Twestival 2009, Feb 2009
And we jumped in to assist another charity thousands of miles away, because it just made sense on so many different levels. You should read the whole article, and also find some other entries. It was a busy week and a bit, but it was worth this little sleep. I have seen again how a few people can make a big difference. Even though I am disappointed with the number of people attending the Cape Town Twestival (only 30 odd) I am encouraged that we made a start and critical 'who's who' in the social media scene in South Africa were there...
We have organised events before, but I am by no means an events' organiser by trade or reputation. A good thing too! It was a stressful experience to say the least and when one of the other volunteers shared via Facebook on Thursday that he was really really busy and does not actually 'want to be involved with the sound set-up' (after we relied on his relationship with the restaurant, I grew a few more grey hairs and realised just how difficult it is to hold the strings to the drifting balloon gaining momentum and still 'tweet' about its colours at the same time - so to speak.
It was, however, an awesome event and we have only had good feedback so far. It was an evening for another non-profit in the spirit of collaboration, and I am glad our own was not mentioned much - if at all. However, the association with, and volunteering for the Twestival in Cape Town was a good decision - it exposed our staff members to an issue that is not central in our development work and also not the biggest challenge in the communities we serve in South Africa.
It it also good to know there was a Second Life Twestival as well and it was covered in the news by CNN iReport in the same way as we got much media attention as well - but I was simply too tired to attend the one inSL after we got home...
Glad it is weekend... and thankful for friends.