Back in February, we announced a new initiative of ours – Peer Coaching. In a nutshell, we are partnering with Shana Montesol Johnson of Development Crossroads, to develop a peer coaching matching service. Since asking for expressions over interest, we have had over 300 people from across the globe contact us to say that they want to be part of our pilot program.
Why do we think that peer coaching is so important? We know that there are many people working in the field of aid and development across the globe with minimal support and guidance. We are aware that resources are limited in the humanitarian field. However, we also know that through support networks, and specifically, peer coaching, we can increase the return on investment for these workers and enable them to be more effective in helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
We want to provide a service that matches them up, so that they are able to support and learn from each other via Skype, email or other methods. This service therefore does not require more resources to be added to the sector (in the form of professional mentors, coaches or counselors), but rather, builds on existing resources that are not connected.
We’re doing this because we think that the need is out there. And because of comments from people like this:
“I feel isolated, uncertain and a little forlorn about finding my way into development-related work, and would like to have someone to share my experience with, who is perhaps also experiencing the same thing.” – E, 18-25 year old male, Honduras.
However, in order to get this project up off the ground in a reasonable amount of time, and with good quality, we’re going to need your help.
We reckon we need at least $3000 in seed funding to dedicate a solid amount of time to building the platform, providing the right guidelines for peer coaching, and matching people together in the most effective way. Building the platform will involve spending time on infrastructure – website redesign, functioning and creating a space so that matching can occur. We’ll also need to build the database of peer coaches from the ground up and create the resources to support peer coaches as the program continues.
If we reach our funding target, we think that we could get the peer coaching service up and running within a month.
What will happen if we don’t hit our tipping point and don’t get funding? We’ll still do the program of course as we originally planned, but it might take a bit longer and may not be as comprehensive and professional as we would have liked.
So, this is where we need your help. We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign over on StartSomeGood where people can chip in amounts of money, small or large, to help us get this project going. If you are reading this post, chances are you’re either working, studying or are at least interested in aid and development. Therefore, chances are, you’re the right demographic to understand the difficulties that aid workers can face across the globe.
You might also be wondering about how sustainable your funding is? Good question! Once the platform is built, we think that we can keep the service running by adding in a tiered system of participation, so that it is self-sustainable. But first, we need to get the service started and that’s where the seed funding comes in.
For the final word on the topic, here is Brendan, speaking from Ghana:
You can donate to our campaign on StartSomeGood here.
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