The Spirit of Service Challenge
The ultimate challenge asks you to consider ways in which your own communities can work together to help each other through difficult times and create a campaign plan for your ideas.
You might be invited by your teacher to choose your own format in which to do this or they might give you a specific format in which to work (e.g. a infographic, poster, video, presentation, speech).
The basic steps in undertaking the challenge are:
Set your context: Do your research and find out what needs there are in your community and which of these are currently being met. Are there any gaps? Is there anything that is needed but not yet being provided? Are there any communities local to you that are being left out? Listen to the local chatter in online groups, read local newspaper articles, discuss this with your family, friends,
Next find out what is already being done. Where needs are being addressed are there ways in which you can support the efforts of those already working on the problem – are there opportunities to get involved and help? e.g. are there campaigns or community groups that need more volunteers? Could you find ways of helping to enlist these volunteers?
Then figure out the wider context. Is the need you have identified a purely local need or is it part of a wider issue? If this need is being addressed in other areas is there anything you can learn from the way in which others are addressing it? What is the root cause of the need? Can you get at the cause as well as the symptoms? How are other communities around the world working together in difficult times?
Now think about the action you might take. Your idea might take the form of Direct Service (e.g. active volunteering), Indirect Service (e.g. in your buying choices or use of resources), Advocacy (campaigning in support of a cause or call to action) or Original Research (carrying out research that will help others to address a need). What difference will it make both to the community and to you as an individual? What will you give and what will you gain? Is it something that you will enjoy doing? Will you want to sustain it?
Now create your plan according to the instructions on format from your teacher e.g. you might be asked to produce an illustrated infographic (see examples in the links below), a 5 slide presentation, or a written plan or another format. Consider:
- Investigation – what further research is needed? How will you conduct it? How will you connect with those you are intending to support to ensure that you are listening to them and understanding their needs? What practical information might you need to find out to help you to take action? What obstacles and barriers might you have to overcome?
- Preparation – Now that you have your idea how will you execute it? What resources do you need? What natural resources, talents and skills exist in your community that you can draw on? What talents, skills or attributes do you or your friends have that you could contribute? What can you do that others can’t? What else will you need? What resources, equipment, materials, tools? Where/ how will you get these? If there are costs involved how will you finance it?
- Action – When will you start and how will you launch? What is your timeline? How will you get the community involved? Do you have a clear message and a call to action? What are you asking people to do? When? How will you communicate and how will you co-ordinate?
- Reflection – What will success look like? What goals can you set along the way? How will you measure progress? How will you measure the impact your idea is having in the community? What opportunities can you build into your timeline to paus, reflect on lessons learned and improve your plan? How will you reflect on – and measure – the impact the experience has had on you and the RS Discoveries you have made in the process? How will you measure the impact for you in terms of the 12 Discoveries?
- Demonstration – How will you share progress and impact with the communities that are involved? How will you communicate? What will you do to collectively to celebrate even the smallest of achievements, to spread positive energy and reflect on the good that has come out of this for the connectedness of your community?