Reflection Blog – The countdown starts…

Week 5

The end of week 4 and the beginning of week 5 has been very successful for us.
On Friday we sat together to skype first with Nancy and Alan to get some advise and afterwards we had a skype meeting with Julie. This day, I would say, everything made much more sense.

While still being confused during the skype meeting with Nancy and Alan because we have not gotten in contact with ConstruCasa too much, after the talk to Julie everything was clear.
Nancy and Alan gave us the advise to still continue to work on a project on our own even though our NGO does not even know about it. In the end it can still have a great result!
We were feeling a little better after this meeting.
However, after skyping to Julie we actually got clear requests. Julia was mainly looking for more ideas of fund raising. Since they only get donations from a few individual people, they now want to look for a broader spectrum.
This was where we got back into the motivation and we could start to work on these things.

On Saturday our Team Leader Carolina went to a congress of ConstruCasa in Utrecht to listen to their presentation and get in contact to some of the dutch employees.
She was able to speak to two new employees which are responsible for more fund raising and advertisement.

After having some group time on Monday in week 5, we came up with following ideas to present to Julie on Wednesday:

1. The newsletter: We advised to set up an automatic e-mail respond after the subscription of the newsletter online, which would make people aware of being subscribed and call out more attention to the NGO. Furthermore we suggested to improve the newsletter (for example in design or quantity)
→ Julie liked these ideas, though she is not sure if they have enough staff to actually have the newsletter more often.

2. We came up with the fund raising plan:
We told Julie about the fund raising homepage called pozible. That way they could shout out for need of funds and increase them.
Another option we thought about is, that we make a list of companies, preferred construction companies, and try to contact them with a very convincing e-mail which includes a very nice looking booklet with all the information about ConstruCasa and their mission.
→ She was very interested in these ideas. However, also here they might have a staff problem and they would have to review the booklet to make sure the information is right.

During all those happenings our group unfortunately has never been complete. It was difficult to work as a good team because on the one hand someone was always missing and on the other hand we still struggle with our lack of communication.

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The two ConstruCasa teams are working hard!

We hope that we have good news about our progress in team work next week.

But it seems like especially this Wednesday gave us a reality check (with a little help) and we now got a clear idea about the most important terms of group work.
Working hard as an individual is not the key word here. No matter how good the individual work is, we only get good result if we really act as a team, communicate with each other, be honest, respect each other, and stay motivated.
It seems like it took us long to fully understand this but now we are ready to show our improved team work!

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5 thoughts on “Reflection Blog – The countdown starts…”

  1. I think the week has been the most important for us so far. Not only could we finally come up with ideas to focus on, that will help our NGO but we could also overcome the struggles we had with our team. After a long reflection discussion about our problems on Wednesday,we met up again on Thursday to come up with a plan what needs to be done in the last few weeks, how we can change our communication so nobody feels left out or overrun and how we need to take into consideration not only to do our own tasks but also to help and support our teammates with theirs. I´m very,very glad we had the meeting on Thursday, because before that I was a bit worried about how we will come to a solution and a final “product”. But I´m only left with the feeling of motivation and that we are all moving in the same direction together. Let´s bring on the remaining few weeks!

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  2. Great reflection, best one I have read so far today.

    From what I observe I can see that your group struggles in communication and thats not uncommon thing, from my experience in previous year I can only say that one group (from six) I did a project on I had excellent communication with. So overall its almost every group. Even now, not including project community, I have two groups with second year students- which my thoughts are “how the hell we get something done?” and the other one is “why am I in group with these people?” (I hope they don’t read this comment).

    Anyway, the fact that you guys acknowledge that is a good step and maybe you guys should even bring it up more. If a person in a group doesn’t know that there is a problem, he wouldn’t even try to think of a solution to it.

    Overall, great post – now you guys got me interested in your blog so I’ll be checking it next week 😉

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  3. WOW, what a week! As team leader I was really happy to see our project is taking a specific direction, and now we have to shape it. But this process of shaping our project is harder than I thought. Our teams composed by 6 (apparently now only 5) brilliant people, but all with very strong personalities. We are all working hard, but we are all doing whatever we think is right, without communication to the rest, or communicating trough me to the rest or trough the social media (in which much is lost). This means everyone is shaping the project in his or her own way, and a final shape will be never reached this way!! Even though our process is good, we could be much more effective if we work together. As team leader, I must say it is really hard for me to lead this group, especially because we know each other only for a month. I feel we could all be good friends someday, and I nobody of us wants to ruin this “future” friendship by being too sincere with the others (or that is my case at least). Thankfully we got a wake up call, and we had the opportunity to talk about it, and open up about how we are feeling about our team-work. We had the opportunity to hang out during the weekend, and be relaxed and get to know each other a bit better! Hopefully this will help to the communication. Still, as team leader I feel responsible now to make sure the team comes physically together twice a week, and track what everyone is doing.

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  4. It was a tough week definitely! We were all working more individually than as a team, so we were unaware of what each of us was doing. This was quite a problematic factor, since we weren’t sharing the information we were finding. This didn’t help our cause. We also weren’t totally sure of what the plan was so I am so happy we actually had the meeting on thursday and sorted everything out. As a documentarian I was posting a few things now and then but I didn’t have a clear path of what I was supposed to research. So now since I know what I had to look for, I found potential sponsors for Constru Casa as well as wrote a formal letter that we could send out to these companies. Also I created a Pozible website where we could possibly gain fundings from. I have also emailed the Penningmeester of Constru Casa to ask for their brochure and newsletter so that we could edit it and change it up a little. Hopefully she’ll write back soon and we can continue with our process of creating something that will help the organization! 🙂

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  5. This week was definitely an interesting week. We’ve lost our Tech Steward and discovered a fairly sizable problem in our group work. Before recently, each of us had a very different vision of which direction to take this project, and has likewise been making individual and somewhat unrelated advancements. Our progress was similar to that of a spider crack, with each line sprawling in different directions. After sitting down for a discussion with Satish last Wednesday, we’ve decided to step up our game by addressing our largest problem, communication. All of us are very capable individuals with unique ideas and working methods, but are finding difficulty staying on the same page. In the past we’ve been working separately without completely understanding what others are doing. In order to fix this problem some overlaps need to be found, both in our individual solutions and our schedules. Luckily, we began to find this overlap on Thursday after meeting for some food and a good three-hour discussion. Our plan is now uniform… we’ve decided to attack the problem of funding from a broader angle. Through advertisement, a pitch to possible sponsor organizations, and a more regular and proper newsletter. This way we’ll be gaining awareness, which will eventually turn into funding. Only by support and attention to the mission of Constru Casa will we be able to gain revenue. We’re all headed in the same direction hence fourth!

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