The Words of the Persson Family
Ownership is about being a leader of yourself, setting a good example that can inspire others to take on a leadership role. Knowing the purpose behind something provides the motivation to take action -- even though there might be things you don't want to do. That's how I explained it to the people who took part in a clean-up project we organized in Vlora, Albania. With cleaning activity, people have to know its purpose and thus find their motivation. I wanted them to know that it's not only about taking ownership in one project, but in life in general. The project was an also an opportunity for people to think about the environment and nature.
Everyone on the team was given different responsibilities in preparation for the project. We made banners and signs with some phrases such as "Take the step to make a change. Keep Vlora clean." We prepared T-shirts printed with a CARP logo, which turned out very nice.
We made leaflets explaining the project and CARP, and also a map showing the location of our center. These were to give to people who expressed an interest in coming and learning more about us. We also called our witnessing contacts to see if they were interested in participating.
We divided into two groups and we made a plan for one group to march on each side of the street. We marched with the banners, giving out leaflets and cleaning at the same time.
We went all the way to the beach. The participants were so excited and inspired that they started to clean as soon as we got outside. I think they could see that we were making an impression on passers-by, because some of them were saying thank you and some were picking up trash themselves. Curious people asked us questions. A few people even promised not to throw trash on the street, and to pass that idea on to their friends and classmates. As was our intention, it was like witnessing while cleaning.
We could see how doing something for others makes them happy and that you become happy yourself. I think the Vlora members, STF members and participants could learn something valuable from this street-cleaning project.
The question now is whether we can keep it up.