We’re 3!! When CA began its Actions on Dec 16, 2008, hardly any of the Actioneers present dreamt of a day when our membership would span across more than 600 students from over 90 institutes across the world. And yet today, that is a reality. We never dreamt that our Actions would have an impact on well over 100,000 underprivileged Bangladeshis — but today, we call that a conservative estimate!It is at this juncture that we, as Actioneers, must take a deep breath and answer some of the basic questions that arise about our work:
- What are our achievements?
- Why do we do one-day/short-term Actions?
- What is our Vision? Do we have a Mission? Where are our Values?
- What next for CA?
We’ll try to answer those questions below.
What are our Achievements?
To see the answer, click on “this” long list. Just a few random highlights are:
- We are the most active student-run organisation working with the visually impaired in Bangladesh as part of Action: Guardians in the Dark — in fact, CA is Building Bangladesh’s FIRST text-book based library for the visually impaired! We hope to never again meet a visually impaired student who says he only read 3 pages of Braille book in his entire student life; we want them to study as the rest of us do.
- We have built over 80 tube wells across the northern and southern reaches of the nation, impacting over 66,000 people as part of Action: Jolodhara! This Action was entered in the HSBC-The Daily Star Climate Awards 2011 where it had the mettle to compete against multinationals and government-run projects.
- We have distributed over 16,000 pieces of clothes across the country, and over10,000 pieces of warm clothes have already been collected through Action: Ushnota this year!
- We have shared our iftar with over 15,000 street people through our hugely popular Action: Piyaju-Beguni!
As you must have noticed, the above Actions are divided into those with long term impacts (1-2) & those having short terms impacts (3-4).
So why do we do one-day/short-term Actions?
This question is generally asked like this: What is the point of giving iftar for one day to street people?!! We welcome such constructive questions, and we do have an answer to them!
Leaving aside the obvious virtue of feeding the hungry, in order to understand the necessity of short term Actions, we must understand the philosophy behind CA: CA wants to create trained Actioneers.
Short term actions: used to recruit Actioneers and give some preliminary training.
Long term actions: where Actioneers inculcate the real values of CA and get further training. Here they work as mentors of underprivileged students, manage giving out interest-free grants and even get training in how to use social media effectively!
This is why we say our strengths are:
 We focus on training Actioneers.
 We concentrate on Actions with long term impacts.
 We highlight creative, low cost solutions to big problems.
What is our Vision? Do we have a Mission? Where are our Values?
Since we are talking about the Philosophy of CA, let’s try to understand what that is. CA is a very philosophy-driven organisation!
CA has a mantra: Actioneers > Actions , i.e. CA focuses more on Actioneers than the Actions, because if proper Actioneers are created they will themselves carry out the Actions, exactly as our track record shows. We seek to create Actioneers who are Moral, Influential and Professional, thus making them an asset for Bangladesh and the world.
What next for CA?
CA is now preparing the next generation of its leaders to take over the day-to-day running of the organisation. In the coming year, we will focus on streamlining our recruitment policies, highlighting our social media presence and formalising every one of our Actions. We welcome all suggestions from you about these.
It has been an amazing journey. And my dear Actioneer, you really did it! You made CommunityAction.
How does it feel?
Even a smile is charity, right? :D