With our program of the AJ LDIRs officially coming to an end, it means sharing lessons learned from our participants’ experiences.  After completing a six month workshop (click here to learn more) on topics of building solidarity, stories of self, assessing community needs, and different approaches of change – our teams broke up into action projects to work on specific community projects. Of course, it didn’t come without their challenges. Here’s what we learned:

1. Sometimes even after deliberate planning, S.W.O.T. analyses, and major discussions over your action project – you will come until unexpected hurdles that you didn’t plan for.

2. In some cases, narrowing down your scope of work and narrowing down who your target population is a long process of planning itself.

3. How local you are in the area of your work can affect your level of impact.

4. Ageism is a real thing. Helping older community members to properly use technology to just be able to organize meetings and schedule conferences is an important skill.

5. Finding holes in your process may put you a step backward but can result in taking you two steps forward. It’s an opportunity to learn.

The nature of community work isn’t easy. However, if it was easy – would we be working so hard to build it and make it better? Thank you to all our wonderful participants this year, it’s been a pleasure to learn, pivot, and collaborate together challenging times.

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