Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 11: 5 December - Talk Talk Talk

Ever since a conversation i had with Damian (the manager at Crippie) this morning i have had this uneasy feeling in my stomach. My experience on the streets has been great so far. I even feel blessed to have experienced the things that seem to be "negative", because it better allows me to speak out, with a greater knowledge and understanding, about those very things. But that specific conversation this morning really put me in a bad frame of mind. I shouldn't let it get to me, and am usually pretty good at that, but i don't seem to have power over this one. I can't seem to get it out of my head, and i just feel down about it.

Basically, Damian told me that he was told by another lady (i won't mention names as to not get anyone in trouble in any way) that works for another organization, that "several" of the NGO's are not in agreement with what i am doing, and they are "boycotting" me. Now that actually sounds kind of funny when i type it and i actually don't even know what that means, but yeah. Damian told the lady that he would tell me and he did, and then when i inquired about who exactly she was talking about he called her to find out. She said she had gotten the information from a colleague who had been to a meeting where this was talked about. Apparently they were upset because i did this without consulting them or including them. This is strange for me because i sent out a press release for that very reason two weeks before the 16 days, so that if anyone wanted to meet up they could. I got contacted by several people from several different organization who showed support, and a couple that even wanted to meet. And that we did.

So i don't know who has a problem, and what it is all about, but i want to make it clear that i am not doing this for organizations. I am doing what i am doing for the kids. I do however want everyone involved with them to be involved with this, but the only way to do that is by making contact. Likewise, if people really do have problems with me, i would like to think that we are adult enough for them to come to me and we can talk it out. This whole thing could however just be a big misunderstanding and maybe no one has a problem. I have always tried to work with everyone, and work against the organizational politics, that only make the situation on the streets more complex. So i guess there could be a bigger reason why this even came up at all. For me to highlight this point.

One thing i have experienced is there is a lot of competition and organizational politics within this sector. I think it has gotten better since when i first came here, but it still exists, and it holds the kids right where they are. I hope for a day when we can all work together, agree to disagree about certain things, and work in unity towards finding solutions for these kids. No one person can do it alone! But it requires dedication to teamwork and networking, along with all of us basically being willing to "work ourselves out of a job". I hope this happens! I hope that others are striving for the same thing!

So here is the venue. I am opening it up. Please feel free to contact me if you have a problem with what i am doing. Please let me know how we can better work together. Please let me know if you support what i am doing. I need that too! Both negative and positive input are greatly needed for anything and everything we do in life, both privately and professionally. All i know is that i have seen eight years of children dying, drugging themselves stupid, wasting away, and being ignored by society (until they get under society's skin, that is) and i can't bear to see this for 8 more years! Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is my desperate act. I pray and hope that i have your support, even if you don't fully understand or agree with it.

I am sorry if this blog came off a little whiny and PMSy! This is normally not my style. But this has just been bugging me all day! Thanks for letting me vent!

8 comments:

MylifE said...

Ryan

I am so glad that you have put this up on this blog. I have been in this sector for ten years and to this day I am spoken about in a negative light. I have been shot at, had my car vandalised more times than I can remember, my office broken into more times than I can remember, defamed in a video because I dared to take on the Producers,.....and so I could carry on.

I was horrified recently when I was confronted by a member of the Homeless World Cup and told my name is a swear word in the City Council and I had been blacklisted by the lady in city council who makes the decisions around homelessness who has a beef with me. This has mean't that for the past ten years we have never received a cent of funding from Council or Province.

He made this statement in front of a friend of mine and a member of Parliament. I have never confronted anyone in the sector about what they have to say about me as I am not doing this work to please the sector, I have dedicated my life to the children of our country that are being abused by negligence and ego.

This is a discussion that must come to the fore because at the end of the day, when the NGO sector are not combining their skill and resources, the kids suffer.

I have felt very hurt at times to hear the injustice and abuse, I don't give a damn if people dislike me, that is to do with me and them, we should be measured on the work we do and the outcomes we have!!!!

So, do not feel sad Ryan, people talk badly about God and even our darling Mr Mandela. These are the people that have time to gossip when we are at the frontline of a National disaster.

I hope and pray this all changes in the future and at a recent conference for the "street" youth of the Western Cape, we all agreed to work together. I hope this happens.

Keep strong and realise that when people talk badly it is normally because they are operating from ego and wish they could be doing what you are doing.

Biggggggg up
The team at Mylife

anita said...

hey there,
i was introduced to you by Gregory last saturday evening on long street and ever since i have been following your blog and telling everyone i know about what you are doing as i think it is an amazing thing. Since i have arrived in cape town and come into contact with these kids it has been tearing me apart to see how their lives are turning out and how they are being failed by the systems of society which allow for this to happen here!
i hope that i bump into you again so that you can give me some of your wisdom on how best to help but in the meantime i wish you all the best for your time left living life in the shoes of these kids and thank you for sharing your story!

34suspects Inc. said...

3Foursuspktz commenting................................................................some people are into this cause to make a living...some have their own agendas and visions but i dont think that will top a willed heart to help.i will tell you how i grew up,i was suffering and living in abject poverty.i was lucky that i was intelligent or whatever you may call it.a well wishing couple informally adopted me and i became a foster child.my relationship with theother teaching staff went sour,and the same applied to my foster parents.it became so intense that i thought suiside would be my only way out but i had a mission.i had come a long way.Imagine a school headmaster who would deny me scholarships?many a time he refused to write recommendation letters for me just because other teachers applied the scholarships for me.at the end the crisis became so bad that my foster parents had to let go of me back into suffering,fortunately they had pushed me upto O level,and i had passed.So pleasedont let politics take you down,Linzi and Ryan.

Joerg Nawrocki said...

Linsi and Ryan, a bit shocked to read, but not really surprised. Pleople need attention, and if not by good news, so by bad news or blaming and making wrong. Your heart and your soul knows what is right and good for you, and I wish both of you the courage and strengh to continue the good.

Beth said...

They're just jealous that you are bringing attention to "their" project when they haven't been able to figure out how to do it. What you are doing is great!! (And that is a completely unbiased, unprejudiced opinion!!)

Anonymous said...

Keep up the strength and vision because their statements of concern or discord only prove that you are cracking into their system and clearing the way for change!! I LOVE YOU AND AM SO UNBELIEVABLY PROUD OF YOU!! DAD

Katie said...

Well Ryan, I say hang in there bud. You are obviously making waves and you are being heard for the Children's sake. God knows and sees what you are doing. He sees your heart. Be encouraged young brother and don't give up.

RAAAGER said...

Ryan,

This is actually good news for you, bear with me.....hearing that people are having a problem with your mission means people are hearing about it and you are making an impact. I think what you are doing is a wonderful way of getting the word out and the NGO's that complain are just feeling one upped by your efforts. No one kept them from doing the same thing except themselves. You have had the courage and passion to actually step up and do something, not just talk or ask for money...but actually doing something to make people aware of the life these kids struggle with.

Rock on brotha!!!