Camila, who is part of OpenTHREAD is also the director for CIDES (Center for Information on Destructive Sub-cultures,) introduced us to Samer Alazawie (aka Sam.) Sam is a talented passionate person who is both employed by CIDES and also putting his free time into trying to make a difference in his community. He is part of a simple idea that works. The only problem is financing. Now this small humble initiative is at risk of disappearing at a time when initiatives like these should be lifted as role models for grassroots problem solving.
Watch Sam here (SWE):
For me it is easy sometimes to get lost in the complexity of social challenges. If I give money or time will it actually help? Would I just be giving a person a fish and instead of teaching them how to fish? What are other people doing around the world to solve the same problem? While I really like all these questions and I think they are valid, it is important to not let them paralyse us completely.
In Malmö, Sam’s team has been doing a great job attracting young people off the streets and into an organized activity center which provides them with a place to gather, socialize, be seen and even grab a bite to eat. It is a simple and effective program that is independent of government or institutional funding. This natural hangout has kept kids off the street, installing hope in their lives and encouraging them to keep believing in their own abilities. When few legal alternatives appear, it encourages them to choose another path and avoid the temptations of a criminal lifestyle.
On April 7 we will run an OpenTHREAD event with a group of believers to try and engage individuals and companies behind Camilla and Sam’s challenge. We are convinced that small investments can make a big difference in projects like these. You can read more about April 7th here.
And…..all my friends out there who are on the other side of this challenge, possessing the power and money to give Sam and his team a chance, give me a call!