WHAT DID HELEN LEARN?

27 07 2009

Here’s what I learned:

  • facebook groups are a great way of building and extending social networks, generating discussion, etc…especially for a controversial topic like ours. It also made advertising our event a lot easier. We now have 205 members in our facebook group and 49 posts (all generated within 2 weeks!)
  • after interviewing students during our first promotional event for the cell phone initiative, people generally haven’t thought of this social issue. Most people do not know what a survival sex worker is. One student commented: “…it’s because these women are not viewed as important…society doesn’t talk about them so much.” Most students were very willing to sign their name in support of a harm reduction like ours. After learning more about the social issue, people seem to be very willing to help. -We got some good and bad feedback for our solution. Most people felt it was a good start and will help a few people. It’s not a very transformative solution however and there are a few challenges to tackle when it comes to cell phones.
  • I learned that local nonprofits, outreach services, the VPD, the community police…were all very willing to help! Aside from one organization that never got back to my email. We spoke to someone at rogers wireless about our program and he directed us to a member in the hasting community police who then directed me to a member in the VPD who gave me a lot of feedback and recommendations on our initiative which was great!
  • I also learned that because this is a sensitive and emotional topic…it’s easy to offend people or be offended. People will criticize your moral stance or twist what you say to strengthen their argument…and it’s important to not take the issue too personally. We want to generate discussion and get ideas rather than to argue whether prostitution is right or wrong but people easily stray to that path. this is what I can think of so far =) will add more later if I come up with more.
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