We went into full print today for 'The Essence'. The past weeks, but really more like month has been one giant push in order to meet our deadline. Tomorrow I get into a car, and then a canoe, and paddle away from this computer. Before I leave though I wanted to leave you with a smidge of what this whole journey has been about. As YIP is coming to a close, I find myself with a whole new set of questions. Instead of the usual, "what is YIP?" I find myself currently posed by, "what have you learned at YIP?" That answer in full is really to big to put down all at once, but here is a sample.
Last Friday myself and Oona, who is the project initiator behind, IoY gave our final presentation on this project. At the end we brought our other two teammates up and we each answered these three questions.
What does it mean for me:
To be in a leadership role?
To co-create with others?
Realize a dream into reality?
I remember that one dammed YIP flyer, that I'd written about before. I remember the words, 'social entrepreneurship'. It was the first time I had ever read these words, and I spent the following years and through my time here at YIP, trying to understand what they meant. For me this project and these questions, not only seem to be the start to some sort of understanding but also to the rest of this life journey for me.
On Sunday, our last full work day (we started in the am and ended in the am), I found myself at Danika's door, a contributor and alumni. We were in the final hours and after days of non-stop work, I had lost the point. I asked, "does it matter, does it really matter?" It was here that she stopped me, handed me an article she had written last year while she was a Yippie, on this same thought, waited for me to finish reading it, and then handed me a piece of pie.
Here's the conclusion.
I will never be able to measure what this body of work will mean in the greater world, just as attempting to sum up what I have learned here or how it will profit me is also nearly impossible. What I do know is that by being given the supportive space to dream, plan, act and ultimately create, I have done something from what was nothing. And this will forever carry me. These three questions will forever guide me, because I now know that I can do. We started on this project with no money, no skills in project management or editing, and really no clue. All we had was a desire to give back and a hope that if we continued to take one step forward we would eventually get there.
Next Thursday, we pick up 700 copies. And if any one of these copies is picked up and read by an individual who is then moved into action, we have done our job. More than likely, I will not know this person, and they will not know me. This is just part of the beauty.
So on the thought of "what have I learned", I can rest easy saying - "I've learned to walk".
*If you want to know what was in Danika's article, you'll just have to purchase a copy.
It was so good we had to publish it.*
below is a few snippets from March onwards of what this adventure looked like.
The Month of March
- The first time we printed out all of our content. At the time we couldn't believe how much we had. Looking back, I almost can't believe how little we had! Nonetheless, this was a proud day for our team.
The Month of April
- Oona and I with our IoY stand at YIP's annual Initiative Forum. We had a Preview copy with just a few articles printed out and an opportunity for pre-purchase. There were many beautiful moments, meeting some of the faces that had contributed content to our little publication, as well as others that had sent love and support our way through our online campaign. Thank you to each and everyone of you!
The Month of May
- Much of the practical aspects of our work went into full swing. There were articles to be edited, people to contact, formatting to be done and much coffee to drink. Our lil team went into overdrive and we were determined to stick it out till the end!
The Month of June
June 10, 2014
- Today at the printers going over the rough print. I spent weeks imagining this exact moment over and over. Even though the draft wasn't cut or stapled, to be able to see the actual size, and the colour of the printing without our usual faded, streaked prints was amazing. We oohed and aahhed over every page.
Next Thursday we pick up our copies and begin sending them all over the world!
This collection of stories and images that we have compiled are fueled by questions that we all carry. We cannot pin these questions down to any one country, race or nationality. They are timeless and have no boundries.
These stories are meant to move and be shared, given to those that are ready to try something new.
Are you ready?
PS. Shipping is Free. Thats right :)
The International Youth Initiative Program
I am a Yippie class of 2013/2014. These are findings, thoughts and captured moments of mine from here in Jarna, Sweden.