Committees & Teams

Nicaragua Brigade Leader

Goal of Position

To conduct biannual trips with our partner organization, Bridges to Community. Recruit brigadistas, prepare for the trip, and lead the brigade.

Sample Activities

  • Assist minister with planning 2 worship services, typically once per year in the Fall. The first service is held on odd-numbered years and is a pre-trip service to raise awareness of the social justice issues surrounding our work, to initiate a recruitment drive and fundraising pledge drive. This requires finance committee and board approval by mid-summer. The second is a post-trip service held on even-numbered years to again raise awareness and share the trip-experience with the congregation
  • After the pre-trip service, conduct the biannual volunteer-recruiting and fundraiser (October – December of odd-numbered years). This includes arranging a table in the community room and recruiting volunteers to staff the table after services.
  • Recruit volunteers for biannual trip
  • Publicize plans and activities through the West Wind, listserve and weekly Order-of-Service announcements; coordinate with the minister, Social Action Committee, Finance Committee and Treasurer
  • Starting 6-months before travel, promote donations of, collect, organize and pack non-monetary goods into luggage to be carried by volunteers; facilitate volunteer registration; arrange air travel
  • Arrange transportation to airport
  • Arrange and lead 2 – 3 pre-trip group orientation meetings
  • Arrange pre-trip Spanish-speaking sessions/lessons
  • Allocate proceeds from fundraiser
  • Act as liaison with Bridges to Community, our partner organization
  • Follow Trip Organizer Check List posted on the Bridges to Community web site
  • Travel as leader with your group
  • Compose and submit annual report to Social Action Council Chair

Many of these activities may be delegated to other volunteers.

Timeframe

  • Length of Commitment: 24 months, approximately, from initial planning to return from Nicaragua
  • Estimated Total Hours: Up to one hour per week, 60 – 100 hours, depending on how much you delegate.
  • Scheduling: Brigades are scheduled biannually during the summers of even-numbered years (2014, 2016, 2018, etc.) The fundraiser and volunteer drive is conducted in the Fall of odd-numbered years. Except for the nine-day brigade, the schedule follows the activity list above and is arranged in consultation with everyone else involved.

Qualifications

It’s a big help to have travelled on a brigade; aside from that, you need enthusiasm and the ability to communicate; know how to organize and plan meetings, set agendas and conduct meetings. Be a spokes-person and ambassador promoting the benefits of engaging in this work.

Reports to

Social Action Committee and the minister.

Benefits

Hugely rewarding feeling of accomplishment during and after your trip. Immediate gratification while building a house. Satisfaction and comradery. Knowing you made a differnce.

Top Ten Reasons to become a Brigadista, by Phil Kroner:

10. Where else can you go out to eat and watch lizards crawl across the walls?
9. You will find out how a diet heavy in rice and beans affects your digestive system.
8. You will find out how a diet heavy in rice and beans affects your companions’ digestive systems.
7. You will learn that you really can survive without the Internet for one week.
6. To discover that taking a bucket shower under a warm sun is one of your favorite things to do.
5. To be reminded that all of the stuff we own really isn’t that important.
4. When language is a barrier, you will discover the power of a simple smile.
3. Because at unexpected moments months later you will think of the family you helped, and wonder how they are doing.
2. You will always know that you did something truly important for someone.
1. To experience the thrill of seeing your teen be assigned a chore, and do it immediately.


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