A Journey to understand Failure
During our Amal Journey, we have been given the task to collect funds for Edhi Foundation. The purpose of this activity is to challenging our problem-solving skills to accept failure. The activity had to be carried out by the whole batch in their mega circles. We had to devise different ways to collect funds for Edhi foundation from people.
Plan # 1:
Our first strategy as a batch to collect the funds was to make posters to collect funds. This is the poster we designed:
We posted the poster on our social media accounts. We shared it with our WhatsApp groups. We hoped to collect a fair amount of funds, but we faced failure when people didn’t pay any heed to the poster. We waited for a week, and then we realized it’s better to make a new strategy than to adhere to the one which is failing.
Plan # 2:
For this, we merged our circle with circle number 7, which is led by Khawaja Muhammad Ali.
The idea of collecting funds via a poster didn’t work well, so we had to develop a new strategy. We decided to arrange a workshop to teach the usage of Microsoft Office covering Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to students. The fee to attend the workshop was 500 PKR. We were able to reach more people with this plan, and seven people attended the workshop.
(Picture of the workshop isn’t included because we weren’t able to get participants’ consent.)
This plan worked well. It wasn’t up to the mark with our expectations, but we were glad that we could collect some money.
The reflections of circle fellows are as below:
Saba Rauf (Circle Leader):
- The experience of collecting funds for a social cause was beautiful, and I felt like I was doing something beneficial for my society.
- I collected funds individually and in the group, as well. As a group, I had more success because we arranged a workshop to collect funds. As an individual, it was difficult because I realized that due to lockdown, so many families are suffering, and we might think they are doing okay, but they are monetarily struggling. So, people were not able to donate.
- People didn’t give positive responses to our first strategy, which was posting posters on social media. We solved that problem by arranging a workshop. This strategy wasn’t as successful as we wanted it to be, but we could still collect funds. My problem-solving ability and leadership qualities improved in the process.
- This experience taught me that failure is a part of life, and it’s okay to face it. If we look at a problem from different angles, we might be able to go through the obstacle more easily and quickly.
- I tried to raise funds through social media advertisement and also by personal contact with my fellows, but everyone was appreciating, but no one was ready to take the initiative, so that was discouraging
- Some people were not responding through personal contact, and so I have to call them to convince them one by one.
- We have to approach the public by meeting them in person to convey our points much more precisely.
- That was a great initiative, and we make efforts to get success, but we learn how we can insist people for a kind act and also how can we establish a good team and leadership skills.
- Social work has been one of my goals for some time, so I was more than happy and excited to work on this.
- I collected funds individually and in a group, too. Collecting this in a group was more comfortable because we were able to come up with different solutions.
- I began by collecting funds from my friends and family. My friends gave donations, but my cousins refused to do so because they said they were jobless. I overcame this failure by asking my cousins to donate as much as 10 PKR if they can.
- The failure was a challenging part of this because I used to think people would be helping and willing to donate. I felt a little bit disappointed, but I realized that my passion for social work is extreme, and I must keep going.
Muhammad Hammad Hassan:
- It was a unique experience of collecting the funds for the Edhi foundation as it was my first experience to collect for any relief organization; through it, I learned many lessons, including
- Dealing with people
- Motivating others for a good cause
- Overcoming my shyness
- Our circle arranged a Microsoft office workshop to collect the funds, and I also made some effort individually; I made the list of 10 people I aimed to contact with them for this purpose.
- At the start, I was motivated about this campaign, but it was a different story after contact with the people. Everyone was listening but not responding; some of them promised to give later, but not now. Some of them said that they are already giving funds to some similar organizations, and some didn’t respond.
- It was very desperate and hard to accept the failure. Still, in the end, I concluded, firstly, I accepted that I didn’t apply my 100% to this effort, the main reason was that I was hesitant to talk to others for this project, so I was to convince them. Secondly, I talked to people mostly on my phone but not meeting them personally.
- For me, the experience of collecting funds was very new, so it acted as a challenge. I was excited to indulge in this challenge, but I was also afraid of the obstacles I will face. I have learned some things about myself at the end of it, which I didn’t know before. I realized I have better panic management than I give myself credit for.
- Individually, I was able to collect funds from only one person who is my friend. In the group, I was able to collect funds from more people. Overall, working in a group for funds collection is more successful than working alone.
- The biggest challenge was to get myself to ask people personally for a donation. I was afraid of rejection. But it was a whole different scenario when I asked people for donations. They said yes at that time but ghosted later. I think, now, a clear rejection is better than false promises.
- This failure made me feel that whenever you do something a little bit different from usual in our society, you should make up your mind for failures and rejections because people will always bring you down. I also learned to accept failure on a lighter note, as a part of life rather than a big scary clown who will swallow your whole existence.
- It was an excellent experience to work with a group to collect funds for the Edhi Foundation. I was very passionate and excited about this activity.
- I was unable to collect funds individually because my family is moving from one house to another. So, it was a struggle to collect funds for me. In the group, we were able to collect funds.
- When I asked two or three of my friends for donations, their response wasn’t right. They said maybe this is some fraud as it’s prevalent in Pakistan. Their response hurt me, but I decided to ignore them because I knew we were working hard for a genuine cause.
- This failure I faced made me more motivated to work for social causes.
All the circle members faced difficulty in persuading people personally for donations. The lack of response and donations from people dimmed down our enthusiasm, and our morale wavered. This experience made me feel the hardships Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi must have faced when he started the Edhi foundation. The struggle of asking people for funds, convincing people that their money would not be misused, narrating to people again and again that this is not a fraud must have been nerve-wracking and exhausting. But then I also had a revelation that Ehdi.sb never gave up on his dreams and generosity of people despite all the hurtful things he had to face, and today we are working for the same foundation he built from scratch.
Failure is not permanent. It will dissolve in the air like it never existed. But what you learned from that failure and how you overcame it is permanent and will stay with you forever.