Starting a Reach Project
There is no formula for starting a Footnotes Reach project, though there are a few different ways that we can suggest to help you begin and sustain something new locally or regionally.
If you are interested as a larger organisation or governmental body, we suggest you get in contact directly to discuss your specific needs.
Before you Begin
You don’t need to understand the ins and outs of what Footnotes can do before you get in touch. Maybe you’re just aware that the situation has a very visually dominant component, perhaps where there are learners who are not progressing as hoped, or a community that can’t read and write, or where language differences cause problems. There are lots of different reasons for why a project would benefit from Footnotes.
The funding of projects also varies. Finances will need to be secured in some, if not all cases. If you do not have this in place but would like to partner with us, we still want to hear from you, as we may be able to help you to raise the necessary amount or connect you with a potential sponsor. Sometimes a Footnotes Reach project begins when we receive a request letter, as this gives us the ability to start sourcing funds. It may be small initially, growing as support increases.
When it comes to how to initiate your new project, these are just a few examples of ways that Reach can get started:
– It might be that we offer a ‘Foundations’ day — a workshop or one day conference that launches a potential project by bringing together interested parties, and possible future facilitators and peer mentors. You do not need to have a full picture of what your Reach project should end up looking like, and can use this day to identify both the leaders and even possible benefactors of the programme.
– A volunteer in-country may decide to help put on an online workshop, organising transport to gather remote beneficiaries into one location, to receive web-based training. We bring the training and our sponsors pay for it!
– There may just be one or two individuals somewhere who have already heard of or been introduced to Footnotes (it might be you!), and we can be invited in to bring extra input, support and tuition to help them maintain and develop what they’ve learned. They may want to share it with their peers too, and we can help with that.
– It could be that an individual wants to get trained as a Footnotes Facilitator (either online or through a workshop) so that they can take that it to a place in need anywhere in the world
– A professional might identify the need for Footnotes in their place of work and ask us to deliver specific training, which might grow into a regular group or even a movement.
Projects can begin as small or as big as you like, and the amount of input needed varies. A Reach project works equally as well with just a few people. Projects also have the ability to get going on quite a large scale pretty much straight away. We have seen projects within a crisis refugee camp launch with 80 participants in the first session.
Part of the beauty and transferability of Footnotes is also that it’s not essential that any particular formal qualifications are already obtained by an individual wanting to start a project.
A Foundations day forms the basis for the first module of facilitator training, and becoming a qualified Footnotes Facilitator is something that is advisable as it provides the tools to be able to pass on Footnotes well, and we believe that something good should be shared! However it is not essential so don’t let that be a hindrance.
Footnotes often works best when two or three of the grid modules are introduced at the same time (please visit the Footnotes website for a complete list of grids). For example, ‘Hopes & Dreams’ can work well alongside the literacy supporting modules, if you were helping people who had low self-esteem within an educational setting. Or in a scenario where people are trying to create careers or establish a project that brings the community together, the ‘Hopes & Dreams’, ‘Perspective’ and ‘Enterprise’ grids may be needed. These are just two of the many ways that grid modules can be combined.
Growing and Sustaining
Peer mentoring can be a very effective way of sharing Footnotes. If one person gains experience of the grid and sees its benefit then, once they have grasped it, peer-to-peer transmission can really help to spread the strategies. People setting up a project to receive Footnotes Reach could be considering who they might have as future mentors, keeping an eye out for potential candidates who will be able to take this forward into the community they’re wanting to reach.