[AfH-Chapters] Update from Germany

Action for Happiness info at actionforhappiness.org
Wed Jul 17 15:42:37 CEST 2019

Hi Tobias and team - thanks so much for sharing this very helpful update
from your brilliant work in Germany - that's extremely useful to see and
very inspiring to hear about all your progress, despite the on-going
challenges of a small team of busy volunteers keeping this all going
alongside other day jobs!

We're always delighted to hear all the great progress being made by the
different national chapters. I greatly enjoyed connecting with the AfH
Australia team at one of their recent Board meetings and it's wonderful to
know about their Happtivist march happening this week in Melbourne (and
Vanessa King is also currently there as she's talking about AfH at the IPPA
conference). I've also had great recent calls with Maurizia in Italy and
Gabi in Czech Rep and it's really encouraging to hear about all their
on-going progress too.

Also, I just wanted to share one theme with you all that has been on my
mind recently... although it's great to see the on-going rise of the
"wellness movement" around the world (from yoga & pilates to kale, detoxing
and mindful workplaces etc), the thing that really makes our work with AfH
distinctive (and urgently needed!) is the move "from me to we" - with our
focus on creating a happier world (as well as a happier self) and focusing
outwards as well as inwards. We're really linking personal wellness to
wider social progress - and that's what the world needs right now! On that
note I enjoyed reading this article on mindfulness and social change - and
thought you might like it too...

*Moving mindfulness from 'me' to 'we'*

Huge thanks again to you all for everything you're doing - and particularly
again to Tobias and the team for this very helpful and encouraging update :)


The Action for Happiness team

On Mon, 15 Jul 2019 at 21:05, Tobias Polzin <
tobias.polzin at actionforhappiness.de> wrote:

> Dear national chapters,
> I was just writing an email to Mark with a some update with our last 3
> month's activities and I thought, perhaps you would also be interested in
> it.
> I would like to share some personal feelings about our local chapter work,
> too. In general, things feel more difficult for us compared to last year.
> The first year was so exciting. The preparation of the translated course
> was a hard, but clear task. Now that we have done that, it's not so clear
> how to proceed, given the limited time resources of volunteers who are
> full-time employed with other jobs. So, we *focussed our work for the
> next 3 month* on the following areas:
>    1. Courses. Approach all people that have said they are interested in
>    leading a course (hopefully using a mailing from AfH International database)
>    2. Prepartion of a gathering weekend for Action for Happiness Germany.
>    We hope that this can be an activity that can attract new volunteers, give
>    them a non-internet contact with us, qualify them for tasks and clarify the
>    further directions of AfH-Germany. nspired by something that Maurizia from
>    AfH-Italy did, we would like to offer a "preparation for being a course
>    leader" to people who registered as leaders in your database.
>    3. Improve on organisational questions
>       1. What can we offer people wanting to volunteer, without the
>       ability to make individual training?
>       2. For what activities does it make sense to pay for them, as they
>       are not done regular enough and/or powerful enough if done on a volunteer
>       basis?
>       3. Apply for funds that offer consultancy for non-profit
>       organisations
>       4. Use positive psychology approaches (character strength analysis)
>       within our own group
> Unfortunately, a very valuable point, articles in Happiness magazines had
> to be dropped due to limited resources.
> Perhaps our current working procedure is on interest for you:
>    - There is a non-profit association with 3 board members that serves
>    as the legal foundation, but effectively does nothing.
>    - There are 3 people that committed themselves to participate in the
>    organisation for at least 6 months. There are around 10 others that
>    participate in isolated tasks (translating the monthly calendar, ...).
>    - Every 6 months, we arrange a real world weekend together, for
>    revitalising the contact.
>    - Every 3 months, we do a session of review (our past activities, to
>    celebrate), retrospective (what has to be changed in our processes) and
>    planning (what is the focus of the next 3 months) (adopted from Scrum
>    methodology)
>    - Every week, we have a 20 minutes zoom webcall with "one good thing",
>    "current mood", "celebrate AfH tasks done in the last week", "plans for
>    next week", "impediments/difficulties/questions" (adopted from Scrum
>    "daily"), with up to 5 members.
> After the last "review" I was impressed what we have achieved the last 3
> months, although things did not feel very "fluid":
>    - 3 successful courses supported
>    - 6 courses in preparation
>    - The homepage www.actionforhappiness.de has a new "contribute" page,
>    a page with the german course material for participants. We prepared a
>    German version of the "Unhappy?" text, giving pointers to support
>    organisations in Germany.
>    - Printed the German course book with fully revised German "resources"
>    (personally, *this was my highlight*! the printed german books are so
>    well received, look so cool, and the gathering of German links/books/videos
>    for the resources was fun)
>    - Together with AfH International we are experimenting about how to
>    arrange the organisational work for courses in Germany
>    - The homepage was equipped with a feature rich CRM (CiviCRM) used by
>    over 11000 non profit organisations. It offers many interesting options
>    (member database, mailings, event applications, management of donations,
>    ...). But is also so feature rich that it's using sledgehammer to crack a
>    nuts.
>    - AfH Internaional supported us with mailings to members in
>    Switzerland and Austria (with surprisingly no responses)
>    - We started collected emailadresses of supporters and have around 200.
>    - Facebook subscriptions and likes are now over 1000.
>    - One request for funding / organisational consultancy was rejected, a
>    second one was submitted, a third one is in preparation.
>    - We found two new people interested in translating materials.
> Is there anything to report from you? I would find it nice, if you all
> report something about your current achievements, difficulties, feelings,
> plans!
> Best wishes
>   Tobias
> --
> Ich werde versuchen, mehr Glück und weniger Unglück in der Welt um mich herum zu stiften.
> (Action for Happiness Deutschland. www.actionforhappiness.de)
> _______________________________________________
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> AfH-Chapters at lists.ourproject.org
> http://lists.ourproject.org/mailman/listinfo/afh-chapters
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