Where We’re At
We pondered on where we’re at, in order to map the route of where we want to go. We find it difficult to ensure succession and difficult to find members willing to serve as Area Presidents,on Regional and Area Councils or on related sub committees.
We find it difficult to get members from the Region to train as trainers or serve on National Committees. We find it difficult to have an adequate flow of new members. We could also do better in assessing the needs of those we serve and on focusing our assistance, in giving a hand up rather than giving a hand out.
Where We’re Going
Thus, at its first meeting of the New Year our Regional Council resolved to take steps to create a new Springtime for the Society in the Midwest with two initiatives. Firstly, it set up a Regional Visitation Team comprising of Area Presidents and others, who committed to visit each visitation Conference in the Region, focusing on adequately assessing the need of those we serve and thus promoting self-sufficiency, membership development and a conference structure which ensures an ongoing sustainable response to the needs of those whom it is our privilege to serve.
Secondly, we agreed a programme of Regional Public Information and Outreach Events across the region. Thereat we would expect to highlight the ever-growing diversity of SVP activity and thus the diversity of skills and talents required to make up our membership of the future. In doing so we are open to viewing “conference” in a new light, based on a deeper analysis of need and a more effective response in the context of self sufficiency and required organisational support.
In Unity with Those Whom we Serve
However, if not a Springtime for those whom we serve, then there can be no Springtime for the Society. If we do not also delve into the deeper needs, i.e. those of which are very often psychological and sociological, we will never follow the direction of Rule 1.10 of the Rule of Our International Society, which instructs us to ‘endeavour to help people experiencing poverty and disadvantage to help themselves whenever possible, and to be aware that they can forge and change their own destinies and that of their community’. The commentary to this rule reminds us that the ‘ultimate empowerment is for those who are experiencing poverty and disadvantage to gain the confidence and the skills to be able to forge and change the destiny of their local communities’. It is only within such realisation of that ‘ultimate empowerment’ that we can be assured that we, in union with those whom we serve, will have reached the realisation of an ever new and sustainable Springtime.
By John Lupton
Midwest Regional President