Adam Bojelian is age 11 and he can’t speak or write with a pen. He blinks to spell words and he blinks poetry. His poetry entertains and campaigns:
Don’t dare to underestimate
All that we can do,
We have our thoughts and with help
We are able too.
Extract from Coming out of the Ghetto (c) Adam Bojelian, May 2010
I was working with Adam’s Mum, Zoe last night at the Edinbuzz Social Media Surgery at MacDonald Road Library, Leith. We looked at ways to use social media (using things like blogging twitter and facebook) more effectively to let the world hear and respond to Adam’s voice.
Adam wants to make a difference. Others, like him are using social media as a tool to reach new audiences and make connections. A charity or community group may need a bit of help to try something new. That’s what the social media surgeries are all about.
Last night’s surgery was attended by 8 surgeons (helpers) and lots of patients (people who want help). The surgeons are volunteers, they provide social media know-how and enjoy supplying it. You get to help out, learn geeky tips from other surgeons and be inspired by patients like Adam’s Mum, what’s not to like? It’s good to make a difference. As an Edinburgh nursery sang this morning:
I can make a difference, You can make a difference
We can make a difference in this world of ours
(c) Fischy Music 2009
It’s true. Last weekend I saw an outdoor screening of the film Local Hero. It was organised by the Southside Community Council who are trying to save Edinburgh old Odeon cinema building. The film was fantastic and many signatures were added to their petition, you can sign it here. They are making a difference.
Despite my many layers (tshirt, fleece, hoody, long coat and a blanket) it was cold after an hour outside. It got me thinking about Anna Beswick and her campaign to provide hats and warm clothes to the homeless in Edinburgh. Greener Leith last spoke to Anna in December when Hats for the Homeless was just starting out. I asked Anna what’s happened since then:
“We raised around £900 from donations and selling cakes, people gave money instead of sending Christmas cards and there was a supermarket gold coins collection. TK Max donated a box of hats, gloves and scalves and we gave out lots of new and donated clothing over the winter. We provided new gloves for all of Edinburgh’s Big Issue sellers.”
“Next year we want to start giving gloves and hats out earlier and we’ll do more fundraising. We hope to provide hats and gloves to be other Scottish cities, the local support has been fantastic, thank you to everyone who contributed in Edinburgh”
Anna Beswick, Hats for the Homeless volunteer
Anna cooked cakes to make a difference.
Then there was Neil Rolland, we spoke to him last week. He, like Anna, wanted to help the homeless but did it totally differently. He slept rough for an evening and used his artistic talents to make a film about his Big Sleep Out, see his film here. The 118 people participating in the big sleep out raised over £15,000. Read more on the Bethany website.
The people I’ve written about are an inspiration to me. Adam reminded me we can’t let our limitations limit action. Adam won’t let his wheelchair stop him, he’s doing a bike ride next month to raise money for Contact a Family, you can read about it here. Whoever we are and with whatever we have or don’t have, what the children sang is true. We can make a difference.