Archives for category: Kevin Potter

While in Santiago, we stayed with a host family of our close friend, Eric.  Eric is a Dominican, studying Music Therapy in New Orleans at Loyola University with his colleague Alex Legges.   These guys were doing such amazing work around the city, outside of our work in Recrear, that we asked them to come do a short activity with our work group.  This video is the testament to their ability to connect individuals through the art of music.  We look forward to working with them in the future through our New Orleans local chapter.

-Kevin Potter

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3) Get Silly

While working to inspire a community to make a lasting change for themselves, when the community has never thought critically about the possibility to start a movement from within; it could be easily forgotten that the best work stems from the work you do while having fun.  We are spending hours a day pushing ourselves, and our participants, to basically create meaningful work for themselves.  However, the time spent building connections across cultural boundairs should not overlook the possibility to have fun.

Every day we are in our workshops we introduce different ways to build team camaraderie, and sometimes that means to just play a game.  My experiance working at my university on our Orientation staff has given me a wide variety of activites and I loved having this opportunity to see how well they would translate for a different target group.

Above, you can witness one of our more successful ‘Icebreakers’.  In this one, called Animal Farm, we have the participants close their eyes and make a predetermined animal noise(told to them secretly).  Then, when the game begins everyone must call and then listen for the appropriate matching animal.  At the end of the game, everyone will be grouped in the corresponding animal group.

This is just one example of a variety of different games we play, but it was one of the most successful attempts to take ourselves out of the stress of project management and just enjoy our brief time together.

-Kevin Potter

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Our time in the smaller city of Esperanza was great, and the group of young men from both the city and the batay were a wonderful group to work with.  Enjoy this short slideshow of my favorite pictures and be sure to see the complete collection at: Flickr.

-Kevin Potter

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Above you will find a slide show of some of my favorites while the staff enjoyed our arrival in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

For the complete collection, please visit our full gallery on Flickr.

-Kevin Potter

The Recrear team has safely landed in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as of yesterday and while we enjoyed our day of travel through the country to Santiago, the continued work for the NOLA chapter alongside the preparation for RecrearParticipacion will keep us focused during our short stay.

As we sit around the family table with a fresh cup of Dominican coffee, laptops dominate the space as the sound of keystrokes compliment the chords of a local guitarist (our host, Eric Rodriguez).  The three members of Recrear are lucky to have this opportunity to be in the DR, but we are not alone.  Eric, and his colleague, Alex, from Loyola University New Orleans are also here in Eric’s hometown doing their own workshop on music therapy(more on them on a future blog).  It is today, everyone’s first collaboration day that we,  five aspiring youth, are setting the tone for the next few weeks of our lives here in Republica Dominicana.

Our project, RecrearParticipacion, has been a development in its own right over months of preparation since it was inspired during Recrear-Apply! in Nablus, West Bank.  Basically, what the international chapter has noticed in our first year of operation is while our ability to launch projects has been successful, the projects we have launched have been developed internally.  Since our ultimate goal as an organization is to be a platform for youth to launch their own community development projects, we have been working on “Participacion” to become our signature project; with the sole aim of inspiring youth (external to our membership) to access our network for their own ideas to be realized.

The actual RecrearParticipacion project is still in the pilot stage while we are in the DR but we have been afforded the time to actually work with two different groups of students to refine our strategies and implement the project in a very uniform manner for global application.   The first group we work with is from the Yspaniola Office in Esperanza, DR.  We will meet their staff and volunteers tomorrow and then start our series of workshops on Wednesday the 13th.

When Participation was originally conceptualize, we envisioned an eight day interactive training series.  Unfortunately, our time with our main contact, Yspaniola, was less than a week so we have been reorganizing to frame the project in a more compact manner.  This has proved extremely challenging to fit eight days into four (fifteen workshop hours total), but a bonus is that we then had a second week free to partner with another target group and implement the project back-to-back.

After a week in Esperanza, we will return to Santiago to work at UTESA (UNIVERSIDAD TECNOLOGICA DE SANTIAGO) to deliver the second round of “Participacion”. And finally, as a recap and method to further develop our local network, we will visit the Dream Project in Carbarete.

I really hope that you will continue to follow this endeavor in these amazing cities and comment when you feel inspired to do so.  Also check out the links to our partner organizations here (included where applicable) and of course – share the link to this blog with your friends.

Hasta luego, Kevin Potter

This year for my birthday I did more than I have ever done.  It was quite a feat for me to organize all of my networks and “IOU’s” to culminate in a one day celebration of life and prosperity.  On July 5th, I did more than celebrate the day I entered the world;  I shared my love for a grassroots organization with my family, friends, and most importantly, my city.  To inspire the community I owe so much too, I brought my favorite passion in life home.  Recrear was reaching the completion of its first year and some of the Beta members were in New Orleans to not only launch our first local chapter, but we were raising money for our second signature project, Recrear Participación which would be in the Dominican Republic a week after the celebration.

The event was a success in a multitude of proportions.  I would like to take this moment to extend my deepest personal gratitude to all those who showed up with your love.  The evening was hosted at the beautiful Rusty Nail (don’t let the name fool you) in the Warehouse District.  All the guest were tapping their feet to the musical sounds of Robin Barnes.  And when we got hungry, the party was catered with some of the Potter Family’s secret recipes in addition to the sweet treats baked by Dawn Jefferson.  In addition, I wasn’t the only one who left the party with gifts, as there was a silent auction of framed pictures featuring past Recrear projects and, Recrear raised over $1000 for the Recrear Participación project.

Thanks again to all who attended.  Please view the project summary for more details along with viewing the slideshow.

-Kevin Potter

I have to say, it’s been almost a year since I first started working with Recrear and my heart continues to race  during every moment I spend in this organization.  Right now I have two of my very close colleagues in New Orleans with me as we are designing the guidelines for our first ever local chapter as part of the International organization.   With the help of some amazing and involved student leaders in the New Orleans area, specifically current students and alumni from the University of New Orleans, I am witnesing tremendous strides in the goals and strategies needed for a local chapter.

What I see as making this unique opportunity so much fun is knowing that after we are done setting up our own chapter in New Orleans, our process will then go on to the international conference that is being held in Ottawa this year for the organization to develop concrete criteria for local chapter development to be used worldwide for Recrear.  So this work here in New Orleans will really have global implications via Recrear and the students we are working with now on the ground will have the chance to help shape a global NGO for a long time to come.

I cannot wait to get into the project development stage next week along with us hosting two fundraisers for RecrearParticipate which will be going on in the Dominican Republic after the New Orleans chapter is launched.  So again, the work we are doing will immediately impact a community very close to New Orleans and give our new chapter members a first hand experience in organizing the community for a great cause.

-Kevin Potter