After a week of sharing Recrear’s vision, projects and internal organization with the management of YPSA, I am reminded forcefully that Recrear is not a joke.
YPSA’s organizational history is packed with lessons for us. This middle size NGO recently celebrated its 26th birthday. Impressively, today YPSA manages over 2000 workers and receives funding from a range of national and international donors. Despite this growth, YPSA seems very grounded to the field reality and dedicated to representing people at the community level.
It is not success what makes me so enamored with YPSA, instead I admire it for the boldness and perseverance that has allowed the organization to become what it is today.
YPSA started with a group of 14 students getting together to serve their community – What does it remind you of? Eventually membership went down to 4, and then up again. Mahabub (currently Director Field Operation ) has been with YPSA from the beginning. He closes his eyes for a second and thinks hard to remember the date YPSA received its first grant, or when they started implementing this or that program. It took 10 years for YPSA to ‘jump’ and receive the first little grant. Mahabub speaks about YPSA’s history very openly. He is not afraid to say that things have been hard for a long time. He shares stories with us because he knows that ‘there is a lot we can learn’ reminding us with a very intense look that ‘there are a lot of obstacles ahead’.
Mahabub has the soul of an NGO Peter Pan. His eyes always sparkle with a young enthusiasm that really touches me and even if his organization has come such a long way he still has the dedication to advice our baby Recrear with genuine attention.
After each ‘organization talk’ with Mahabub, I feel at the same time inspired and uneasy. One one side, I can’t hide I am overwhelmed thinking about the complexity of finding the right balance between patience and determination that will allow Recrear to grow. Mahabub’s recommendations usually end with a light and refreshing ‘Don’t worry! You are on the right track!’. Somehow, I think he really understands our worries deeply and his ‘don’t worry’ works as some sort of magic pill. His confidence allows me to maintain my conviction that the passion we all are putting in Recrear can melt fears and empower us to find creative solutions to the billion obstacles ahead.
I am very grateful for this exchange with YPSA which is generating a lot of important reflections. Some of them really hard to process, some of them exciting and inspiring…for now I am letting all what I am receiving from YPSA ‘sink’.