Thanks for your questions Amy. Although my schedule doesn’t allow me this summer, I was leading walking classes through New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. These classes were designed to address preventable health conditions that many live with in the boroughs of New York.
Thanks for your question.
A few years back, I used to provide a mini exercise program at a cafeteria style facility run by Meals on Wheels. I’d start about 15 minutes prior to the meals being served. The population drawn to this cafeteria came from an adjacent high-rise for people of very low income.
I must confess, this experience was not all that positive which is the reason why I ultimately quit.
Of course, participation was voluntary, and since the medical status – from what I could see – was poor, I designed it as a program which could be done seated. I had initially tried to form a circle but people were reluctant to do it. Then I had them stay at their tables where they would later eat, and that worked better. But soon the participation became less and less, and people started to look at it as yet another entertainment provided by the City of Raleigh (which, of course, it was not).
I have been asking myself what else I can do. Once people come to me for personal training, they have already decided that they want to (or need to) do something. But as my experience showed: you can only lead a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink.
I started a youth engagement forum, we organise weekly community meetings in the evenings whereby our elderly community members (church & political leaders, club owners, NGO’s, community center leaders etc…) engage with the youth. We engage on various topics e.g. what’s new, what’s happening in our area e.g. various sports activities, recreation, events management, economic development, volunteering services, sourcing funding, bursaries etc…so far we secured funding after we all volunteered at a community outreach event in our areas. The 25 member Brass Band received a R50k donation, and one of our members (11yr old) is a recipient of a bursary for reciting a poem.