I intend to set-up a giving circle specifically for my Filipino American community here in New York. My target groups are marginalized elderly women who had migrated to the United States and found themselves facing several issues – responsibility to their immediate families back home, their own welfare here, a competitive environment in the service/domestic sector and assimilation to their newly adopted country. I see the giving circle as an arena of empowerment for these elderly women, who are marginalized in terms of economic opportunities within their own minority group, but who can potentially be drawn to be engaged in productive activities that will benefit themselves and their community at large. Thus, the giving circle can be a platform for these elderly women to think outwardly – the “other” person instead of just self; yet inwardly think of “self” in relation to the “other”.
Please share whatever experiences you had in starting up with your own giving circles, the challenges you faced and how in your own creative ways you found the solutions. Thanks a million.
Dear Myrna: Great that you are in NY and to get in touch again with you, “old” fellow. As far as I understand, the group you are dealing with have very little capacity to give but need more a collective thinking in terms of the self and the other. Why then call it a giving circle? In a giving circle the main focus is on the “other” (the cause, the issue, the project) and in giving. I would humbly suggest to lower the expectations of giving and reinforcing the approach of building their self-esteem first.
wish you all the best and success in the work you are doing.