A Traveller Mutual Aid Network Blueprint (1 Viewer)

WildVirtue

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Website
activistjourneys.wordpress.com
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Here’s a potential blueprint for a new project we were cooking up on the STP discord. Somewhere between couchsurfing, freecycle and punk-post.

It would take a lot of work to build up the network and keep active, but it could work.

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How it works

Anyone can make a post requesting items and/or donations explaining their situation.

And, anyone can make directed & general donations e.g. just reading the post and putting money into the person's account online.

But, what about for more complicated transactions, like for instance, where person A needs a tent in one city, person B is up for giving away a spare tent in another city and person C happens to be driving between both places?

Well, people can publicly or privately offer to be go-betweens.

So, we’ll keep a list of cities & general areas people can potentially have items or cash delivered to and collected from. And a private email list of people who can potentially make that happen.

That way people can come forward by reading the forum thread, but as well, we can do a bit of emailing round those people who asked to be contacted if the situation fits, such that not everyone has to be following every post.

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Ideal Post format

The first word could be ‘Request or Offer’, and the second word the ‘nearest town/city or general area’, followed by what method of help you’re requesting/offering. For example:

‘Request: New York - An address where a passport can be sent to and collected by me, either at the address or in a public place.’

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Email form

Email us at [email protected] if you want us to email you when requests to collect or deliver items in your area are made. And fill in your answers to A1, A2 & A3.

Q1) How do you want your contact details handled?

a) Private general area - So we can keep a list of general areas & cities where people can potentially pick up items.
b) Public general area - So we can list your general area, name, email, & delivery options under the list of areas where people can potentially pick up items.
c) Public address - So we can list address, name, email & delivery options under the list of areas where people can potentially pick up items e.g. social centres & public squares.

A1) …..

Q2) What general area or address can you deliver items or cash from if any?

A2) ......

Q3) What requests would you like us to show you through emailing you if any (you can pick more than one)? So, where the person is asking if you can...

a) Receive deliveries to an address and have the person collect the items.
b) Receive deliveries to an address and deliver the items.
c) Collect the items from one person and have another person collect the items.
d) Collect and deliver the items in person.
e) Receive donations online and have the person collect the cash.
f) Receive donations online and deliver the cash.
g) Receive donations online, buy the items for the person and have the person collect the items.
h) Receive donations online, buy the items for the person and deliver the items.

A3) ......

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Challenges

Problem #1: People could feel like their time was wasted having high expectations that they will get donations, when inevitably more people are going to request items than people are going to be donating.

Solution #1: Put warnings with the number of items donated compared to requested. And make the rest of the website a valuable resource that is worth visiting for its own usefulness.

Problem #2: Scammers.

Solution #2: Put warnings about how you should only risk what you’re prepared to lose. With Squat the Planet you can look at people's past posts at least. And we’ll remove anyone we get warnings about. Hopefully mutual aid with the same people and circles can turn into friendships and friendship networks which are just as reliable.

Problem #3: Emailing could get tiresome.

Solution #3: Ideally we would be able to automate this process in the future.

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Principles

1) Directed and general donations go to the people making posts requesting items i.e. if we were to ever collect donations for website building it would be separate and clearly marked ‘donations for website building’.

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Next steps for the project

Step 1) See if Matt is up for adding a section to the forum called something like ‘Traveller Mutual Aid Network’.

Step 2) Start a wordpress, discord & facebook group.

Step 3) Start a paypal for general donations, log book and system for voting or coming to a consensus on distributing funds to those people who are most in need.

None of this is set in stone, it’s simply a blueprint for a new project. Suggested changes and other ideas would be very welcome.

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