Things to reflect on as you get ready to write your stories...
What have I been doing after I came back home from ARI? Or since the time of my last update to ARI? Or what is recent news of my work or project?
What were my achievements? What impact/change could I make with my people?
What were/are my struggles? How did I/am I overcoming the challenges?
What are some specific examples of learning or experiences at ARI/in Japan that I have used in my work and life?
What personal accounts and reflections can I share that are related to my work?
Voice of the community – Can I include some testimony or perspective from the community (beneficiaries)?
How did I change because of ARI? / How did my community change because of me?
PHOTOS – please include photos with descriptions that we can post along with your story.
Reports vs Stories
Report writing comes in different formats and styles to meet the requirements of supporters or the donors. Reports tend to focus on statistics and figures.
For ARI Graduate Stories, we are seeking STORIES:
Stories focus more on people and the situations they face; how they overcome struggles, and how people change. These narrations include personal reflection and thinking.
Try this: Find one striking starting point to attract your readers. We call this a “hook.” Start from there to tell your story. Then as you move on you can add information, statistics, etc., in a story telling format.
Don’t worry: Relax and write freely. Everyone has their own writing style. Most important is that we want to hear from you.
Sample of a Short Story with a hook!
from Nagaland, India
“Ms. Acivo! Ms. Acivo!” came a voice from behind the house as I was walking towards it. I was startled, and suddenly wild thoughts rushed through my mind. As I ran towards the urgent voice, I expected the worse. Upon my arrival at the spot I saw two little wobbly kids trying to stand on their feet. Daisy the youngest child of Mrs. Betsy was proudly standing outside the little hut covered with palm leaves, erected on four long bamboo poles making a perfect shade for the mother goat and her two newly born kids. The little girl of eight years was the most excited child I ever saw in my life.
Two months ago, my organization sent me to this little girl’s village called Aji Aga Quin. The village was in a very remote place where I needed to use two-wheeler transportation riding for nearly 3 hours one way. It was a challenging assignment, but I accepted it as the best opportunity to help people who were in need of our help. The village had 30 households and was situated on the hilltop with a beautiful view of the lush green valley where they graze their livestock – mostly goats. The project was called “Goat Bank” and each family was given a pair of goats.
Their responsibility was to take care of the goats and when the mothers started giving birth, they could use the milk to feed their own children, and the rest they could process into butter or yogurt or cheese using local techniques. This project was funded to improve their family economy, but most importantly to help their children’s school education. For this project, our organization raised US$2,500 and the duration of the project was 2 years. I was given full charge of this project and my main responsibilities were: (1) To help them gain income generation skills, (2) To ensure the village children’s school education.