300 000 steps in November Challenge, a success in many ways

Without public funding opportunities, the work A Drop in the Ocean does in the refugee camps in Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina is supported mainly by contributions from private sector, individuals and companies. The needs are huge and it is important to always think of new solutions for funding. An associate of ours, experienced with the concept “challenges” in the UK, suggested for us to try this in Norway as well.

ung mann i rullestol med lue

Although this has not yet been tried out in Norway, we loved the idea and got started. Being pro-active and open to new concepts and ideas is needed and completely in our spirit. With the assistance of our consultant in Relishing Digital in the UK and from Semway, a well known digital marketing company here in Norway, we started planning and recruiting for the challenge. 

300 000 steps in November launched  

The brainstorming and development of the concept went fast; the challenge 300,000 steps in November was launched just days after we decided to go ahead with the concept. During October, we recruited 2,000 members who joined the challenge group on Facebook. Out of these, 1300 ordered and received a warm, nice “drop beanie”, sent to them for free. Many documented their appreciation of the beanie in the Facebook challenge group. As many as 700 of the members of the Facebook group started a fundraising campaign for Dråpen i Havet.

A total of 700,000 Norwegian kroner was collected during the period the challenge took place.

The campaign required a lot of work internally in the organization, but we are super happy with the efforts of the participants and, of course, the result. Part of the funds will go to creating a new gathering place for displaced people in the Athens area. Funds will also be used to strengthening our activities in the refugee camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Results beyond the fundraising

The fundraising campaign on Facebook reached many new followers and became an excellent way to introduce new members to Dråpen i Havet. The initiative created great enthusiasm among the participants who throughout November shared beautiful nature photos from all over the country, and cheered each other to reach their goals of walking all the steps throughout the month. 

Different physical points of view for the participants sometimes required creative ways and some extra efforts to start the process towards the goal.

Bjørn Ingar, Liv and Johnny have told us what 300,000 in steps in November meant to them.

Read, be happy, be inspired.

From the depths of the couch to 14,000 steps a day – Johnny’s story

– I grew up under a cloud of blue smoke, laughs Johnny Solberg Jørgensen, 50 years old and lives on Karmøy. My mother and father were heavy smokers, I lit the cigarette myself at the age of fifteen. Both parents died of lung cancer and COPD, and his mother-in-law died of lung cancer this winter. Sad experiences up close; yet it did not stop Johnny from smoking. Only when his wife gave him a order to go and see the doctor, (Johnny is newly married to his childhood girlfriend), did he realize that it was about time.

After the spiro test, followed urgent examination, and the doctor was clear in his diagnosis – you have COPD, what can make you stop smoking? – A guy in a white coat, Johnny replied, and threw the tobacco package in the trash on the way out of the hospital.

After Johnny had searched for exercise equipment, the 300,000 steps in November challenge from Dråpen i Havet appeared in his feed on Facebook. After receiving a go from the vet that the chihuahua Tedd was a suitable exercising companion, the purchase of a bubble vest and rain gear for the four-legged, proper sports shoes for the two-legged he started using the hiking track Lialund, which is close to the family house. Interval training, it started at 2-300 steps a day, a strong will and an applauding wife, has made Johnny what he calls a new human being; eternally grateful for the new chance, and, not least, the campaign from A Drop in the Ocean. The mental health is better, the physical condition improving and fourteen kilos are gone from his body.

– I’m not a guy who likes attention in social media Facebook, but when A Drop in the Ocean got in touch and wanted to tell my story, I had to contribute of course. I owe it to you for helping me on my way to a healthier life, concludes Johnny, who likes to celebrate his achievements with a cognac or a cold beer every now and then.

Everyone can participate if you compete with yourself – Bjørn Ingar’s story

Bjørn Ingar is a fighter who sees opportunities where most people give up. When he heard about 300,000 steps through his mother Liv in November, he obviously wanted to participate. Celebral paresis, autism, inability to walk more than a few steps, as well as impaired functions throughout the body, did not stop him. -Everyone can participate if they compete against themselves, is Bjørn Ingars attitude. That’s how it turned out. With his mother as a training buddy, he has wheeled with his electric wheelchair “The Pirate”, he has walked with a walker outside and inside, swam and danced. Either by standing on Liv’s feet and moving with her, or leaning against the wall. 

-Not everyone is as lucky as me, says Bjørn Ingar.

He is very proud of the diploma and beanie he has received from A Drop in the Ocean. There is only one downside to his joy – that he has not collected money. Inspired by this year’s action, he hopes for a new opportunity, when he and his mother will create a lottery book; she has been told to prepare knitting prizes, while Bjørn Ingar plans to fix something at school. He goes to Tau secondary school, where the main focus is on how to use the nature.

-People like to win, he says. Bjørn Ingar has undoubtedly won over himself; -now he is the one who gets me out, says mother Liv.