I'm keenly interested in how our organizations run, what makes local and national groups tick and what directions they choose to move in. In a recent newsletter of Blue Avocado Magazine the author discusses of the relevance of "passion for the mission" when it comes to board members and volunteers. This author is suggesting that just having a passion for the mission of the organization isn't enough. The board members need passion for what the organization NEEDS to survive and to complete its mission. That's quite a different matter.
I notice that even at the local levels, doula organizations suffer from "volunteer fatigue". We all live very busy lives and it's hard to carve out time for volunteer service in our industry and if we are going to make that time, many would prefer to serve women in birth rather than at a leadership level. But, I ask you, how will your professional needs be advanced if there isn't a local and national group out there working effectively in your best interest? And... to muddy the waters even further, are those organizations pointed in the direction we need them to be? or are they unclear about their "mission"?
I wonder if the doula profession is now at a place when we need our organizations functioning much like trade unions. We need representation at every table where birth policy is being drafted, where women's health and choices are being discussed, where legislation is written and funding is being allocated. We need focus groups on the ground and clear pathways defined for members to have their voices heard, their needs communicated and for the latest trends to be identified. In many ways, this is progress talking. Had those that came before us not been so successful in their efforts to mainstream the doula, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Take interest in who is representing you at the local and national level. Find ways to have your voices and needs heard and consider what it means to step into service yourself. These things are vital to our moving forward and the time has come for us all to consider the global doula movement.