One of the priorities for the Public Information & Outreach Committee (PI&O) is to help increase awareness and growth of the S-Anon fellowship both in North America and worldwide. Because the international S-Anon community has had few resources available to them, the PI&O is looking for a way to provide more support so that S-Anon can continue to grow internationally.
In 2019, the PI&O submitted a motion to the Board of Trustees to allow a preliminary test of an online discussion forum to see whether the international community would find the platform a useful communication/discussion tool for sharing experience, strength, and hope as they try to grow their S-Anon service structure. A survey, sent to representatives of nearly 20 countries, helped to determine which topics were important for growing S-Anon in their regions. And so the experiment began.
After several months, those who had participated in the experiment suggested that having Global Discussion Forums would greatly benefit them as they work on growing their S-Anon fellowship, creating a General Services Office (akin to the WSO) and legal structure, and translating and distributing literature.
On May 1, the Global Discussion Forums went live! Currently there are 6 countries who have joined the Forums, sharing their challenges, their progress, and asking questions in a secure environment. Several Board of Trustees members are also participating in the Forums. One of the Forum Moderators’ responsibilities will be to either answer questions directly or to forward them to the appropriate S-Anon entity for guidance.
At present, the Forums are restricted to one representative per country, and each needs permission to join through a registration process. No access is granted without being approved by the Forums Administrator. This process provides sufficient security and helps to keep the Forums a manageable size. In addition, the Global Coordination Subcommittee of the PI&O has been reconstituted with a current focus on expanding the common service structure language, building on the final report by the International Services Structure ad hoc Committee (ISSAC). This Subcommittee has been extended to 2024.
This is an example of one of the many projects that the PI&O is working on this year. Other priorities include increasing S-Anon awareness via technology tools, completing two additional videos to attract newcomers, and increasing outreach to professionals. Both the PI&O and the Global Coordination Committees are looking for more volunteers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.