Joomla! for the rebels
Yes, I have a rebellious soul. I'm almost a Brazilian Katniss Everdeen. And this is the reason why the Joomla! Project attracted me. First of all, because Joomla! - as an open source project - brings the values of collaboration and user empowerment that are very pleasing to me.
The second reason is the fact that there isn't a commercial company behind the business. The Joomla! Project is fully managed by the community and the leaders are all volunteers. This is awesome! A subversion of the order. It is a management model that can change the society if used by governments, I mean, using mechanisms for organizing civil society participation in decisions through tools such as participatory budgeting and various councils.
This does not mean that joomlers are working for welfare, charity. It is not true that "we are all here only by ideology." Most people involved in Joomla! have rather financial goals. But these goals are realized from their own companies or freelancers. Nobody makes money exploiting the brand Joomla!, but selling their own services. Improve Joomla! means also improving their products and services. [But I confess that I am one of the people who are in the Joomla! only by ideology].
I believe in the participating management model and also that Joomla! is a great opportunity for the social development.
Imagine a person who had no opportunities to study in life. This person can download the software for free and learn how to build great sites by him/herself using the tutorials available on the internet and the forum support. If the person is dedicated to this, for sure will get a satisfactory monthly income. Kazuo Gomi Filho, who coordinates a free training project in Joomla! in partnership with the Brazilian Federal Institutes of Education, shared the example of an ex-prisoner who attended his classes and decided to create a website. His goal is to share useful information to other former detainees, who often feel lost when leaving the prison, not realizing how to start the life again. The site could help them with directions, for example, what agencies they can look to get a job and how to make a good resume. This may mean fewer people back to crime again, which helps not only the state, the ex-convict and his family, but all the society - like me and you, which will not be a victim of that person anymore.
It can be an opportunity for young people from the lower classes who have difficult to compete in the labor market with the children of the middle class. Or an opportunity for women living in violent/abusive relationship and cannot get out of it because they can not afford to sustain their children alone. An opportunity for the mature professional who lost his job and now finds it difficult to replace in the market, because companies generally prefer to younger people. Also for someone who wants to go to college but need to work to pay for tuition. How to work if the classes consume the time of a normal journey shift? Working with Joomla! they can make their own schedule and keep working and attending college Classes at the same time. A non-profit organization can save more money for investing in their core activity if they can maintain its own website with Joomla!. Among so many other examples.
More than that. When you empower people, when they learn to have autonomy, to seek information, to do for themselves, they change. They begin to use these new skills in various other dimensions of your life.
The same goes for learning new skills to promote events, public speaking, teaching and others. The person may become a better professional, best father/mother, best student etc.
And what I consider the most transformative: when we learn to work collaboratively on a community self-managed, when we develop a sense of belonging, when we realize that any human being (without any exceptional ability) can help in small and/or large things, people become more critical and more politically active. It also leads to other aspects of our lives and can make us a better citizen and impact the development of the reality around us.
And that's how you change the world: changing the micro space, it impacts the macro space - this is Gramsci, if I'm not mistaken. Subverting the capitalist logic which teaches that there are the same opportunities for everyone in this world, which is one of the biggest fallacies that people believe. The opportunities are not equal for all. Depending on where you are born, the color of your skin, your religion, the economic condition of your family, whether if you are male or female, the opportunities will be different and these things are hard to be changed.
That's why I'm working for the Joomla Project and the Brazilian community for two years. Because, as Martin Luther King Jr, I also have a dream...
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