On the outskirts of Buenos Aires tucked away from the ubiquitous tango clubs and steakhouses, is Hospital Borda, the largest and oldest mental hospital in Argentina. But this isn't your typical psychiatric ward. In the middle of its courtyard stands a small, bustling building full of recording equipment and unbridled energy, where each Saturday patients gear up to take the mic. This is Radio La Colifata, the first radio show in the world to be broadcast out of a mental hospital.

Our latest podcast follows Idealist staff member Celeste Hamilton, a transplanted New Yorker and Cecilia Gil Mariño, a native Argentinean, as they give us an intimate glimpse as to why everyone from taxi drivers to famous musicians can't get enough of Radio La Colifata. We hear from staff and patients, or colifatos as they like to be called, about how it all began, why it's lasted almost two decades-- and why this innovative form of public therapy has spawned 40 similar radio stations all over the world.

Special thanks to Victoria Bembibre and Martín Waserman for help with initial reporting;  C. Andrea Sottosanto and Josefina Murphy for transcription and translation assistance; Carolina Villanueva, Martin Celis, Rodrigo Tabernero and Verónica Carmona Barrenechea for lending us their voices; and Cheba Massolo, Agri, and Julio y Agosto for sharing their music. But most of all, mil gracias to the Radio La Colifata staff and colifatos for inviting Idealist into their world.

Radio La Colifata: En Vivo desde Argentina 

En uno de los barrios menos transitados de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, lejos de los lugares favoritos de paseo de los porteños, se encuentra el Hospital Borda, uno de los más grandes y antiguos hospitales neuropsiquiátricos de la Argentina. Pero este no es un típico hospital psiquiátrico. En uno de sus jardines, podemos encontrar una descascarada sala de cemento donde si damos la vuelta, vemos un hermoso mural y si entramos, podemos encontrar equipos para grabar, cables, en síntesis: una radio, donde los pacientes van tomando de a turnos el micrófono para realizar el programa. Ésta es la Radio La Colifata, la primera radio en el mundo realizada por pacientes psiquiátricos y transmitida desde el hospital mismo.  

Nuestro último podcast sigue la historia de dos miembros del staff de Idealistas, Celeste Hamilton de Nueva York y Ceci Gil Mariño de Argentina. Ellas nos dan una mirada íntima acerca de cómo fueron descubriendo este mundo y por qué, desde un chofer de un taxi hasta un músico famoso participan de La Colifata. Escucharemos a los coordinadores de la radio y a los pacientes, o colifatos, como todos prefieren llamarse, que nos contarán cómo nació esta idea, por qué sigue vigente y por qué esta innovadora forma de terapia pública y colectiva ha inspirado a más de 40 radios similares en el mundo. 

Un agradecimiento muy especial a Victoria Bembibre y Martín Waserman por ayudarnos con las entrevistas iniciales; C. Andrea Sottosanto y Josefina Murphy por la transcripción y asistencia en la traducción al inglés; Carolina Villanueva, Martín Celis, Rodrigo Tabernero y Verónica Carmona Barrenechea por prestarnos sus voces para su versión en inglés; y Cheba Massolo, Agri, y Julio & Agosto por compartir con nosotros su música. Pero, por sobre todo, mil gracias a la Radio La Colifata y los colifatos por invitar a las chicas de Idealistas a ser parte de su mundo.

Haz clic acá para escuchar este episodio en español.
Direct download: _Crazy_Radio___Live_from_Argentina.mp3
Category:Idealist Community -- posted at: 3:37 PM

If you are trying to switch into the nonprofit sector, check out the new Idealist.org Podcast with advice on how to prepare for your interview and land that nonprofit job.

Our Career Transitions team has the pleasure of attending lots of events, giving presentations, and otherwise conversing with professionals looking for meaningful work in the nonprofit sector.  While they get plenty of unique questions, they also get plenty of frequently-asked questions.

Steven Pascal-Joiner recently sat down with his colleague Jung Fitzpatrick to discuss some of the common answers he shares with experienced professionals 'sector switching' into the nonprofit world.  They cover:
  • What are the job prospects for a senior level sector switcher? Would I need to start at a lower level and work up?
  • I want an upper-level management/leadership role. Where are those jobs?
  • I have [insert exhaustive list of impressive skills] from decades of work in [insert industry]. Why can't nonprofits see this? or How do I make myself stand-out from the 100's of resumes organizations may receive for a given position particularly if I don't have paid experience in the non-profit sector?
  • Generally, for-profit positions earn more money than nonprofit positions. Are non-profits less likely to consider candidates with for-profit experience because they expect that the candidate would have to take a significant paycut and therefore not really consider the position?
  • What may be some red flags in my resume or cover letter if I'm coming from the for-profit sector? How do I address those?
  • What kind of further education (certificate courses, community workshops) can help me improve my candidacy for nonprofit work?
  • Is there any other advice or resources that may be helpful to for-profit professionals hoping to transition into nonprofits?
For even more information on how to enter the nonprofit sector, check out our free Idealist.org Guide to Nonprofit Careers for Sector Switchers.





June is Pride Month, so The New Service podcast from Idealist.org is taking a closer look at the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals serving in Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

Today's guests are lesbian and gay former service corps participants:

The New Service podcast host Amy Potthast speaks with them about agency policies affecting LGBT service—including policies around joining the corps with a same-sex partner; the experience of serving as a lesbian or gay corps member; and opportunities to serve on projects that relate to LGBT issues.

Also check out our interivew with one of the only known transgender Returned Peace Corps Volunteers about his service. (Because of scheduling issues, and as a way to maintain his anonymity, we agreed to a written interview with him.)

Finally, if you are an LGBT individual considering Peace Corps service, register for Kate Kuykendall's online information session "Have Rainbow, Will Travel: The LGBT Experience in the Peace Corps" on Saturday, June 20, 2009. She'll introduce Peace Corps service more specifically, and also address issues of special concern to LGBT folks.

Read the transcript.




Direct download: Lesbian_and_Gay_Perspectives_in_AmeriCorps_and_Peace_Corps.mp3
Category:New Service -- posted at: 2:09 PM

From our team in Portland, Oregon:

Last November, we blogged about a mentorship program taking place in our office where four of the women on our staff would be mentoring a small group of teenage girls. Coordinated by Girls, Inc. of NW Oregon, the Associates Mentoring Program provides opportunities for busy professional women to join forces with girls in crafting a project to explore different career paths, develop new skills, get to know one another, and have fun in the process.

Seven months and a ton of work later, we’re proud to show off the fruits of their labor: a new podcast!  “Past, Present, and Future…The Voices of Girls and Women” explores the diverse and shared perceptions of women and girls, the stories they tell, and the common themes they share. A team of three girls and four Idealists met every other week to create this new podcast, determining the theme, crafting six questions to ask each person, interviewing 17 women and girls who ranged in age from 14 to 61, and doing lots and lots of editing (with the guidance and assistance of our own Amy Potthast, host of The New Service podcasts). The end result? A twenty minute window into unique dreams and goals, stories of perseverance and ambition, and shared hopes and ideals of girls and women today.

Special thanks to rock stars Christa, Polina, and Galyna, Girls Inc of NW Oregon, and the many fascinating girls and women who participated in our project!




Direct download: Past_Present_and_FutureThe_Voices_of_Girls_and_Women.mp3
Category:Idealist Community -- posted at: 2:46 PM

This podcast is the first in a new series called "Questions With" in which we feature leaders in the social sector discussing their work and professional journeys.

The death penalty has been the subject of an ongoing debate across the United States for many decades.  In recent years, some states have completed abolished the practice while others continue.

In this episode Douglas Coulter interviews Stefanie Faucher about her anti-death penalty work and her role as the Program Director at Death Penalty Focus, an organization that advocates for the abolition of capital punishment.




Direct download: Questions_with_Stefanie_Faucher_of_Death_Penalty_Focus.mp3
Category:Questions With -- posted at: 8:11 PM