Eight Different Ways to be an Active Part of Community Development

Community development, at its heart, is ingrained in the belief that everyone should have proper access to well-being, opportunity, health-care and justice. It identifies the fact that certain communities and minorities are oppressed by structural inequality in society. To ensure fairness for everyone, community development helps improve the quality of life for all communities.

The fundamental basis of community development is respect for diversity and values of human rights. It also helps bridge the gap in relationships among people in positions of power and the rest, so that every person can voice their opinions about the issues affecting them and their lives. There are a lot of different ways to be an active part of community development, which bring about shared responsibility and mutual benefit in community members. The most widely recognized ones are-

Community Engagement

Community engagement can be defined in a multitude of ways, but to put it simply, it actively seeks to engage the community to attain better outcomes in the long run. It gives the community a chance to voice their opinions that will enhance decision making for certain issues that may influence it’s well being. Community engagement can be in the form of education, economic development, direct service, etc. The foundation of effective community engagement is effective communication.

Women Self-Help Groups

Women’s self-help groups have made immense collective efforts for development. One significant characteristic of these groups is the idea of mutual support. They are versatile and have been valuable in women empowerment, microcredit programs and using unique strategies for poverty alleviation.

Non-violent Direct Action

You may be aware of different kinds of historically significant protests, such as Salt March, sit-ins and strikes. These are all forms of non-violent direct action. It seeks to establish a tension between the people in a position of power and the community in order to create a space where the community can effectively reveal a problem. This social issue is brought up with direct action because it was not being addressed by the government.

Community Economic Development

Community economic development is a unique method to fight poverty. It is market-based and led by the residents of these communities. It provides growth and local economic opportunities with public resources. It helps improve the social conditions for the underprivileged and one can see this post about developing communities in 2020 to understand how all challenges, be it social, economic, or environmental, are all inter-related. Keeping this in mind, community economic development aims to encourage holistic approaches for strengthening communities, building enterprises and supporting individuals through economic development.

Advocacy

Advocacy can have far-reaching positive impacts, as advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure the fact that vulnerable people in society are able to have their voices heard. It enables people to not only defend and promote their rights but also to access information and services. They help vulnerable communities and minorities to defend and safeguard their rights. There are several different forms of advocacy such as legislative advocacy, budget advocacy, social justice advocacy, health advocacy, etc.

Community Organizing

Community organizing is the action that brings people together. Organizers reach out to people, in order to motivate them to strengthen their collective power. These people work together on overcoming social injustice and their common concerns. It helps give the power back to people and builds a deep sense of community and belongingness within its members. All members have shared interests and a broad goal to help better their community. They work on local issues, by developing campaigns and taking actions.

Language Revitalization

Language revitalization, or language revival, makes an attempt to stop the decline of the language of a particular community. It aims to reverse the decline of a language through creative methods such as films, media or books. It believes that language is a unique and important part of every culture and connects communities to their tradition, history and ancestors. It helps people identify more strongly with their culture. Indigenous languages are slowly disappearing around the world. Language revitalization preserves knowledge passed down from songs and stories from different cultures and helps regain a connection with the native land.

Faith-Based Community Development

Faith-based community development refers to faith-based organizations that help in achieving favorable community development outcomes. They have known to be an active part of social service, housing programs and poverty- reduction strategies. It has a holistic view of the community and helps strengthen it. It also keeps charity as one of its important aspects of community development.

These are eight small, but significant ways to be an active part of community development. Indulging in these will surely give one an insight regarding the functioning of everything around them and how one can actively participate to help in bringing about change.

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