Who should be responsible for the development of local communities?

13680915_1189264827803206_2348208007316724309_nEconomist Adams Smith believed that in the long-term, individuals best serve public interests by pursuing their own self -interest, and that the government should have little interference as possible

Economist Milton Friedman elaborated on Smith’s ideas and said that, when an organisation makes a profit, it is being socially responsible, Friedman believed that diverting organisations from the pursuit of profit makes the economy of a country less efficient, According to him; private organisation should not take responsibility belonging to government.

Friedman’s view represents one extreme of the debate on social responsibility, at the other extreme are those who argue that the social responsibility policies should be part of an organisation’s mission statement, and most leadership views on social responsibility falls in these two extremes

However I believe we all need to play an active role in the development of our local communities.We must be willing to take part in responsibilities, such as

  •  Community development programs
  • Training and development of the local population
  • Sponsorship for schools and sports
  • Preservation of historic buildings and heritage sites
  • The creation and promotion of an economic infrastructure
  •  Environmental protection and ecological control
  • Provide low cost housing for those who cannot afford housing
  • Provide health and medical support to the poor

Our involvement in Community development should be deeper than just giving a helping hand and doing local communities a favour. It must be beyond mere humanitirianism.

We do not only need the heart for the poor and marginalized, we also need the mind for the poor and marginalized. Our charity must be grounded in truth, the truth of economics and the truth about the human person that they are created in the image of God with a creative capacity that must be given an opportunity to flourish.They need access to markets, property , land rights, fair trade policies and the rule of law that favour them, and not just a minority.

Who can be a Community Worker?

  •   Need not be a professional
  •  He/ She can be a Minister, Teacher, Nurse, worker representing a government , non government agency or any one with a keen interest in the welfare of people
  • He / She is sent to an area by the authority or agency he represent, or invited
  •  Because of his/her position and expertise he/she is ideally suited to involve himself in community development.
  •  His/her purpose is not to bring life to the area but rather to organize the life that already exist to realize some objectives( in partnership with the action group)
  •  The Action Group use his/ her expertise and knowledge in decision making
  •  He/she must be more concerned about people(abstract gains than concrete objective)
  •  Certain leadership attribute are expected from him

  Qualities of a Community Worker

  •    He / She should be Accepted and Trusted by people
  •  He / She should be a Good Communicator
  •  He / She should Knows his Client population
  • He / She should Move as far as possible with the people pace
  •  He / She should be Reliable and Responsible
  • He / She should Recognize the local political structure
  • He / She should Respects the people, has their interest at heart
  • He / She should be an Expert (possess technical and professional knowledge the action group lack)
  •  He / She should be a Guider (Broader and a longer view-Aware of consequences)
  •  He / She should be an Enabler(His/ Her aim should be to get the people involved and get them to take the initiative-He present what should be done)
  • He / She should be an  Advocate/ Mediator ( He has contacts with the outside world)
  • He / She should be a Motivator

-His/ Her Body language

–  Events and progress around (small projects progress reports)

– The presence of resource

– Zeal, enthusiasm and positive thinking

Practical Steps involved in Community Development

  •   Go to the People
  •  Live among the people
  •  Learn from the people
  •  Plan with the people
  •   Start with what they know
  •  Build on what they know
  •  Teach by showing, learn by doing
  •  Not a showcase but a pattern
  •  Not odds and ends, but a system
  • Not a preserved but an integrated approach
  •  Not to conform but to transform
  •  Not to relief but to release

For more information on our community projects and should you be interested in getting involved with us, visit http://www.theneweconomy.co.za/internship-programme

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