On March 5th, 10 of ACN’s volunteers participated in a Community Development workshop lead by our very own Dr Emma Campbell. The aim of the workshop was to promote discussion and learning amongst our members and ensure that we all had a good understanding of what the foundation of our organisation, “community development”, really meant.
We participated in some team building exercises, working on acknowledging each others skills and recognising how each of us was able to contribute to the organisation in a substantial way.
Community development is based on the foundation of working closely with the community, not for them. Rather than developing programs and projects based on what we perceive to be the communities need, we ask them the changes they’d like to see. As such, we ensure that our projects are helping the community in the way that they need.
Community development also places an emphasis on utilising existing assets. To maximise benefit while minimising costs, we don’t just send over whatever materials we think would make things easier. We look at what the community already has that could help with the project. By looking at the community’s existing assets, we can begin connecting them in ways that multiply their power and effectiveness.
Overall, this training session taught us a great deal about how we will run this organisation and showed that asking questions is key to not only project development, but the success of our organisation.
For each of our projects we will Plan, Do, Observe and Reflect upon our process.