Waltzing into a community

“It really hammered home that you cannot waltz into a community and fix the world…. no matter how well you can dance” (Melinda Jurd, a speech pathology student studying the online course on engaging communities).

I love this quote and I think it is so true. A key idea behind asset-based community development is building communities from the inside out. Rather than relying on external agencies, we need to assist communities to take leadership of their own destiny. In the reality TV show Millionaires Mission a eight successful British business leaders were challenged by development agency World Vision to improve the living standards of an Ugandan village. They went in for three weeks and then left. While I’m sure they had good intentions, I question the value of this type of development where outside experts work out what is best for a community. I’m not sure it is sustainable.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
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