Working with communities is about social change, social justice and improving the wellbeing of those excluded and marginalised from society. Community development has long been a passion of mine, long before my MSSc in Social and Community development in Queen's University, Belfast UK.
Often people imagine community development as either developing a group of women in a small village or in more technical and business terms as developing a network. The reality is in between and in some cases overlaps. Often overlooked is also the fact that organisational strategic thinking, planning and reviews are important aspects of the work. It can mean pitching new initiatives and entirely new programmes, researching and exploring new concepts as well as consolidating and implementing plans in a more participatory manner. Integrating participatory action research is also important to create a sense of shared ownership as well as add valuable knowledge to the field. I've worked with a range of actors with a varying ability to mobilise communities for change. In every case, the work has been a rewarding and rich invaluable experience where I have learnt to work further in an inclusive and participatory way.