CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya

The Community and Purpose of Community Development

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Category: Blog
Written by Sophie Atieno

In our last post on the pros of volunteering in Africa, we did introduce community development in brief.Today we discuss the community and generally the purpose of community development.

Like we said, community development can be defined as the process in which members of the community unite and take collective action in order to generate solutions to common problems.

That said, it is important to understand what a community is.

So, what is a community?

A community is a group of people who live in the same geographical area or a group of people who share certain characteristics such as common religion, social ties, common perspectives, a common leadership and engage in joint actions or work in the same setting.

In brief points, some of the features or characteristics of a community include:

  • Common culture which is inclusive of a common language spoken by all its members.
  • Common geographical area and boundaries.These they use to know who the insiders and the outsiders are.
  • A community has a name that gives all the members an identity among other people.
  • A similar set of laws, rules and regulations by which all members should abide.
  • In some cases, a common religion.
  • A common origin or ancestry.

What are the characteristics that make a good community?

  • A good community is one that is free of poverty, crime and provides high quality of life to everyone in it.
  • It is one that celebrates their heritage. This makes for a very important trait of a good community because it shows gratitude for where they have come from.
  • Another trait of a good community is one that has carefully selected leaders to drive them towards community development. The leadership is responsible for solving disputes and making the right decisions for the good of everyone they serve.
  • Promoting inclusivity and communication is another trait of a good community as the members are able to work towards a common good. This also makes it easier for community development to take place.
  • Last but certainly not least another important characteristic of a good community is that it promotes fairness and equal access to certain rights.

Having now understood what a community is, we can now delve a bit into the reasons why community development is so important.

water project launch 01

So what is the purpose of community development?

The purpose of community development is majorly to build communities on the basis of justice, mutual respect and equality.

That said, we can break this down into simpler points that explain the purpose of this phrase “community development” in such a way that you and the next person all get to understand it before making that important decision to participate in any community development activities.

So the purpose includes:

  • To bring people to motivate themselves through programs geared towards their overall development as a unit of society.
  • Encouraging togetherness and teamwork is another purpose of community development and this brings about a sense of strength.
  • It aims to bring social reforms through discouraging ancient social or cultural practices that are outdated and possibly harmful.
  • We also cannot underestimate the purpose of community development that is creating awareness on various social concerns such as health, poverty, security, hunger among others.
  • It also aims to promote good governance as it ensures the community leaders are on their toes. It makes them aware that they are being watched when it comes to issues related to their people and how they make decisions that affect them.

Having defined the term community, stated the characteristics of a good one and outlined the purpose of community development, we believe that this has somehow given you an understanding of this important term and as such, you can start considering participating in community development activities in Africa.

CIVS will be sharing more on the different ways you can do this and more of what you need to know before taking that bold step.Meanwhile,you can look through our website to learn a bit more in case you would like to start participation immediately or email us in case you need specific answers to some of your questions.

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