We spend time with the community to build relationship with local villagers. We listen, we share meals, and we laugh and learn from each other.
We mobilize villagers at the grassroots level to drive the process of development at their own pace. We facilitate. We do not impose our agenda. We see our role not as experts but as catalysts. We allow time for community members to express their ideas and concerns and draw out their strengths.
We offer training opportunities for community members on participatory approaches, community engagement, and leadership. We mobilize all participating community members in exercises and activities to share knowledge and ideas, to build skills and confidence needed for local decision-making.
Participatory Rural Appraisal and Planning (PRAP) is the process we use to help community members assess their history, local resources, and trends. We also use other tools to help communities identify their strengths and build on existing community skills, achievements, and local assets. Communities analyze their realities from their own prospective to create a shared vision for a sustainable future.
Replication of our model
We do not plan to stay in one village indefinitely. We plan to replicate our model by using community members that have already trained as facilitators to help with the next community. Our goal is to train a cadre of facilitators, motivators, and change agents and build their capacities to continue on with the work in other communities.
We use evaluation in our community engagement efforts as a learning tool to know whether our partnership with the community is making a positive impact. This evaluation process also helps community members at the village level assess development activities, gather and analyze the data, to determine if steps should be taken to:
- develop new strategies
- continue with current objectives
- reorganize and share lessons learned