You might be thinking of starting a new organisation. Maybe you’ve never joined a group, but you see a problem brewing in the world around you that just won’t go away. It could be in your neighbourhood, at the local school, in your congregation or at your workplace.
You might be a volunteer, or a staff person in a group that wants to be more effective. Perhaps, your group has been for years. No new members are joining and the old members are getting tired. You need new blood but are not sure where or how to get it.
You might be a government official, serious about public service. You could be involved in community development, public health or safety, transportation…or any area that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Whoever you are, you are someone who sees that the world around you is not as you think it should be and you want to do something about it. Whatever the idea, whatever the problem, you have decided to start a new group or fix an old one.
But Finding the Problem Is Not Usually the Problem. Sometimes, you choose a problem.
Maybe it’s the slow decline in the schools in your town. The classes seem to be getting bigger each year. The good teachers are leaving.
Sometimes an existing organization identifies a new threat. It seems like all the cards are stacked against you, but still you have to act.
Other times a problem choses you or the problem comes right to your door.
How do you start? What do you do first? What do you do after that? And what do you do after that? How do you keep it going? How do you avoid doing it all yourself and burning out?
If these thought have ever crossed your mind – If you are serious about actually building a group and seeing it succeed- then follow our posts here this month for a personal guide that can help you solve problems and change the world.
According to Michael Jacoby Brown, building powerful community organisationsa brings people together for effective actions. Building effective organisations requires knowledge of practical steps and procedures. It also requires that we know ourselves and why we are doing what we are doing. The work is both public and political; but it is also intensely personal. You need to understand the economic, social and political forces that are constantly changing the world around you, and you also need to understand your own experience and your own community.
No two groups – or situations – are alike. There is nothing mechanical about building a community organisation. Effective organisations are built with passion, persistence, and personal understanding of a vision and mission that must be sustained.
Find out how to respond creatively and effectively to challenges before you. These posts will offer you a place to think through your personal path to building or improving a community organisation.
Read LEAP’s Publication “Rage for Change”. Here’s a short review.
“Reading this book made an impressive impact on me. This book will produce in any ordinary person that extra-ordinary courage to leave one’s footprint on the sand of time. This is the time to find your passion, lengthen your strides, strengthen your stake and make a change. It is a must-read for every young person who seeks social change.”
Adeola Akinremi, First Winner of LEAP’s Annual Nigerian Youth Awards and Africa Regional Coordinator, Framework Convention Alliance.
Call 01 2706541-2 or 08035321522 to get a copy.