Community Development Case Study
It has been well documented in the present literature that refugee numbers and the numbers of internally displaced persons are raising at an alarming rate in recent times. The response to this crisis is varied in terms of social acceptance. Factors include the political propaganda that labels refugees in black and white. Either they are portrayed as victims of war trauma with individualistic mental illness that needs to be treated individually or they are seen as fractured societies that need culturally appropriate social development. This paper aims at creating a community development plan that identifies the various needs of the community when it comes to creating an appropriate and accepting environment for recently arrived refugees. The plan will identify the aims and objectives that suit this community work approach. This aim will be defined in a mode that is achievable. The contributions required by each individual as well as the community will be stated and clear tools will be identified to measure the effectiveness of this approach.
The aim and objective of this approach is to create a communication plan that develops an environment of inclusiveness where all the current members of this particular community involve themselves in an attitude that fosters care and communal harmony. In the current societal environment, the acceptance of refugees depends on the political approach and policy response. Policy Dictates how refugees will be treated in the community. But policy response varies greatly as they are frequently dominated by political objectives which are supported by a hostile media that labels refugees and asylum seekers as economic migrants and completely ignore their trauma and the difficulties that have faced.
This paper initiates with the objective of developing a community approach helps with analyzing such difficulties and providing approaches that will help the community grow out of the political turmoil and create an inclusive response to the crisis. The primary cause of illuminating the community of the causes for accepting refugees will in turn help with the secondary objective of providing the recently arrived asylum seekers with space where they can meet each other and create a community group among themselves (Mensink, ?emová, Ricciuti & Bauer, 2018). This will help as they will have a safe space to find similarities among each other and understand that they are not alone in this crisis.
The primary aim will be to spread awareness among the existing members of the community to the special needs of the recently arrived asylum seekers. It is critical they understand that the refugee community has faced hardships that are unimaginable to many of the existing members of the community. This is why they will have the special need to find a safe space where they can share their experiences and receives some sort of mental peace as to the fact they alone are not the victims of such inhumane experiences (Frounfelker, Tahir, Abdirahman, & Betancourt, 2019). This awareness will help sort out any sort of misunderstanding that might arise in the community when designating a special space for the refugee community.
The second objective will be to identify and create rational arguments against those that will raise various concerns as to how creating this space might affect the community in a negative manner. The various aspects of these arguments need to be critically analysed in order to provide justified logic and change their perspective. The arguments need to be precise and provide valid data as to how the positives of this agenda will considerably outweigh the negatives.
The third objective will be to identify the materialistic needs of the project. These Include finance and proper community space that can be easily used for this particular purpose (Lightfoot, Blevins, Lum & Dube, 2016). The group will require minimal financing as there are no major areas of expenditure for the project. But identifying the roper community space will be critical to creating this social support group. The local community hall will serve the purpose very accurately but approval needs to be gathered from all the members of the community.
Rothman's three models of community organizing state that "Macro intervention involves methods of professional changing that target systems above the level of the individual, group, and family, in organizations, communities, and regional and national entities. The macro practice deals with aspects of human service activities those are non-clinical in nature. Rather it focuses on broader social approaches to human betterment, emphasizing the effective delivery of services, strengthening community life, and preventing social ills. Macro practice thus includes the areas of community organization, social policy and administration" (Rothman & Coyle, 2018)
In this case, locality development is the model that is closely associated with the objectives that have been identified. Firstly the creation of a community centre for the locality is an effort that does not require large scale support. Support for the community should be enough to initiate the project. Secondly, locality development plans are much more concise and target the microenvironment factors that need to be addressed in order to gather support from the community in the locality. The project will not need support from large political entities like the federal government or even the State government (Mcintosh, Swinney & Roberts, 2018). A collective community approach will be enough to successfully establish the project. The Locality development model will identify key themes that need addressing lie democratic procedures, voluntary cooperation, self-help and development of local leadership that will help guide the project to its completion
The project once initiated will need strategies that ensure that the whole community forms an inclusive and participative approach to provide a fostering atmosphere for the newly arrived asylum seekers. Ensuring participation will be critical in achieving the larger objective of conforming to the needs of the larger social structure in terms of accepting alien elements that the propaganda has already stated are in fact hostile. Participation strategies will have to ensure that this negative attitude towards asylum seekers is eliminated as much as possible.
There may be a number of strategies that can successfully see through this and establish communal harmony (Lenette, Procopis & Caballero, 2018). Organizing campaigns that establish the truth of the matter and form the general public as to the reality of the refugee crisis will be critical in this aspect. Another factor that will contribute will be organising opportunities that will give the members of the community to interact with the newly arrived asylum seekers. This will help achieve personal bonds among themselves and help eliminate preconceived notions that might otherwise have created friction and pose threats to the project.
The participation of those for whom the entire project is created will also have to be monitored. They need to be duly informed of the project. They need to be shown that they are heartily accepted into the community and their participation is of primary importance. A door to door promotional approach needs to be set up in order to inform them of the project and ensure that they are the focus of the project (Black, 2018). Their participation remains critical to the whole approach. Social media campaigns will also be of great help when spreading awareness and informing the target audience about the project and ensuring their full participation.
In order to measure the effectiveness of the whole campaign there will be the requirement of analysing the level of participation that it achieves. Calculating the level of participation and analysing how effective it is guiding the community towards creating a more inclusive environment will be essential. Surveys need to be organised that will analyse the public response of the project. These surveys will need to be organised in equal intervals to gain enumerative perspective of the whole approach. Surveys should have questions as to how the community views the arrival of refugees and how they have accepted them in their livelihood.
Another factor will to analyse the general change in the attitude of the local community towards the arriving asylum seekers. Various other measuring initiatives will involve improving methods that will help analyse the various attitudes that the community presents to the arriving asylum seekers (Damiani & Agrusti, 2017). Such methods may include organising community benefits and launching donation campaigns that will help observe whether the community voluntarily donates to the cause of the refugees and has changed their mindset towards what may be considered as a hostile approach.
The refugee crisis has increased manifold in recent years. With this arrival of asylum seekers there is a need to acknowledge the need for a community to involve themselves in activities that will help these asylum seekers adjust to the new norms of the society that they will inhabit in their near future. This paper analyses the various needs of the referee community. One such community has displayed the need for a community center that will provide them with a safe space to come together and share their experience creating a support group. The paper analyses the various challenges and recommends solutions that may help the community come together and overcome those challenges and create a more inclusive community structure.
Rothman, A., & Coyle, A. (2018). Toward a framework for Islamic psychology and psychotherapy: An Islamic model of the soul. Journal of religion and health, 57(5), 1731-1744.
Mensink, W., ?emová, L., Ricciuti, E., & Bauer, A. (2018). Social Innovation in Community Development: Self-organisation and Refugees. In Social Innovation [Open Access] (pp. 224-254). Routledge.
Lightfoot, E., Blevins, J., Lum, T., & Dube, A. (2016). Cultural health assets of Somali and Oromo refugees and immigrants in Minnesota: Findings from a community-based participatory research project. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 27(1), 252-260.
Lenette, C., Procopis, B., & Caballero, P. (2018). They’d just “flown away”: Reflections on shifting gender norms in the context of engagement with asylum seekers and refugees through community music. In The Routledge Handbook of Community Development Research (pp. 41-54). Routledge.
Damiani, V., & Agrusti, G. (2017). Developing online resources for adult refugees in Italy. Foster skills that will enhance employability prospects. In INTED2017 Proceedings (pp. 5019-5027). IATED.
Black, R. (2018). Refugees, environment and development. Routledge.
Mcintosh, L., Swinney, A., & Roberts, G. (2018). Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Scotland: A Community Education Approach. Relacje. Studia z nauk spo?ecznych, (5), 119-126.
Frounfelker, R. L., Tahir, S., Abdirahman, A., & Betancourt, T. S. (2019). Stronger together: Community resilience and Somali Bantu refugees. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology