A community empowerment program refers to a process of enabling communities to increase control over their lives. Community development is the process by which community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to problems.
Community empowerment programs aim at empowering individuals and groups of people. They provide them with skills that can bring about change in their communities.
Community empowerment looks at the social, cultural, political, and economic determinants. The program calls for the participation and engagement of communities.
Examples of community empowerment programs
Youth camps; are formed to equip youth with skills to start up their jobs. They are trained in competitive software development, web literacy skills, and digital. Youth also acquire skills on communication and presentation skills, advising counseling, leadership, and teamwork. This helps the youth to go away from the criminal and poverty life to the life of productive occupation.
The educational community empowerment program looks at both formal and vocational training for the people in the community. Youth and women are equipped with vocational entrepreneurial skills, financial literacy that helps them to develop the communities and their careers.
Peer counseling is one-on-one interaction between members of a group who have so many things in common. There is active listening where complete attention is given to what someone is saying and responds without judgment. Peers can talk about their feelings, explore their issues and help them find solutions. This helps them acquire skills in active listening and problem-solving in real life.
Career guidance; looks at giving people comprehensively, developmental programs that are to assist in making and implementing informed educational and occupational choices. This helps the students and parents with the knowledge to explore different career options.
Impact of community empowerment programs on people
The power lays within the person and not the professionals or services when empowered. So below are the impacts of community empowerment programs.
Community empowerment programs bring about the academic engagement of the people in the communities. This includes activities of collaborative research with industry, contract research, consulting, and informal ties. Volunteer programs and community-service requirements like engaging students in public services, community organizing, and advocacy and will help people to develop skills in their careers.
Secondly, empowerment of people in the communities especially women and youth in the communities; enables the woman to acquire skills to contribute to the workforce and be able to raise the children healthier and happy.
Community empowerment programs call for the civic engagement of citizens in the community. For example, participating in group activities. voting, and volunteering. furthermore, these can be political or non-political processes. Either paid or unpaid forms of community and national service, environmentalism, and many more.
It creates leadership and teamwork skills in people. People get skills like self-development, team development, strategic thinking and acting, ethical practice and civic-mindedness, and innovation. Teamwork helps to lead to greater productivity hence reaching goals and accomplishing them. They can join their strength and weakness hence leading to development.
This leads to personal and social development in community people. Personal development involves how people understand themselves concerning their interactions with others. This will help one grow and develop. Social development is about improving the well-being of individuals to their full potential in society. The person should be able to manage feelings and impulses to learn and grow.
This also creates a sense of self-worth in a person. As it helps a person to value him or herself. And encourages one to try out new things, meet new people and also enjoy your life. This enables one to believe that you are a good person, not a bad person and you deserve good things in life.
Furthermore, it helps one to expand their sense of hope. A person gets to understand that no matter how bad the situation may be, there is hope that at some point in life everything will be okay. This helps you keep on pushing through a tough situation to make it through to a better future.
Helps one to have empathy and compassion for others; one can feel the pain of the other person and be able to understand what they are feeling. Therefore this also enables one to help those who are going through tough conditions in life.
In a nutshell, community empowerment programs aim at developing communities and people living there. To ensure that communities are developed the government and non-profit organizations should work hand in hand