At the start of January 2013, we began a process of introducing a new and very powerful tool developed by some of our peers in neighbouring nations in collaboration with our ACC IR Operations Centre team we’ve called Community Consultations & Training. While we have always sought to involve the communities we work with in their own development at the invitation of the community themselves and the relevant authorities, this new process of Community Consultations & Training seeks to focus our efforts on better empowering and building the capacity of the communities.
The initial Community Consultation is typically held over a two-day period and is a very hands-on series of sessions where we connect with 12 or so members of the given area who represent different spheres of the community like: Education, Health, Population, the Women’s Union, the local authorities, village elders etc with our team and journey together to discover the difference between ‘welfare’, ‘aid’ or ‘relief’ and true development. We then start to work together to change mindsets away from the typical ‘welfare’ and ‘hand out’ mentality to a place where each member understands that they, and their wider community, have the power to determine their own development and determine their destiny.
During these initial consultation sessions, communities will identify their felt needs and begin developing action plans that centre on mobilising their existing assets and resource, which, when combined with a variety of different AOG World Relief Vietnam projects and programs, can assist each community as they work towards their development goals. Some of the planned for impacts of these projects include seeing:
Following on from this initial training, a series of conversations begins and a long-term partnership is forged between AOG World Relief Vietnam and the respective community. Some of the desired impacts of this process include:
These consultations are not merely a way of facilitating dialogue between AOG World Relief Vietnam and the community, but they are a vital and long-term strategic part of our work here.
$800 provides one community with a Community Consultation Training intensive