The Needs to Empower Communities
One way of reducing the friction between societies and the people who live therein is to empower them both socially and economically. Smart economics empowerment enables people to make better choices on the use of the available resources and to make better lifestyle decisions.
This helps in reducing the friction between societies and also the government. When communities can positively contribute to and benefit immensely from their growth and development, then they will always be at a better position to increase in productivity, have plenty of job opportunities, be able to get better social welfare facilities such as health facilities and generally have better standards of living and in most cases further their developments and growth.
The process may be a long one, taking several years, and with many hurdles, but it is absolutely necessary in the world that we are living today. By so doing, then longer objectives such as sustainable developments as well as the preservation of the social & community identity could too be well preserved as they are important for future generations.
Such were the ideals that I believed in throughout my high school and college education and got to exercise them later after schooling. I was born in a rural community which had been neglected for long in terms of development despite the fact that the region was very fertile and most of the residents there practiced farming.
Developing Rural Areas for Better Economics Growth
I grew up and got used to the locals having to sell their products cheaply to middlemen, because access to the markets wasn’t an easy task. The road network was very poor and it would take time to get the fresh produce to the markets. This long period of transporting the goods made the locals to lose a lot because many of them shied away about the idea. It posed many challenges and there was no guarantee that they could beat the middlemen at the marketplace.
The middlemen took advantage of this by buying cheaply from the locals and selling the produce for a fortune. They made money that even at times, they would loan farmers in my area money to further agriculture through a union that they had formed. Simply, they were everything.
Another thing which constantly irritated me was the fact that the locals neither had access to the best agricultural practices, nor could they obtain improved seeds which could help them get better yields or mitigate any risk posed by the unpredictability of the area. The challenges were many, and thus few people could afford to earn extra cash to improve their ways of livelihood. My family was no exception.
Now that I had finished school and knew the challenges that the community was facing, I was determined to help them out in the best way that I could. This wasn’t possible because I was neither in government nor a leader and thus it was challenging for me to get access to the right office which could hear me out. Despite the challenge, I had an Idea which I had thought for long.
The Roles of Community-based Groups in Initiating Changes in the Rural
I wanted our plight voiced through the several community-based groups in the area in collaboration with churches and their leaders. This wasn’t a hard task for me. During my schooling, I had been involved in various volunteering programs in the community and I knew most of the resident. The loved and trusted me. All I had to do was to find a way of getting them together, or at least the officials of the various groups. I started by meeting the various church leader whom I shared my sentiments and elaborated the facts about what we stood to benefit. I also did the same to various officials of the community-based groups. Although most of these people that I talked to were skeptic, the too believed in my ideas. The problem was that they had been used to this system and even their cries for changes had always fallen to deaf ears.
However, I knew that the trick needed was in numbers and this would help us coerce the local government to consider our plight. I didn’t want to approach our area elected leader, because I knew he was a corrupt guy.
Several meetings took place. Initially, only a few smart people attended and I thought that my project would fail. However, the numbers came up with time. We discussed various agendas that we wanted addressed. We then requested an appointment with the mayor of the local government and other official; in a letter we sent which contained our plight.
The mayor must have realized that we had number and that our needs had been discussed by various facets of the community in one voice. This meant that we were not ready to tolerate nonsense. In deed we met with the mayor and his administrative committee and discussed the agendas. Within the next year, tarmacking of the main road started, while other developments agendas were too being rolled out slowly. The community today is much empowered and each one is ever happy about all that.