The motivation and inspiration of learning Social Work and Community Development that attracted me most was the perception of how can we get to advocate the village people in terms of basic knowledge on understanding the fruits of life or how should we live our lives in our day to day livelihood. By reflecting back to my home province and seeing most of the teenage girls becoming mothers without getting married and they do not realize the negative aspects of underage pregnancy and boys taking drugs and homebrew without going to school to get a formal education to have a better future sustain their lives and for their families.
This issue is becoming a major concern in all parts of Papua New Guinea and there are not many community workers here in Papua New Guinea in addressing this issue. As me I see that it is really big need to go out there to reach the community at the grass roots level to help them to understand issue and prevent it from happening over again and to help those who are affect by the issue.
For me now as a Competent community worker I really have to work around the clock to help them to understand how life works and what is life to help the people find their full potential as human being. By showing them that you care for them, helping in whatever little ways you can to assist the needy and also must listen to what options of the people that they say in their views of life, must be prepare open heartedly to welcome any negativities or positivity’s from the community. Be creative in creating opportunities for the teenage groups to take part in sporting activities and other organized program that are set by the community worker. Community worker is able to help the client’s participation in problem solving and having self-awareness as a social worker that can determine and have confidence in the people.
My interest is to advocate the people and bring change into the community from the village level to the people. E. J. Niederfrank (1959, n. d, p. 304) claims that “In the context of adult education, community organization is thought of in terms of community councils, surveys, improvement associations, public health education, or similar programs in which citizen participation is a major aim.” This refers to me as bringing the communities together to work for the betterment of the community and for themselves to strengthen their livelihood. In organizing the community setting by helping to improve the health and education level of the community.
Community Development is very important and it is a need in the world and also a need here in Papua New Guinea because it helps to empower and motivate every individual in the community to work together with any basic skills they have to change their communities.
Community Development can come in different forms by address the social issues and also bringing basic services to the people which the Government had failed to provide for them. Being a community worker is by having to set your values in the way of conduct that you have towards the people and yourself, must be well equipped with the Attitude, knowledge and skills, that can define you as good community worker in terms of attitude and behavior towards the people.
Community Development requires a wide base of data and information and models or theories that you have make use of it to work with the information and data provided in a community but before all this to happened you must have to conduct a survey to collect information and data to address the social issue that is affecting the specific community take note that different communities have their different social issues not all communities are similar to each other.
Some Community Development activities or programs are often organized in two categories long term and short term programs like workshop for the community or projects that can help benefit the community. This can help people from the grass root level to participate with each other in all stages of the development process by meeting basic needs through self- reliance.
Community Development is import because they support human dignity and also empower individuals, groups and families. The social worker helps them to find the right path of those who have lost their way while growing up in the society due to those some social issues in the community. A community worker is known as the agent of change which he or she works closely with the community leaders to bring positive changes to the community which shows and promotes the compassionate world for all and care for the family matters and educate and empower people through advocacy.
This can help the people to see the reality that has been affecting and also helping them to have the courage to confront the issues and problems of the society to standard as a community to settle the social issue in one common understanding. Some of the code of conduct that a social or community worker should follow are the values of being a social worker is by respecting the community leaders solve dispute within the community showing respect for the religious beliefs of the people and maintain their culture and traditions. Narakobi (1983, p.5) claims that “Melanesian Voice will coincide with the Christian or other religious truths; in other instances, it may coincide with logic but it will not always be in line with both. It is both. It is not meant to coincide with these, because ours is a unique human experience.” This means that we have to consider the cultural backgrounds of the people that we are working with so that with have to come to a common understanding that community workers are there to help the community and not there to spoil the community and the people of the community.
The importance of Leader in Community Development is to help the people identify the struggles from the community and other social issues and climate change factors that are affecting the community to help address those issues in the community to help advocate the people. Before planning and organizing the program (Kopi, 2010) claims that “As part of the planning process, it is a good idea to assess the knowledge, skills and attitude of community members, identify gaps and create a training plan to respond to the gaps.” After the planning process you are able to roll out a program in the community and there are set of principles that have to be followed to run a project in the community. Sustainability meaning how you would like to sustain the operations or function of the project with people weather a long term or short term project.
Participation is one of important part of community development if everyone in the community take part in the project to help themselves the project would be more interesting and helpful to the people if there is no proper participation the project will not function like it was planned it will turn the different way around. Always give chance to the community to ask questions or make suggestions in what they think about the program or how they feel about it and taking considerations of the local knowledge and the understanding of the people and the use of local talent.
Community Development is about social change to the community by individual and groups working together to strength the development in community. This practice is often carried out by Non- Government Organizations, Church agencies and Government Departments to address the social issues or need of the people through basic services, workshops or aids. Social workers and community workers are trained and skilled to help the people from the grass roots level to bring development to their door step to advocate the ones that are illiterate to make them understand why and how the social issues arise by doing awareness.
By doing this awareness whether in a big or some way it can at least show little changes in the community in the way or conduct by using the resources that they have wisely and thinking critical that if any challenges may come in the way they are able to manage it rather than letting it to destroy the people or they can prevent it before occurring in the community by avoid conflicts from happening.
Papua New Guinea needs more social workers to be trained to go out in the field to help to address the social issues like, rape, kidnapping, robbery, murder and other petty crimes that affecting the development of the communities, villages, towns, cities, and the country as a whole. The Government of Papua New Guinea needs to work together with the Non- Government Organizations and Church agencies to address this issues that can help to promote and shape the future of this country.
- Community Development (2019). Week eight: Attitude, Skills and Values [ppt]. PG303 dwu eLearning hub Retrieved from: https://learninghub.dwu.ac.pg/course/view.php?id=1866
- E. J. Niederfrank and L.W. Cole (1959) Education for Community Development Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/1169036?seq=1&cid=pdf-reference#references_tab_contents
- Narakobi, B (1983). The Melanesian Way Retrieved from http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/general/resources/1983-Bernard-Narokobi-Melanesian-Way.pdf