Saturday, September 25, 2021

Kuyasa’s Philosophy of Holistic Community Development and Transformation


Taken from Community Development: Putting Plans into Action (Hennie Swanepoel’s)


1. The Principle of Dignity

Creating the medium where people can progress to realize their inner potential while working to fulfil their physical needs.  Not meeting physical needs to the detriment of people’s dignity.  Not giving handouts because a beggar has no dignity.


2. The Principle of Release

This means the freeing of the person from the deprivation trap which means the eradication of poverty. The person must first be freed from the deprivation trap (i.e. survival mode, feelings of dependency) so that he can meet his basic human needs. If his basic needs are met by outsiders he will remain dependent and never be free. Development is the self sustaining process to engage free men and women in activities that meet their basic human needs.


3. The Principle of Participation

People (poorest of the poor) at grass-roots level must participate in their own development. They must feel that they have a stake in the efforts and results. They must also have a right in decision making. They must be consulted and feel consulted.


4. The Principle of Learning

The people must be informed to be able to make the right decisions. Learning must be on both sides. Developers must offer themselves to the people and the process. They must demonstrate willingness to serve and learn from the people, they must become involved in the people's efforts to break out of the deprivation trap. It must be a bottom up approach. Our hands must get dirty, we walk together or not at all.


5. The Principle of Empowerment

The people must have power to accompany participation and the ability/permission to make informed decisions. The people must have real power to direct and push or pull the direction of development. The agenda is set by the people. Bottom up approach — no Top down Blue Print.


6. The Principle of Ownership

No ownership, no sustainability. Work yourself out of a job, always. People must be facilitated to run own their projects. They must feel that they have a stake in the efforts and the results. Rewards and consequences are always shared. All decisions must be given away, once they forget you are a part of the project you are a success. Stand back, enjoy, support.


7. The Principle of Simplicity (versus Big is Better)

Big complex sophisticated projects limit the potential for learning and participation (of the poorest of the poor) Big projects create new dependence and produce social and economic inequalities. Big projects curtail/inhibit social, humanistic and holistic development. Do not let the volume of needs blind you and let you opt for large visible projects, liked by politicians or huge foundations. In short Simple is Optimal. The people are the project, there is no development or transformation of communities before there is development and transformation of the people in them. People change the world not projects.

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