Capacity building and Community Development models to formulate programs and projects that is not only sustainable but can also benefit the community in the long term with self-reliance and make a positive difference in community. There are different social and political ideologies and perspectives of community development, these ideologies and perspectives make different assumptions of how society functions and the need and level of interventions in the society (Ife, 1995, p 119), therefore it is very necessary that before any development projects or community development programs are devised the ideology, perspective or approaches that underpin the programs must be made clear. After having the opportunity to be part of some of the wonderful Recharge project activities (e.g. Knox’s Science Works and Maroondah Group’s Glass and Ceramics Arts) and my own research, in this paper I will try to explain some of the ideas of how I would like to develop Recharge’s above mentioned groups and overcome some of the current or potential obstacles and problems. But before that I deem it necessary to explain the underlying perspective or the main ideology that my report is based on. The perspective that underlines the approach in this report is the Asset-based community development as opposed to some other models of community development including needs-based community development approach. It is important at this stage that the difference between the approaches be defined. Most of the approaches rely on needs-based policies, which typically focus on what communities lack as opposed to what they assets they have and that is why this strategy can guarantee only survival, and can never lead to serious change or community development that leads to self-determination and reliance (Kenny, 2006, pp, 168-172). While an Asset-based approach works with the community not only to identify the difficulties and needs but also to focus more on the strengths capacities and skills of the community. Obviously enough, the first principle that defines this process is that it is "asset-based." That is, this community development strategy starts with what is present in the community, the capacities of its residents and workers, the associational and institutional base of the area--not with what is absent, or with what is problematic, or with what the community needs (Kenny, p, 180). Following is an example of how the asset based approach focuses on strengths, imagine a local park there are two different descriptions of that park that lead to two different directions. NEEDS BASED:
The park is magnet for vandalism. The toilet block is constantly covered with graffiti. Local young people gather at the park on the Friday night and leave rubbish everywhere when they leave. ASSET BASED:
The Park is an important meeting place for local young people; they value the place available there to meet friends. Every afternoon and on the weekends, families and young children, people walking their dogs and young people come to the park to picnic. Play games and meet other people. The park is a central community asset for a range of group of people. The asset based approach does not turn a blind eye to community problems, instead it identifies them and then finds and uses resources to deal with those problems (UN HABITATE). Asset based Approach For Recharge Program:
Although the report is designed to address the community development and capacity building methodology for the entire society, I deem it equally relevant here to highlight some of the things that Recharge project could use to apply the asset based methods in its respite care activities. •Recharge could use preliminary home visits/ arranging meetings at an appropriate venue with the carers to assess client needs, explain support options and make a respite plan once the clients have been registered with Recharge. It is especially important in Recharge’s new groups and activities. This...