Our community intervention followed the guidelines of two models of community work to facilitate a more organized and informed approach for making our intervention at the Bless the Children Home orphanage practicable. The Community Education model and the Community Development model we found applicable to our community intervention. In addition to these two models we also employed our education of cultural awareness to help us to be more useful to the children in the orphanage, i.e. we respected their religious beliefs and worked in accordance to the rules and regulations of the Orphanage.
According to I. Martin (1987), Community Education has evolved from three main strands. Following our needs assessment of trying to improve a few areas of education (primary areas such as English, Math) with the children at the orphanage, the second strand of community education was attempted. The second strand of Community Education involved providing compensatory education to the children. Some of the children in the orphanage were unfortunate enough to not have been enrolled in a school until at an age where they were way behind the curriculum. Very few of them seemed to be working at their suited level in their respective schools. To compensate for this we divided ourselves among the twenty eight children to attempt to teach them Math and English. Fortunately, we had two teachers in our group who structured lessons for some of the children while the others were given one on one tutoring based on school work they had trouble understanding.
Community Development has been defined as organized efforts of people to improve the conditions of community life and the capacity of the people for participation, self-direction, and integrated effort in community affairs. In this case, the community we are talking about is the orphanage. Community development places emphasis on promoting self-help through education. Our process of community development began with our group firstly visiting the orphanage and speaking to the founder and the children after introducing ourselves. Next as part of the process, we carried out a needs assessment based on our meeting at the orphanage where everyone had an input to say what they wanted from our group. And based on most of them said we decided upon the enhancement of their numeracy and literacy skills. One characteristic of Community Development is that though the development is concerned with all members of a community, not all of them will be willing to participate. This was experienced at the orphanage where the older boys, though at times we got them to participate, would rather help the workers in the yard rather than let us work with them. Community development, instead of just dealing with one specific aspect, it entails developing total community life and addressing all its needs. Though we were not required to address all their needs, we attempted to address literacy and numeracy. We also did crafts to improve their creativity. In the process of doing these planned educational activities, there were times when we taught them unplanned lessons that were valuable to them such as helping them to realize that to be able to do things they must first give it a try and also when we noticed that one boy was not able to use a scissors we attempted to improve his motor skills with a simple task of cutting drawn lines. In building on the community assets, we found that the orphanage had the required materials (e.g. textbooks) so all that our group needed to do was make ourselves useful to the children. With increasing the skills of the children, we taught them literacy and numeracy which are two basic things that will benefit them in the future and for a lifetime We also baked cakes and biscuits with them attempting to teach them to cooperate among themselves. This cooperation was observed when they let each other take turns at making the biscuits. With the crafts we did with...
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