and many more community-initiated programmes?
Did you know. . .
that The Salvation Army works together with communities to develop:
water and sanitation
programmes for orphans and vulnerable children
home-based HIV/AIDS programmes
Through these pages we aim to provide an insight into the little-known aspect of Salvation Army work - our role in community development.
The dominant image, in the public eye, of The Salvation Army is of a much loved charity giving a cup of soup to those down on their luck. This is a vital part of our work, but we aim to describe a totally different approach in which the poor are joining in partnership with The Salvation Army.
The community development approach sees that the poor have potential to change their circumstances. The role of The Salvation Army in this is to listen to the dreams of communities and assist those communities to realise their own dreams with their own hard work and their own local knowledge.
Life in these communities is very difficult, with the poor having a sense of their own powerlessness, dependence on the wealthy, and their lack of voice to object to the unjust conditions they face. Community development always trades in hope - it seeks to assist people to realise they can be agents of change. To even consider the possibility of change of the desperately poor is a very risky business. The poor fear that any change in their life may be a threat to what little they now have.
To challenge the unjust circumstances in which they live can bring down upon them the wrath of the rich who are happy with the status quo.
The Salvation Army has had to learn that communities must change at their own pace. Sometimes the steps the poor feel capable of taking seem so small but each advance is a victory in the war against poverty.