There are many different approaches to community development that are designed to bring about change for the people living in communities.
Today, in Ukraine, the tangible results of ‘bottom-up’ community development and engagement are evident.
• Community development is facilitated by the ability of local people to mobilize resources to address local needs.
• Volunteers are among the stable and long-term actors guiding such processes.
• A diversity of new, grassroots organizations have been established across the country, including citizen-led initiatives that have assumed an active role in solving community issues.
• Existing community organizations have redirected their previous work to focus on new challenges.
• Community organizations are creating partnerships and coalitions to ensure the safety and sustainability of communities.
For a holistic approach to community development and engagement, it is important to include all people affected: e.g. IDPs, neighbours, veterans of anti-terroristic operations, local leaders and local authorities. When people are in the process of creating better conditions for themselves and their communities, they cannot work in single or isolated sectors, but instead must handle complex realities where solutions to problems must be found.
This brings challenges. Ukrainian practice demonstrates that community development is a process that leads not only to more jobs or services, but also to communities that are better able to manage change so that community members can better mobilize existing skills, reframe problems, work cooperatively and use community resources in new ways.
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