Sustainable initiatives where they are most needed
The Small World approach to community development consists of working within the community, involving local people as the actors of change for solving local problems, using locally available resources as much as possible to help support the local economy, and ensuring local participation at all levels.
We strongly believe that communities know what is best regarding their needs; our mission is to empower communities to realize they are capable of creating lasting solutions using their own skills and abilities. The Small World is simply a facilitator for the communities who are the real change makers. In this way, we create active community participation through Project Identification, Resource Analysis, and Project Implementation. Most importantly, when we finish a project, the community completely owns the project and, due to this, it is assured to be sustainable.
Our Comprehensive Approach
At The Small World, we believe in creating opportunities, taking responsibility, and giving back to the community. All of our projects are community owned, with locals participating actively in both the decision-making processes and the implementation of the project. Using this model has ensured a feeling of ownership by the community and the continuity of the project’s future. The successful completion of a community project includes, in addition to its material aspect, the employable skills, experience, self-reliance, pride, and commitment to maintaining the project that are gained by local members for long-term sustainability. Since these small communities are generally “off the radar” for government support, communities learn how to organise and successfully gain aid from other organisations.
Steps toward Project Development Approach
Listening to local community members
- TSW receives an application from a local community requesting assistance.
- TSW deeply listens, discusses and observes the needs of a community and what they consider most important to improve their lives through in person contact with community locals.
- A meeting is organised with the local community;
- In this meeting, community members select an average of seven locals project leader who are beneficiaries of the project, e.g., school” teacher and PTA members, with the necessary inclusion of women in the community to foster cultural acceptance of their input.
- TSW provides training and tools to locals leaders for organising meetings in the local community.
Identifying Local Resources
An analysis is conducted of project resources to help segregate local and outside/external sources for the school construction project.
Hands On Training
TSW empowers and trains the local construction management committee in managing local resources, while encouraging the use of local materials, and training and improving the skills of locals, which helps to create job opportunities and boosts the local economy.
TSW handles external resources management, such as the technical support for designing of building, construction materials, and legal requirements and approvals by the government.
- TSW monitors and evaluates the project based on time frame and resources.
- TSW helps to maintain project accountability and equal job distribution for local people, including necessary training and quality maintenance for safe and lasting benefit of project.
Ensuring Local Ownership
- A strong relationship with the project is created for the community by building local leaders, using local resources, and training to provide job opportunities both locally and nationally by making sure full ownership of projects on local community members.
- Accomplishing the project together - with the community gaining a sense of pride and ownership in the project they have built.
- Creating community awareness for utilising the project in the most beneficial way, while taking responsibility for its long-term care as part of the community’s sole ownership of the property.
Creating Self Reliance
Teaching community members to replicate this model of sustainable community development for other projects.
- Through identifying their specific needs, followed by planning and implementing effective strategies, success can be attained with other project goals.
Establishing strong relationship with our partner & its donors
To provide a bridge of understanding and true partnership between locals and TSW partner:
- The Small World shares reports from the field, which includes project challenges, progress, photos, local stories, and videos.
- TSW manages travel for partners/donors or volunteers as well as to the project site they have helped fund, or will fund, to see the actual work in progress or what is planned, and meet in person with the local community members.
Appreciation and Accomplishment
Personal involvement with partners helps locals to demonstrate their gratitude and pride in the project at hand, while donors feel a much greater feeling of accomplishment in realising how much they are helping people in need. Friendships and bonds are formed, whether remotely or person-to-person, with a strong impact in the long term for deeper understanding and involvement.