Apache Family in San Carlos, AZ.
One of the topics we will tackle during the Global Gathering in Cancun is sustainability. As Amor moves into new locations we are committed to creating and developing sustainable communities. One of the first steps in this process is assessing local resources.
The Kansas University Work Group for Community Health and Development has put together a “Community Tool Box” as a resource for building healthy communities. In their section on Identifying Community Assets and Resources, they highlight the importance of every individual and resource in the community.
They write, “You and everyone else in the community are potential community assets. Everyone has some skills or talents, and everyone can provide knowledge about the community, connections to the people they know, and the kind of support that every effort needs - making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, giving people information, moving equipment or supplies - whatever needs doing. This suggests that everyone in the community can be a force for community improvement if only we knew what their assets were, and could put them to use (ctb.ku.edu ).”
Getting to know the communities in which we work intimately allows us to accurately gather this information. It is so important to personally invest ourselves, our time, and our resources into developing these relationships. You cannot transform a community from the outside. It has to be done from the inside out. A good equation to use while creating sustainable programs is, “Your community assetts connected to (+) your organization’s assetts produces (=) strong community based projects ( http://www.abcdinstitute.org ).” As the first step, we can use this simple equation to develop effective and sustainable programs wherever we go.
Amor does this is through collaborating with the pastors on our Ministry Planning Boards in each community in which we work. The pastors have the community connections and the manpower to bring the community together, but lacked the resources. Our groups have resources, but lack connections in the communities. By combining our resources, the pastors and our groups, we are able to efficiently meet the needs of people in the communities. This collaborative approach will continue to drive all of our ministry efforts.