Isn’t it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?
Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.”
― R. Leah Sharp
As a little girl, I would draw caricature pictures of suffering children. The pictures didn’t have any human resemblance. They were more like scarecrows. I recall my brother always making fun of me, reminding me of how terrible an artist I was and why I was wasting my time, but it wouldn’t deter me. I would passionately paint my drawings and get my card boards neatly packed for next meeting. At the Child Rights Club, we were told that we were making a difference in our community and in the world at large; that we were helping children we didn’t even know. I was happy to know this. That was why I could skip meals and stay awake to do the little jobs assigned to me. Over the years, I have continued to be passionate about making positive change.
It is important to know that everyone is a builder for eternity, but there are those who are laying stepping stones in order for the world to become a better place. Lee Sharpe had it summarized in his poem ‘Princes and Kings’.
This series, “What Would You Do for Change?” is aimed at examining our ‘change’ ideations and will handle case studies on community needs. Thus, we shall draw wisdom and build capacities to tackle real life situations as regards community development.
- It will consist of three to five questions in each part of the series.
- Any person may choose to answer one question/case per part.
- For people addressing more than one cases, each case should come as a different reply.
- Conceived cases or community problems can be dropped as replies in order to be presented in subsequent parts of the series.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR CHANGE? PT 1.
In this part, we shall look into three cases.
As part of your community assessment activities, you and your team visit the leader of a community within the state of your residence. You introduce yourselves as Partners of Strategy and Innovation for Development (SI4DEV) Initiative. He explains how water scarcity is a major problem in the community and how wells are drying up or producing dirty water. He also narrates that the bore holes constructed for the public have all gone bad. On this matter, he asks for your strategy and innovation for solutions. What would they be?
Your team identifies a problem in which women can be used as drivers of change, maybe by educating their household on health and sanitation matters, by working towards family planning, by implementing girl or boy child education, by learning skills for work and family support or more. You discover that women can be reached through market women because most women visit markets and have casual conversation with their customers. Thus, market women can be involved in awareness campaigns. How would you plan your activities in order to accomplish your target through the use of market women?
You live at the heart of a city. The metropolis looks good. However, there are suburbs where slums exist. Visits to these suburbs tell you how pitiable the lives of residents of these areas are. Most worrisome is the fact that refuse are littered everywhere and stagnant waters breed insects and micro-organisms. The people suffer health problems resulting from environmental pollution. The community seems abandoned by the state government. As a concerned citizen and member of SI4DEV which has its focus on quality health and good governance, among others, what would you suggest should be done in this community to remedy the situation?