One of the most terrifying things when it comes to community organizing is that you never really know how the community will react. We base it on assumptions and imagine the outcome and reaction prior. You do not know if they will be receptive or not, but always hope it is the case.
My first time working with the Ng’ando community was hard as most people did not understand what it meant to have ground up solutions applied to the challenges affecting the child in the community. Top down solutions come with fast results, but often treat the wrong ailments and there we go again, back to step one trying to figure out why poverty is still chasing us.
Ground up solutions, on the other hand work towards the root cause and consider community involvement as fundamental. ”Do not sit down and wait for anybody to solve your problem”,were the words Clement spoke out as she looked at her baby seated on her lap. That was a breakthrough for me. At that point I knew the community was ready to begin initiatives towards eradication of child poverty by mobilizing local resources.
The Ng’ando community has set up a leadership team, vetting/oversight committee and decided to increase the number of children going to school as their initiative.
In my case, what I hoped for is what happened. What have you hoped for your community before?
-Liz Njeri, Community Organizer in Ng’ando