Community empowerment can genuinely advantage the city social work essay

In society, some organizations are more vulnerable than others – the indegent, the disabled, battered women, etc. NGOs functioning at the grassroots amounts are best suited to deal with the vulnerable groups. However, NGOs and the federal government can join hands to find the most suitable ways of use, to empower those people who are potentially fragile in the social composition. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT of Mauritius has put in place an NGO Trust fund to greatly help these persons to lead a good life.

Community empowerment can genuinely advantage the community. However, on the way community organisations encounter different obstacles which hamper the empowerment procedure. This called for a review of the city empowerment strategies.

Most of the constraints of empowerment strategies occurred because of the lack of training in leadership development and lack of capacity building skills. However, NGOs were located to be limited within their actions due to the lack of resources and reliance on the Government. Moreover, the federal government sometimes attributes more importance to the requirements of stakeholders, rather than the needs of the community – thus failing the whole purpose of community empowerment.

So, to increase community involvement, organisations have altered their method of doing things. A few examples are : strengthening interactions with the city by developing a deep knowledge of community issues, undergoing training, implementing creative strategies to motivate participation, amongst others.


What is network empowerment?

‘Community empowerment is the local government’s core business’ (cdz & changes, 2008).

Community empowerment enables persons to play a dynamic role in the decisions that impact their environment (cdx & changes, 2008). Regarding to Rappaport (1987), empowerment is intended to enhance the possibilities for people to regulate their individual lives. Cochran (1986) believes that persons understand their own demands far better than other people and consequently should have the power both to define and act upon them (John at al, 1993).

Community empowerment refers to the procedure of aiding communities to gain control over their lives. Communities contain groups of people sharing common interests, considerations or identities. Through empowerment, people will be able to control the elements and decisions define their lives. By increasing their assets and establishing their capacities, they can therefore broaden their systems. People cannot be empowered by others as such, but independently (WHO, 2012)

Community empowerment encompasses involvement, participation and commitment to the contemporary society. It is merely possible when persons feel a sense of belonging to the community and it aims generally at cultural and political improvements. In another words, network empowerment is a way of re-negotiating capacity to achieve even more self-control (WHO, 2012).

Community empowerment covers the social, cultural, political and monetary aspects of society. With the advent of globalisation, actions at the neighborhood level heavily impacts activities at the global level. For this reason partnerships are required to finding collective alternatives (WHO, 2012).

Communication may be the key to successful network empowerment. It helps to improve awareness and increase understanding of the people to encourage discussions and debates, so that persons gain insight on the controlling forces acting after their lives and initiate their very own decision making procedure (WHO, 2012).

Empowering communities also contains empowering the average person. Empowerment at the individual level starts with described necessities and aspirations and focuses on available resources.


It is the process of taking control, which finally contributes to fulfilling one’s probable. It comprises of certain elements; self-reliance, participation in decision making, dignity and value, belonging and adding to the city. The empowerment of communities entails a higher degree of individual empowerment, a solid sense of owned by the community, participation in political actions, leadership in decision making and access to resources (WHO, 2010).

The community empowerment process is very sophisticated and necessitates understanding and dedication from the part of most stakeholders. Network empowerment progresses gradually. So that it requires frequent learning and consistent building of a community’s ability (Donnelley, 2009)

2.1 How to empower a community?

In order to empower a network, that’s to involve groups of people in engagement activities, it can be necessary to create a campaign. However, we have to bear in mind that a campaign predicated on other motivational grounds besides community welfare, fails the complete reason for community empowerment. Network engagement involves the energetic participation of people and community representatives in all respects of the campaign. It is vital for the community to be active individuals, instead of passive types (Kirklees Partnership Involving Communities Framework, n.d).

Empowering people is not a simple task. Individuals often do not have the time, energy, resources, expertise to develop and implement such promotions. Community engagement demands specific criteria, namely information to enable empowerment – such as for example political and legal rights, funding and the sociable potential to create mobilisation networks, opportunities – such as those provided by institutional arrangements and finally motivations for people to exert their rights (Paul, 2010).

Social personnel, both voluntary and professional, are property to the success of the campaigns. Since human mother nature is complex, the staff leading the campaigns should let go of aspects that


may threaten the purpose of the campaign. Instead volunteers, community organisations and partner organizations should participate in the look and implementation process. In this article empowering social personnel might be another important aspect of network empowerment (Kirklees Partnership Involving Communities Framework, n.d).

The Government will include the city at all levels of development projects to improve community engagement and community participation. Capacity building – strengthening skills, potential and abilities of people in developing societies so that they can come out of their misery, and community participation – actively involved in designing, implementing and evaluating ways of address a specific problem are essential to network empowerment (Debra, 2002).

Both NGOs and the federal government understand the need for network empowerment in Mauritius. Here are some examples of the way the community is empowered:

The Federal government has proposed to introduce a Community Empowerment Programme (CEP) with the aim of facilitating the community to employ ICT to fully take part in the socio-economic production of the united states.

The CEP good Government encourages the production of local articles and creativity.

The reason for this initiative is usually to democratize access to information, provide comprehensive information regarding the united states, namely its monetary and social framework and stimulate the advancement and production of local content on the web.

This will enable Mauritians to use the internet more effectively and discover answers to the challenges in the community. It will provide a common system for sharing local know-how, a marketplace for job proposals, and discussion community forums. People may also formulate and put into practice their own development projects by collaborating with other stakeholders (NCB, n.d).

Another example would be the Work done by the Bel Ombre Base for Empowerment, which was founded in 2008. Their vision is to produce an enabling


environment where each individual can realize his probable. This organisation aims at empowering the inhabitants of Bel Ombre to get the expansion pace by buying training, entrepreneurship and public integration. Ongoing projects include adult literacy programmes, supporting the local artisans and the fight poverty (Bel Ombre Foundation for Empowerment, n.d).

People should feel absolve to act after their own concepts for the advantage of the community, in order that they are often more creative and productive in their endeavours. For example educating people

is one initiative of community empowerment, which may be understood as aiding the individual to better understand his/her desires in addition to society’s needs, and find proactive measures to the problems that world faces, without managing the latter. Concurrently, they feel a sense of belonging to the city.

2.2 Whom to empower?

It is true that people are part of culture, and that people have needs, but there are other people who are in precarious scenarios and desire a boost. However, it does not mean that they deserve better treatment compared to the common guy. They should you need to be given a hand. For instance; poor people, battered women, minority groups, the disabled etc.

Empowerment can be about sensitizing people who happen to be in vulnerable positions or who will be possibly weak in the cultural structure. As stated earlier, community empowerment often necessitates campaigns to reach the target audience. Nevertheless, there are sensitive conditions that touch a big group of people and so are not often reviewed openly. E.g. Battered women.

Hence, both the Government and NGOs focus on preventive measures. As a result of division of labour and stereotypes, women frequently occupy a substandard position in society and are victims of injustices by person. So, one initiative of the federal government was to empower women of all ages.


Empower women

According to reviews from around the globe, women constitute many among activists in the community and a minority in leadership in the community (Sadan, 1997).

The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Creation and Relatives Welfare insists on the reinforcement of potential building of women, which can be achieved through education and training. The Government also supplies the necessary support for girls to release businesses (Ministry of Gender Equality, Kid Development and Friends and family Welfare, 2010).

The Ministry possesses organised workshops for girls under the National Women Business owner Council to enable them to build up their managerial skills and provide support to potential women of all ages entrepreneurs desperate to launch their own business (Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family group Welfare, 2010).

The Women Entrepreneurship Development Program has been launched in several regions of Mauritius, specifically in Quartier Militaire, Triolet, Le Morne, Terre Rouge, Camp Thorel, Lallmatie, Ernest Florent and Pont Lardier plus some 1800 women have benefitted from the program (Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Friends and family Welfare, 2010).

Empower the poor

Since NGOs just work at the grassroots

level with the indegent, they have been able to build reciprocity, mutual understanding and build trust. The Government of Mauritius works in hand with NGOs to fight poverty. All stakeholders attended to understand that actions at the local level can be a first rung on the ladder to a national solution (Hurbungs, n.d).

One of the 1st conditions for getting people from the poverty trap is to create them take total responsibility for his or her lives. They should also be included in all stages of network projects, to ensure that they look valued and gain confidence. Another initiative adopted by the federal government of Mauritius is developing actions based on the aspirations of the indegent. For instance the indegent prefer receiving help to send their children to school with all the current necessities


instead of receiving personal support to feed their hungry stomachs (Hurbungs, n.d).

NGOs should help the poor become aware of their current realities and empower them to create their own choices about the future, initiate actions for their development and adopt a wholesome life-style (Hurbungs, n.d).

2.3 Benefits of empowering a community

When a community is empowered, people feel free to act within the culture and at the same time associate a feeling of owned by it. Through network participation and capacity-building, they rediscover their unique potential and gain confidence. In addition they feel worthy of the city, for the support they are providing – to generate a change.

Community empowerment can initiate actions at individual level, that may reach community as well as national levels. For instance, someone victim of a major accident, can gather an organization of people – it is usually close friends, family, or even strangers who have joined for an excellent cause – and help sensitise others on street safety measures (Dr. Glenn, 2009).

Development of small teams can initiate collective actions. It is also a way for practitioners to gain community service abilities, leadership skills for some, management skills, develop empathy, broaden systems, kind partnerships and bring about interpersonal cohesion (Dr Glenn, 2009).

Community organisations provide means to resolve societal concerns. They include young groupings, faith groups, network councils and associations. They have got the power to mobilise assets. They development of network organisations requires some kind of leadership and the ones who serve the community have better likelihood of developing community capacity – and may become future leaders (Dr Glenn, 2009).

Empowered individuals are in a position to influence the way and implementation of a programme through their participation. They improvement from a personal action to the idea that


they are collectively engaged. This can lead to gaining the power to influence economic, political and social action. They can therefore help others to empower themselves and gear them towards potential building (Dr Glenn, 2009).

2.4 The role of the Government and NGOs in network empowerment

The Authorities of Mauritius gets the responsibility of catering for the people and has formulated regulations to protect them and safeguard their privileges. The Government works as an authority figure. The political and administrative environment of a network directly impacts the empowerment method (Phil, 2007)

The environment carries a series of factors such as the laws, regulations and methods of the civil society. The environment also covers the policies and practices of relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (Phil, 2007)

In this regard, their process is to inspire community activities that permit the community to develop itself – to end up being empowered. They also needs to help the community to initiate activities towards self-reliance, community empowerment and eradication of poverty (Phil, 2007).

The Government should be able to modify Ministry regulations, modify legislative policies, support legislative committees responsible for legislative reform, provide suggestions and empower NGOs mixed up in related sectors, raise recognition through conferences, workshops, competitions and so forth and pass relevant details through public press – posters, radio, local Television, newspapers, and advertisements (Phil, 2007).

NGOs are increasingly involved with capacity expansion. They lean towards growing expertise and tools to fortify the contemporary society. NGOs can have a substantial effect on community development. However not absolutely all NGOs are in good terms with the Government and very often they lack assets and face many obstacles and unless they turn into partners with the Government, capability building initiatives will continue to fail (Inger, 2009).


The Government also needs to offer training to practitioners in order that they are well outfitted at all phases of the procedure. More importantly the Government should present support to NGOs that may bring about consistency and integration with each other. Support could possibly be of financial and complex assistance for meetings, doing work committees and campaigns.

According to the Mrs Sheila Bappoo ( Minister of Social Secureness, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Organizations), the Mauritian Government completely acknowledges the position of NGOs in network development. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has set up an NGO Trust Fund which has the aim of helping vulnerable groups of the society so that they are able to lead a decent life.

The Government provides support to numerous organisations who will be actively involved with community empowerment. One particular example may be the the Youth Empowerment Program that was implemented by a group of college students from the University of Mauritius and the Push Vive des Quartier Reunies.

The task had the targets of developing leadership expertise among children and at the same time encouraging community provider by University pupils (MEF, 2011).

The Government is actively involved in various such initiatives, and as we can see community empowerment starts with the normal man. All we will be in need of can be an idea and the might to bring about change.


3.0 Community empowerment strategies

Community empowerment strategies include community development, community engagement, network participation and capacity construction (Peter, 1996).

Community development helps persons to discover and develop their talents and potential and organise themselves to react to problems and needs that they commonly share. It helps communities that control and work with assets to promote social justice and help to enhance the quality of community lifestyle (SCDC, n.d).

In Maritius, the city Advancement and Poverty Alleviation Job has been applied by the Government and its budget reaches approximately 4 million Rupees. Network development requires the data of people, their values and culture. People ought to be empowered to generate their own know-how and make make use of it to improve the quality of life. Therefore participation is necessary for community empowerment. Community development walks in hand with management. Community Solutions Management is a relatively new strategy and it aims at empowering community employees and stakeholders to better assess and implement network based projects effectively and cost effectively. Network Development also requires General Organisational Skills – including personal abilities. The emergence of professional operations in such organisations denotes electricity. Community practitioners should be aware of the structure of the organisation to build up the mandatory skills to successfully achieve its objectives. Finally, we cannot ignore the idea of Sustainable Development when speaking about development in Mauritius. The Government, NGOs, and the non-public sector recognise understand that the environment, the economy and equity are irrevocably linked (Network Development and Poverty Alleviation Job, 2005).

Community engagement may be the process of involving people in decisions that have an effect on them. This may mean involving communities in the planning, development and management of services. Furthermore it includes empowering the community to create decisions also to implement and manage change (DSE, 2011).


The Authorities envisioned the creation of a sustainable contemporary society with the implementation of the job Maurice Ile Durable (MID). In this regard, the Government encourages community people to initiate partnerships with multiple stakeholders and facilitates community engagement that supports people expressing testmyprep their vision for the community and initiate shared responsibility (Anneleos at al, n.d).

Community participation refers to energetic engagement in designing, applying and evaluating strategies to address a specific problem (Debra, 2002).

The Government stresses upon the integration and participation of the youth in many areas of the society. The Government also provides the opportunity for youngsters to engage in voluntary activities. One such programme may be the National Youth Award which was introduced in Mauritius in 1996. It is just a sort of training program which encourages personal delivery and development, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves and the community (Ministry of youth and sports activities, 2012).

This programme under the Ministry of youth and athletics supervised numerous actions which engaged the participation of many national projects, specifically ”Jeux de L’avenir”, Jeux de L’espoir”, Environmental Tasks, Community Services and unique vacances (Ministry of youth and sports, 2012).

Capacity construction involves strengthening the abilities, potential and abilities of people in developing societies in order that they can escape their misery.

Capacity-construction programmes were established in Mauritius testmyprep in view of poverty lowering. Since 2000, the IFAD (Funded Rural Diversification Programme) has been reaching out to more the 15 000 the indegent. The programme has helped the indegent to diversify their incomes and enhance their standard of living. Beneath the Community Creation and Poverty Alleviation Job, the Government adopts an approach to help the indegent to get out of their own misery, by providing them with opportunities to generate their own income – by empowering them (Community Expansion and Poverty Alleviation Project, 2005).


3.1 Limitations of community empowerment strategies

Community empowerment tactics encompass countless areas and need the participation, involvement, and commitment of varied stakeholders. Implementing empowerment tactics also demands much time and effort. However they are good initiatives to empower the city, as explained previously. Network empowerment strategies have brought about numerous advancements in sectors such as poverty, wellbeing, environment, and society generally.

The major obstacle to successful network empowerment may be the lack of trained in leadership creation and organisational potential building (Peter, 1996).


NGOs have the options to spread information either by directly providing them to the public or helping the community to acquire access to information options. NGOs can improve organisational

assets by establishing fresh community organisations or boost on existing ones. They are able to also help people to get financial aid and material assets predicated on their needs and privileges. Moreover, they do a great job in sensitizing and gathering people through health insurance and education activities – network engagement. Finally, since NGOs work at the grassroots level, they are more capable and have genuine understanding of the difficulties people end up in (Selibu, 2006).

However, very often many obstacles hamper the empowerment method. Limitations to empowerment actions of NGOs come up from many sources. To start with, NGOs happen to be constrained by the fact that they have little access to resources and less impact on policies and regulations. Another factor will be that a lot of NGOs are reliant on the developments made by the federal government. NGOs are in most cases not in good conditions with the Government, which directly impacts their activities. Moreover, NGOs are tied to local factors such as inefficient institutional frameworks, fragile relationships with the community and organisational challenges within themselves. Therefore, in trying to react to donors, the Government often lose view of genuine empowerment demands of the community and appeal to other demands from stakeholders (Selibu, 2006).


Risks factors

When implementing empowerment strategies, risk factors should be anticipated and well-managed. The chance factors include time and planning limitations, possible lack of cooperation from stakeholders, incompatibility among strategies used, diminished fascination from community leaders, insufficient additional funding and likely lack of resources for community leaders to impart their knowledge and skills (Community Creation and Poverty Alleviation Job, 2005).

Community organizations face enormous obstacles to repairing the social fabric of their communities, particularly if society faces serious issues (e.g. high criminal offense rate). This limitation arrives in part to organizations’ inability to develop strategies and because of insufficient resources (Peter, 1996).

Moreover it is fairly difficult to foster network participation and engagement, because people are not always free to participate in activities regardless if they can benefit from them. The community can be reluctant to form partnerships with stakeholders due to lack of trust. The community sometimes expects too much from the Government, and therefore is left with sole aspirations and dreams. Folks have obligations and other concerns plus they view community engagement and participation as an added burden. It can be that details and whereabouts of campaigns and workshops aren’t equally spread, considering low-funds organisations. Sometimes community leaders themselves aren’t focused on the project. Frequently community activities are merged with politics, and are a means to money and increased image. As a matter of fact, community empowerment approaches fail their very own purpose due to lack of community involvement/participation/engagement.

3.2 Alternatives to increase community engagement and participation

If an organisation really wants to be truly accountable, it needs a strong program of organisational governance. Without a clear focus, it really is impossible for community organisations to accomplish significant impact. Hence, network organisations will be able to develop the element


of trust with the community (ICD, 2005).

They should implement creative strategies so that the community is motivated to work with them. Both NGOs and Authorities organisations should address the various strategies including – capacity building, physical projects, research and data and networking (ICD, 2005). Organisations should also display dependability, leadership and transparency. Empowerment programmes are not always simple to achieve. That is why organisations should critique their personal strategies.

Participation and continuity

It is necessary to utilize the community in bringing knowing of the proposed actions and their benefits. It is also of significant importance to increase community participation in setting up, design, and implementation levels so that persons develop sustained curiosity and ensure continuity of this project (Community Production and Poverty Alleviation Task, 2005).

Management, supervision and monitoring

The success of the jobs will be based upon proper management, guidance and monitoring. Practitioners should be given appropriate trained in the field of project management. Progress ought to be monitored, to make certain that objectives are being fully achieved (Community Advancement and Poverty Alleviation Job, 2005).


Community engagement is achieved if jobs bear better outcomes. It is also very important to fortify the relationship with the city. Community organisations should job the trustworthiness of the organisation through their activities. Moreover they should develop raised understanding of community issues to form partnerships and broaden their networks (DSE, 2011).

Leadership training

Social staff and staff should own the right skills in order to reach the target audience. Some practitioners sometimes feel too little determination and discontinue their assistance. Dealing with


people could be exhausting and frustrating. Which means Government should provide usage of workout sessions, information and networks. A lot more than 20 training centres have already been successful in teaching community organizations the skills needed to develop leaders and build good community organizations in the US (Peter, 1996).

Target vulnerable groups

The Government should display involvement locally. It should tackle conditions that will be of concern to the community – education, emancipation of girls, poverty, etc, and provide support by empowering them. E.g. Applying poverty alleviation strategies. The Community organisations should also work with those people who are potentially weak in the social framework. For example by educating the illiterates, providing economic support to vulnerable females, decrease vulnerability to HIV/AIDs and other medical issues, and by collaborating with additional organisations (SEM, 2012).

Community organisations should themselves be empowered to adopt the best suitable method of deal with people. The Government should promote community usage of technology and information and in addition allocate a budget for network organisations to implement community empowerment programmes, for sensitization promotions, workshops and doing work committees. Moreover, since press plays a significant role in conveying details, media coverage of network initiatives ought to be improved. The common man should also be empowered to initiate action on a tiny basis and eventually be monitored for potential impressive ideas. It is also primordial to promote laws and regulations that provide communities a voice (Peter, 1996).

The Federal government of Mauritius has applied the National Empowerment Base in this regard and has extended support and empowered many people. A few examples include; The Integrated Community Development programme establishing housing units at La Valette Bambous accounting to a total cost of Rs. 205 million and benefitted 200 families ;

around Rs 1.1 billion allocated for programmes which include facilities for unemployed women of all ages, Integrated Social Production, circular migration, technical assistance to Small and Channel Enterprises (SMEs) (NEF, 2009).


4.0 Critical Analysis

Community empowerment strategies are effective actions to empower a community. Through community engagement, community participation, community advancement and capacity building, persons can easily identify their potential and discover their abilities, participate in group discussion and activities, take part in implementation of important tasks and will empower themselves to ensure that they are able to overcome difficult social circumstances.

As mentioned in the previous sections, community empowerment can benefit the city on a tiny basis and nationally. Community empowerment enables people to initiate actions based on their day-to-day experiences. It also creates a chain where the empowered individual in turn facilitates others to empower themselves by sharing encounters and forming partnerships. Community empowerment is a means for the community to broaden their systems and meet new and influential people. An empowered community can influence the social and economic aspects of a country to get their rights. Moreover, when working with others for a collective cause, individuals acquire a good sense of worthiness. Those actively involved with community work and network service can ultimately become tomorrow’s leaders.

Since community empowerment tactics cope with people, unforeseen occasions may arise. It really is true that community empowerment is effective to the average person and the community, however people aren’t always free to engage in community activities. Moreover persons are reluctant to indulge in community activities because of insufficient trust, because very often activities derive from selfish grounds. For example; political parties showing fascination in social actions for the sole purpose of improving the image of the Government. Other restrictions of empowerment strategies include lack of cooperation from stakeholders, lack of funding and diminished fascination from network leaders themselves. Finally, NGOs are limited in their actions due to lack of resources and dependence on the Government.

Many alternatives have already been placed into place by the Government to address the issue of lack of community involvement. For instance; give social workers access to information, inspire training among practitioners, increase knowing of social phenomenons, improvements in media insurance of community initiatives, among others.



Community empowerment tactics are great initiatives to empower the community. However, there’s always room for improvements. Therefore keeping in mind the complex character of society, community empowerment strategies ought to be geared towards people’s respective needs and really should aim at safeguarding their privileges as citizens.

NGOs are resources for community development due to their proximity at the grassroots. But since NGOs and the federal government are not motivated by the same grounds, they adopt different paths to reach the same targets – empowering the community. In this regard, it is therefore very important for the federal government to supply support to NGOs and other community organizations.

Moreover, the Government should provide training to social program practitioners and allow access to relevant info, technology and resources so that effective strategies are placed into place. More campaigns and workshops should be organized, but ensuring info on their whereabouts reaches optimum people.

When people will be empowered, they rediscover their talents and potential and in addition bring small community assignments to national level. They develop innovative skills such as community service expertise, leadership skills for a few, managerial abilities, develop empathy, broaden networks, type partnerships and bring about social cohesion.

More importantly persons and organizations ought to be empowered, in order that they in turn support others to empower themselves.