A community is a collective.
Communities entail a broad segment of people that share resources, knowledge, and support and exemplify the spirit of generosity.
Helping manage crises’ and sustain communities, a community and its actions are necessary and effective as a response to the failures of the state. In recent times we have seen how often the state has failed in responding to crises, has neglected and eroded basic human rights, and regularly evaded responsibility. The ineffective reforms of the state have meant that creating an alternative to state reliance is necessary to address our everyday issues. Community organisations actively work to address the failures of the state, and community action enables communities to take an active role in achieving the change they want.
Through bottom-up structures of support, solidarity, and self-management, communities can be transformed.
Below are our tips to help you support and uplift your community.
Learn the Needs of your Community
It is incredibly important to learn the needs of your community if you plan to address the issues within it.
Be it poor housing, an unsafe environment, food shortages and a lack of healthcare facilities, the issues of each community are different. To learn the needs of your community speak to residents, do some research and consider the improvements you would like to see. From here, you can identify the best approaches to addressing said issues and improving the well-being of members of your community.
Mutual aid is a system that entails supporting community members and strengthening the capacity to care for and sustain the needs of your community. Where there is a lack of healthcare, a safe environment and poor housing, there is an everyday question for a growing segment of vulnerable people. Mutual aid systems can address these issues. Examples of mutual aid include raising funds/provisions for one another, collecting groceries, and providing medical support/assistance.
If there is not already a mutual aid system in place in your community, you can create one to respond to any unmet needs.
Through mutual aid you empower those who need support and sustain your community, encouraging change.
Support the Services in your Community
It is important that when advocating for your community you support and sustain its current services.
If possible, you should offer supplies to local food banks, donate to local organisations and advocate for your community’s services against government closures and poor provisions of funds. Doing so can encourage the longevity of such services and help them continue addressing social issues in the area.
Creating the Services your Community Needs
In supporting your community, you may find that there are services that have been unmet or unacknowledged. In response to this, you could create the services that you know your community desperately needs, addressing issues while preserving your community’s identity.
Through support and guidance, your ideas could be the answer to some of the major social or political issues in your community. There is funding available to help assist organisations tackle community problems. Like our very own Dream Fund, for example. Creating services to address community issues can be instrumental in creating change and encouraging growth within the specific sub-section you live in.
The state has shown that it is ineffective and will wilfully neglect the needs of its community. Community involvement is a key response to the failures of the state, and supporting its organisations and actions is essential.