An example of community engagement - Essay Example

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Community engagement is a process by which people living in a proximate geographical location, harboring similar interests, or in a similar situation, work together to address issues that affect their welfare (Fawcett et al, 1995). Community engagement entails partnerships and…
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Community Engagement Community Engagement Community engagement is a process by which people living in a proximate geographical location, harboring similar interests, or in a similar situation, work together to address issues that affect their welfare (Fawcett et al, 1995). Community engagement entails partnerships and coalitions that aid to marshal resources and influence systems, modify relationships among partners, and act as a vehicle for altering policies, programs, and practices (Fawcett et al, 1995). All over the world, the internet offers a myriad of examples in which the principles of community engagement have been applied to attain positive results in different communities and contexts. However, for purposes of this paper, the example that is going to be given emphasis is a case study of Ethiopian youth participation in a national HIV/Aids program. The project had the objective of planning the actions needed to address the menace of HIV/AIDS (Communities Scotland, 2012).
The initiative employed a participatory, learning and action paradigm with 51 young people being chosen to facilitate the process. They then identified youth groups and networks in every region and held workshops and interviews. After this was accomplished, three-day long National Youth Conference was held, in which volunteer participants attend the event. The Youth Charter was launched on a one-day event (Communities Scotland, 2012). This example of community engagement had a number of strengths. To begin with, the approach created youth ownership of the process. In addition, it developed knowledgeable, vigorous youth stakeholders in the realm of sexual health. It also built youth capability to act in response to HIV/AIDS in an effective manner (Communities Scotland, 2012). Despite these strengths of the initiative, the project had a number of limitations. For instance, it required a lot of time, and this may be a limiting factor because many youths may be busy with studies. In addition, support from experts in the field of sexual health would also have been a welcoming idea, but appeared to be lacking in the project
Communities Scotland. (2012). Youth participation in a national campaign: involvement in the HIV/AIDS program in Ethiopia. Retrieved on 4th May, 2012 from s_019542.hcsp
Fawcett, S. B et al. (1995). Using empowerment theory in collaborative partnership for community health and development. American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 23 issue no. 5, pp. 677-697. Read More
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