“Unity doesn’t mean sameness. It means oneness of purpose”, indeed the essence for Community Outreach program.
To illustrate, any community outreach program is to make people come together and enlighten their minds. In particular, any community outreach program targets the welfare of society as a whole as its objective. It enables people to be self-sufficient and improves their lives by creating awareness for the individuals and funding the basic needs of the families residing in the community.
So, what falls under the scope of community outreach programs?
1. Information for betterment
Any NGO highlighting issues especially the importance of education, gender equality, falls under the sphere of community reach program.
2. Initiatives against crime
1. When there is an awareness creation program against any crime, for instance, child labor, sexual abuse, etc.
2. Likewise, institutions that strive to help the people in underprivileged sectors of the society with food and shelter.
How to increase the effectiveness of any community outreach program?
1. Spreading the awareness
Firstly, developing a community reach program is to make more and more people in the community aware of the presence of the organization or the government that is conducting the program.
2. Community engagement
In order to enhance the emotional connect with the community that the organization is serving, there needs to be a variety of events in place to bring the community together and increase their bonding.
3. Listening to the needs
Having a community reach program is all about lending a helping hand to the community and in order to achieve that, we need to lend an ear to the needs and problems faced by the community as well. This can be done by reaching out to the families present in the community and asking them personally about what can be done to improve their society.
4. Being respectful in obtaining the information
While acquiring information, politeness and humility help as any information regarding the betterment of the program and the problems faced by the community need to be told by the people themselves without being forced. Forging trust with the community members and forming strong relationships are essential for expanding the program.
5. Using audio-visuals
Audio and video clips are easier to connect with an audience. For example, a set of audio-visuals in the language known to a community, the message will be delivered without much fuss.
Sounds simple enough to take care of, right? Now, how can we plan and implement a community reach program?
- Determining the number of volunteers needed
- Forming effective partnerships with other organizations
- Identifying locations to carry out tasks
- Expanding gradually on a zone by zone basis
- Fundraising by conducting various social activities
There is no single magic formula for making any community reach program succeed within a limited time of its initiation. Whatever works for one community may not work for the other. However, it can be confidently said that if we can try to imbibe and adopt a few ideas mentioned earlier in the passage, there is a very good chance that the program will effectively reach the desired community members.
With this in mind, “Coming together and uniting for a better cause is what community outreach programs are all about”.