MOTIVATING CHANGE

Who are the most important people in helping communities make changes that improve their quality of life? This is one of the most vital questions for anyone working in development. Is it the development worker, the church leader, the extension agent, the foreign donor, the local chief or leader, the Mothers Union leader, the health worker or the government expert? Or is it someone less obvious within the community itself – someone, perhaps, with no formal role who plays a key part in helping their community promote and manage change?

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 43 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 43 click here (961K).


  • Bible study: The role of churches in development

    The role of churches in development In this Bible story from Matthew 14:13-21, Jesus gives lessons in development to his Church, and he chooses to do it through a miracle. Jesus shows himself as a facilitator, using appropriate methods to share ideas. This story could be seen as a lesson on development given by Jesus to his disciples. A good development worker must know how to teach, using educational material like Jesus did.

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  • Community grain banks

    Following community discussions in 1989, people in Ekwendeni identified a lack of food security as a major problem affecting the whole community, particularly during the rainy season when food can be hard to find. After a number of meetings and discussions, grain banks were established in 1992. Each bank is managed by a committee of ten local people, eight of whom are women! They receive no outside support. During harvest time, people need money in exchange for their maize. During the rainy ...

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  • Editorial

    Helping communities change Who are the most important people in helping communities make changes that improve their quality of life? This is one of the most vital questions for anyone working in development. Is it the development worker, the church leader, the extension agent, the foreign donor, the local chief or leader, the Mothers Union leader, the health worker or the government expert? Or is it someone less obvious within the community itself – someone, perhaps, with no formal role who ...

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  • Encouraging change and learning

    Advice from some successful groups Put the trainees’ needs first In Uganda the Community Based Health Care Association (UCBHCA) has found that the way training is organised and conducted is very important. They give first priority to making sure the training is relevant to the needs of their trainees, participatory and appropriate for adult learners. They believe that their training is a model for the way in which trainees will, in turn, share what they learn. Their facilitators are therefore ...

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  • Letters

    Cassava (manioc) leaves Cassava is a common crop here in Kenya, grown for the starchy edible roots. I have learnt from a medical book that cassava leaves are edible and contain seven times more protein and more vitamins than the roots. However, we have no tradition of eating the leaves as food. Is this really true? Joel M Taiti, PO Box 236, Makueni, Kenya.

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  • Library improvements

    In Footsteps 37 you had an article on ‘building up your library’. The design shown could be improved by adding bricks under the bottom shelf in case water seeps in, so the bricks – not the books – would be damaged. I also recommend from experience, tilting the library at a slight angle towards the wall. Then if a child decides to climb it, the bookcase will fall inward rather than outward.

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  • New banana hybrids

    Severe disease problems on bananas worldwide are making it increasingly difficult for smaller producers to continue cultivating this crop. An enthusiastic banana specialist has dedicated his life to working on producing excellent quality bananas, aimed at improving production and disease resistance for small banana producers. Now, five new hybrid plants are available from Honduras. They are all semi-dwarf, resistant to nematodes and most common diseases and are very productive:

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  • Planning a training programme

    by João Martinez da Cruz. PRAIDS, an organisation dedicated to the care of people with HIV/AIDS in São Paulo, Brazil, realised that their management staff, workers and volunteers needed help to carry out their jobs adequately and to achieve all that was expected of them. For example, the workers expected management staff to deal effectively and efficiently with any problems facing the organisation on their behalf.

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  • Resources

    Permaculture: A Sustainable Way of Farming by Stephen Mann Photocopies of this booklet describing the thinking behind the need to introduce sustainable agricultural practices, together with many ideas about how to practise permaculture, are available from the Footsteps office. The booklet is based on the work of the Fambidzanai Permaculture Centre in Zimbabwe and reprinted in memory of Stephen (who sadly died in 1998, aged 28).

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  • The Beehive Model for team building

    by Chiku Malunga. This article introduces ‘the Beehive Model’ of team building. It compares the work of teams with the way bees behave in a hive. It may help to raise awareness and understanding within organisations and community groups about the importance of using teams and of what makes a successful team. It may also provide ideas for looking at how existing teams perform.

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  • The role of volunteer motivators in development

    by Dennis and Meredith Murnyak. The Fish Farming Project is a training and extension programme in northern Tanzania begun in l984 as part of the holistic ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT). It promotes and teaches basic techniques on raising tilapia fish in ponds dug in earth. The project focuses on working with subsistence farmers to raise fish as food for their families and for sale to increase their income. However, their ideas for training could be used in many ...

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  • Visual Aids for Training

    Flipcharts Flipcharts are series of posters used to teach small groups about a particular subject. Each main idea is shown on a poster. Their use makes teaching much easier, as each poster reminds the trainer of all the important points. Posters should be made on good quality paper so that they will last a long time. Sheets of coloured plastic (such as the yellow plastic often used to dry coffee) can be cut up. This will allow trainees to copy posters to make up their own flipcharts.

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  • Why do poor people want computers?

    When Rodrigo Baggio first began talking about starting computer schools in the favelas or shanty towns of Rio de Janeiro, people told him computers weren’t for the poor, but for the middle classes.

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