When I learned about these different types of needs, I understood to a certain extent the resistance my father faced in his community development endeavors.
As much as I understand it, I am still puzzled as to why killing my dad and my brothers was the only cause of action for my community. I thank God for the protection He gave us. God knows I struggle to forgive as it is, I would’ve become a murderous maniac, had they succeeded to kill my family back then.
As much as we had fun with our youth groups doing beauty contests, ballroom dancing, sarafina, drummies,… At the back of our minds we were fully aware of the dangers and who were the instigators behind the scenes and their true motives, which haven’t changed by the way.
I am not so naive to believe that the people who wanted us dead in 1995 suddenly inquire about my little brother’s comings and goings for the fun of it. And if someone who hardly ever speaks to him, suddenly wants to know when he will be coming home, to the point of asking 2 different people, it looks suspicious. A red flag has been raised for me! 🚩
In community development, you are only as successful as the happiness level of your targeted beneficiaries. Unfortunately the number of schools, preschools, clinics, etc. you build is immaterial if the intended beneficiary doesn’t want them.
That’s why you find the community members vandalizing buildings, roadside trees and water taps. They feel no need for these and therefore they see no value in them, which makes destroying them easy.
“Nothing about us without us” is a concept that should help community development professionals and communities to work well together, but does it really work?