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Community development refers to the process of providing support and empowerment to members of a community. According to Chambers (2004), community development also entails giving self-confidence to marginalized and disadvantaged person in the community. In my view, community development involves encouraging people to actively participate in activities that would help them change their lives or situations, for example, through engagement in economic activities that would earn them some income, hence improving their living standards. Thus, a community worker must work very closely with members of that society as well as other professionals such as social workers, police officers, political leaders, rights activists and non-governmental organizations. Through community development, the worker is mandated to address the various challenges that a community faces and formulate possible solutions to undertake. Discuess below are some of the major roles that a person may undertake as a community development worker.

Recognition of Talents. As a community development worker, an individual should be able to identify, encourage and call upon various gifts and talents that members of the community have and are able to use in contributing positively towards the development of the community. For example, as a community development worker, a person should be able to support persons with disabilities that have specific talents that may help in developing the community.

Creation of Networks within the Community. As a community development worker, a person should be able to create and build mutual relationships and strong networks amongst members of the community (Waring & Waring 1999). In my view, this would help in uniting the community as a single body. The community development worker should also create, identify and support various opportunities that may exist within the society for the benefits of its members, for example, the community development worker may liaise with potential employers to encourage recruitment of youths in their organization. In this regards, the increasing rates of unemployment amongst youths may be reduced. Consequently, various social vices and crimes such as drug abuse, robberies and prostitution amongst the youth will be greatly reduced.

In addition, the community worker should also liaise with national and federal governments as well as other government agencies to ensure that various needs of the community such as adequate access to healthcare services, good infrastructure networks and adequate provision of educational services are met. This implies that the community development worker would act as a mediator that bridges the gap between national government and the community.

Through creation of adequate social networks within the society, a community development worker should secure strong independent relationships between members of the society, thus discouraging over dependency amongst them.

In addition to acting as an interface between the government and the community, community development workers should also facilitate coordination and implementation of various government programs or projects in the community. Community development workers may also advice the government on which projects to implement in particular societies.

Helping People with Disability. A community development worker should be able to promote and support as well as positively contribute towards the well-being of persons with disability. The community worker should also recognize and cheer the various contributions that such persons with disabilities often bring to their communities.

Increasing Productivity of the Community. As a community development worker, an individual is charged with the role of ensuring that the overall productivity of the community is increased. In my opinion, this would entail empowering all members of the community to contribute positively towards attaining various goals and objectives of the community, for example, increasing food production, ensuring high levels of security within the society as well as providing socio-economic and financial support to members of the community. Increasing productivity of the community would also ensure ultimate success of the society as a whole. The community development worker should also act as facilitator who is responsible for encouraging and sponsoring self-help within the community.

Responding to Enquiries from the Community. As a community development worker, an individual is responsible for responding to various enquiries or questions raised by members of the community in relation to community development and other aspects of the community (Bourdieu 1998). The community development worker would also disseminate and circulate information that he or she deems important for communal development. a community development worker should also be able to transfer skills to people through appropriate communication channels or training so as to enable them to effectively change their own lives.

Active Participation in Activities of the Community. In my opinion, as a community development worker, a person must ensure that he or she actively participates in various activities organized by the community, for example, development projects, cultural activities and peace building initiatives. Accordingly, the members of the community would thus view the community development workers as one of their own. This would also help in building strong relationship and ties with members of that particular community.

Watchdog for Human Rights. Community development workers may also act as activists who right for human rights. In my view, community development workers should ensure that the government or any other party does not violate the rights of the citizens. At the same time, they should also promote public awareness on various issues and policies adopted by the federal government and local authorities that may have adverse implications on the wellbeing of members of the society, for example, adoption of new laws governing public health, drug use or gun control strategies of the government.

Summary

In conclusion, I would urge that it is important for community development workers to have adequate knowledge about the communities they intend to serve. For example, he or she must have a comprehensive knowledge about the cultural activities, traditional values, beliefs and practices of that particular society. Moreover, he or she must have adequate knowledge about the socio-economic situation of the community.

Finally yet importantly, a community worker should be to learn from the community, have unquestionable levels of integrity, discipline and accountability. He or she must also possess various leadership and interpersonal skills that would enable him or her work harmoniously with members of the community. Working as community developer poses many challenges that a person must know how to effectively handle or deal with.

Code: Sample20

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