6 Ways You Can Empower People in Your Community

Over time, community empowerment has enabled people to play an active role in the decisions that affect their environment and also aided them to gain control over their lives.

This is because people understand their needs better than anyone else and as a result should have the power to define and act upon them.

Communities consist of groups of people sharing common interests, concerns or identities, therefore, community empowerment is more than the involvement, participation or engagement of communities. It implies community ownership and action that aims at social and political change.

Although, when we hear the word ‘empowerment’, we often picture massive food drives, numerous sponsors or skill acquisition programmes. While these notions are not wrong, they are often cost-intensive and not attainable for individuals looking to make a mark in their little way.

However, here are five cost-effective steps you can take today to empower someone in your community:

1. Mentoring: Mentoring is the perfect way to grow a community and bridge the gap between generations. You could start with one person and teach them practical life skills that will help them follow their passions.

2. Patronize your neighbourhood business: By patronizing these businesses, you provide a source of income for the families of their owners and help them stay in business. Besides, the money you invest in a neighbourhood business is often reinvested in your community because owners will purchase from similar businesses. This helps to improve the quality of life in your community.

3. Volunteer: Volunteer in any capacity, whether it is to teach in your community school or to clean out clogged drainage in your area. This is one sure way to make an impact in your community.

4. Organize interactive events for the community: Events are an effective way to connect people and hosting community events can foster unity or become an avenue to celebrate the shining stars in your community. To make sure this is cost-effective, ask each person to bring along something or ask local shops to provide their services at a discount.

5. Teach a skill you have: Teaching a skill you already have is a cost-effective way to build people, particularly if it is a skill one can easily monetise. Do you know graphic design, sewing, photography, driving, make-up artistry? You can gather some people and teach them.

6. Be a giver: Finally and perhaps more importantly, be a giver. The best way you can empower people is to be generous without expecting anything in return. Lend a hand whenever it is needed and let people know that they can count on you.

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