How would it feel to live in a thriving and harmonious community? A place where educational and employment opportunities abound. Your bank, supermarket, favorite restaurant, and post office are all within a 20-minute walk of your home. Health care is universal. Places of worship are plenty. Parks and recreational facilities fill with neighbors looking to connect and enjoy social activities. Residents work hand-in-hand with elected officials, and the safety of all is prioritized. While this may be a reality for some communities around the world it is not for all.
Due to various social, economic, and political disruptions, some communities must work harder to secure their basic needs all while striving to achieve a healthier quality of life.
There is hope. From dedicated community-based organizations to funders to government agencies that center equity an inclusion in there giving policies, communities are receiving support to build towards their goals.
Impactful solutions arise when communities have a voice in the decisions that impact their lives and are the drivers of the change they wish to see in their neighborhoods. Growth and sustainability are embedded in the fabric of a community when residents, funders, project managers, the public and private sectors work collaboratively, willing to walk the journey together.
As a social impact professional, I have worked alongside various communities on implementing their vision of success. From this experience, I have listened and learned how to be a more intentional development practitioner. This has led me to decenter my role, positioning myself more as a facilitator in a development project. One who implements, advocates, and stands with a community as a critical thought partner on their journey towards development.
While sustainable development does require time, energy, resources, and commitment from various stakeholders, it fosters collaboration, empowerment, and authentic relationships, the cornerstone of a thriving and harmonious community.
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