The connections between the governments, citizens of the country and communities on a matter of policy and service issues are called Community engagement. The word community engagement denotes the integrate sharing of details and active participation of government and communities. Engagement can be direct or indirect. Effective community’s engagement facilitates citizens and the communities to understand the procedure which the government make and enables them to actively participate in the government process through the addition of skills, knowledge and confidence. The amount of participation the citizens involve on decision making increases depends on the level of engagement. But the authority of the final decision lies with the government.
I have been involved in Planet Aid UK. This project was implemented in 2010. I along with the Planet Aid UK engaged in the activity to supports the Zimbabwean community in Northampton in the course of engagement withthe Zimbabwe women of Northamptonshire. Food is the basic need for every society’s culture. A world wide trend are growing and consuming the local food. The main aim of this engagement is supporting local producer and nourishing biodiversity(Brown, 2011). Planet Aid UK and I was encouraging the youth of Zimbabwe to engage with their own community. Developing awareness of the social and cultural aspects of food and its genesis is the main focal point of the Planet Aid UK. We supported women’s youth group of Zimbabwe so that they could buy garden equipments for their allocation in 2011.(Harris, 2004)
Techniques used to engage with community
The Zimbabwean women teach the youth how growing their own vegetables are important. They introduced different art activities and plantation of trees along with their other activities which leads to the project become more popularity. In the year 2012 in winter Planet Aid UK, Zimbabwean women and I organised an event which was held in UK ‘Clothes For Trees’, to support DAPP Zimbabwe of planting 25000 trees which raised £5000 fund. In this event I had participated and lend my helping hand by planting trees with them. The first Zimbabwean youth summer camp was recognised in the summer in 2012. Planet Aid UK and I organised an art exhibition in a local museum with the theme of Beautiful Africa in the spring in 2013 to support the Zimbabwean community. Zimbabwean artists made different type of beautiful art pieces which made the whole community to proud of the origins they belong. (Smith, Williamson and Plec, 2010)
Planet Aid UK and I adopted some techniques in order to fulfil our objectives we had organised workshops, community meetings and local events.Stakeholders meetings and roundtables are organised by us.(Authors, 2013)A public seminar that is conversation with the public and city talkswas introduced, in which I had given a speech regarding Planet Aid community and its activities.Information regarding the activity and object of the community is given on the City of UK websites.A community and stakeholder reference group was introduced.(Eskerod and Jepsen, 2013)101 workshops and business forums, conduct surveys relating to a community satisfaction survey. We introduced customer service, neighbourhood service centres.
Organisation of workshops, community meetings and local events will help us to relate with public and the government. It will provide the opportunity to the citizen and government to share their views with us and it will invite the opinion from them to improve the services provided by us.
Stakeholders meeting and roundtables are organised because stakeholders help in decision making process. Stakeholders provides with valuable input so it is important that stakeholder meeting must be organised.
Public seminars that are conversation with the public and city talks are introduced. It helps to know about the situation of the citizen of the country, or their expectations, their views and suggestions regarding our community program. Conversation with the public is the only way by which we could know what the current situation is or how the program is working in their lives.
Information regarding the activity and object of our community is given on the UK websites. This is the best technique by which public could know about the project related work or what is the project all about and the interested people can also join the group.
A workshop in school must be organised by the community because through this workshop we can educate the people about the importance of growing their own food and importance of planting trees.(Holloway, 2014)
We had conducted the survey to know the numbers of people are satisfied with us or how much they are satisfied; this will helpus to launch new programs according to the requirement of the population. I was also involved in the fund raising activities of Planet Aid UK which includes clothes collection, sorting and sale of clothes and clothing bank manufacture.(Rosso and Tempel, 2003).
The economy will stay on top of the ladder. In this satge there is no depenmdence on the outsider. They are totaly indipendent. They grow their own food. At the the top of ladder Delegated Power and Citizen Control, have-not citizens obtain the majority of decision-making seats, or full managerial power.
Collection of clothes is one of the most important means of raising funds for Planet Aid UK. For the collection of used clothes and shoes we have our collection banks which are located in all over the UK. Moreover, for collection of clothes we have made a small community banks which are small containers that occupies less space and we can be placed it to any alternative locations.(Community Banks, Inc. (PA), 2007). All the clothing banks that are placed in many areas are emptied each and every day and the collected clothes are taken to our warehouse which is situated in Northamptonshire.(Posey, 2010). Through this activity recycling service is provided to the local community. This activity helps us to get the support of other people to support the development aid program organised for the poor people of the world.(Miller et al., 2015) Through this activity we came to know about the willing clothes users and it also provides employment to the people of Northampton and the developing countries. Our collection drivers are well trained so that they can take good care of the donations and they also keep the areas around the clothing bank neat and clean. The collection banks are maintained by our collection drivers.
The activity of fund raising also includes sorting and sale of clothes. We have our own sorting centre which is situated in Corby. The garments that are collected are divided into many qualitative categories that are sorted by our five experienced sorters with the aim of increasing their market value. I had also taken part in the sorting activity of Planet Aid UK by sorting some of the clothes with the experienced sorters of the Planet Aid UK. Clothes are packed into polyester bags and are sold it to Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. We have long-term customer s in Europe who believes that they would receive good quality products. Women high-heels and boots are packed separately and men shoes are packed into bags. Some clothes are donated to Development Aid to UK charity shops in Northampton and some unpaired shoes are sold in Europe.
Clothing Bank Manufacture is the third fundraising activity of the Planet Aid UK. After clothing collection, sorting and sale of clothes activities of Planet Aid clothing bank manufacture is another fund raising activity undertaken by us. Close to the Head Office of Planet Aid UK We have a small workshop in which we manufacture a community bank for our own use. Their one of the unique community bank is approximately one metre square is a new and more secure locking system and is suitable for those place which have limited amount of space. The purpose of placing this bank we supports local businesses, allowing other people like the citizens of the country to donate their clothes at their local shops. The community bank is manufactured only for the use of Planet Aid UK and is not provided for sale. 2/3rd of their experience workmen employ in the workshop who manufacture approximately 500 clothing banks per year. This production helps to raise funds for the projects in Africa and India. It is also a good learning environment for Development Instructors who works with the production of pumps in Africa. Their skills will be much appreciated.
The process of working collaboratively with community groups to address issues that affects the well-being of those groups is called community engagement. It is the process of developing relationships with community members who works side-by-side. Planet Aid UK is one of the examples of community engagement which aims at supporting Zimbabwean community in Northampton. Planet Aid UK wants to engage the youth of Zimbabwe with their own community. Development of awareness of the social and cultural aspects of food is the main paint of Planet Aid UK. On behalf of Planet Aid UK, Ix had adopted various techniques in order to fulfil the objectives. There are many methods and techniques are used in order to engage with the community. Planet Aid UK is also involved in fund raising activities. I had a great experience working with Planet Aid UK and learned a lot about the activities and the events they organise for the wellbeing of the society.
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