Figures correct as of February 2020.
Strong communities, where all members are able to participate and enjoy the benefits of inclusion, are in the best position to overcome the injustice of poverty.
Community building is at the heart of all projects supported by Tearfund Australia, with all other activities reliant on the strength of networks and relationships built across the community. Enabling all people to get involved in working for the benefit of their village, neighbourhood, or even refugee camp, is the most sustainable and enriching investment enabling them to overcome poverty.
The projects Tearfund supports draw people together in cooperative efforts for common benefit, enabling communities to take responsibility for their own development in a sustainable way. Priority is given to projects in which communities identify existing strengths and problems, aspirations and resources; define their own goals and strategies; plan, implement and manage project activities; and contribute to the costs involved (including contributions in kind).
When communities are strengthened to make the most of their own resources, manage their own development path, and include those who are most vulnerable, they can resist injustice and thrive for the future.
Tearfund is committed to the inclusion and representation of those who are vulnerable and those who are affected by the intersecting drivers of marginalisation and exclusion, including but not restricted to race, religion, ethnicity, indigeneity, disability, age, displacement, caste, gender, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, poverty, class, socio-economic status and political persuasion.
Community building means strong systems for cooperation. Self-help groups, whereby members gather regularly to learn, save money, and begin group activities, are often the foundation for connecting people; for some women this is the only time they leave their homes and find the support friends and neighbours. Training local people, including women, to take leadership positions on local councils builds the capacity of locals to responsibly manage their own development and monitor progress. Engaging communities with government systems can also enable them to campaign for their rights and access their citizens’ entitlements.
We believe that community-oriented work is at the heart of sustainability for the work of Christian aid organisations, because when communities are strengthened to make the most of their own resources, manage their own development path, and include those who are most vulnerable, they can resist injustice and thrive for the future.
"Previously, people with a disability were hidden. Now it has changed through these interventions. Now they are involved and valued in the community. They are involved in community groups and social activities."
– Punya Prashad Pokharel