Social Mobilization

SALBWS utilises Social Mobilisation as the primary means of supporting rural men and women in their efforts to alleviate poverty. The essence of the process of social mobilisation is encouraging men and women to form a group, typically consisting of 20-25 members, known as a Community Organization (CO). Our experience shows that the CO is an important forum for empowering people to take an active role in the management of local development initiatives. By 'social' is meant on the basis of common ground for a common purpose. A 'mobilized' community is one that is able to identify its needs and find the resources necessary to meet those needs. Those resources may be their own savings or labour, or funds or information from a Line Department.

A CO is more than a collection of individuals: it is an entity comprising of members who work for the collective good of the community. A properly functioning CO has both social and economic 'value', thus in a position to contribute to alleviating poverty. On the social side, it brings people together to work for the common good. On the economic side, the CO functions as a conduit for the micro-credit that households use to generate income, and as a base for accumulating savings and putting those savings to work for community development. The CO also attracts funds for new activities, both through SALBWS and through the links it establishes with Government Departments and with the private/ corporate sector.

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