COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

The elimination of extreme poverty will be driven not by governments, international institutions, corporations, or donors. It will happen at the local level, powered by the communities themselves.

Catalyst for change

The elimination of extreme poverty will be driven not by governments, international institutions, corporations, or donors.  It will be achieved at the local level, powered by the communities themselves.  We have learned over the course of nearly five decades that this is an essential truth of both emergency response and long-term development work.

In the countries where we work, we design programs in collaboration with communities, with the ultimate objective of handing them over fully. This holds true whether we are formulating an emergency response or confronting chronic poverty.

We respect local social structures and culture, and seek out the involvement of community leaders, as well as a prominent voice for women. From there we help build strong networks that include local civil society organizations and operational partners. To further ensure that the changes made in communities are sustained, we work with governments at the local and national levels to guarantee the poorest are heard, their rights are guaranteed, and resulting policy is development-focused.

For Concern, the concept of “community” means not only the men, women and children we work with at the village or neighborhood level. It also means a global community of nearly 3,000 staff members, 90% of whom are working in their home countries, as well as a vast network of supporters, donors, and partners. Together, we are working toward the elimination of extreme poverty, gaining strength from our numbers and our shared values.