|The Community Builders: A Practical Guide where People Matter (GTZ, 1989)|
To the people of Lesotho I owe a great debt of gratitude. It is
they who made this book possible by demonstrating for me that an alternative
approach to community building existed and was of immediate necessity. In so
doing they re-trained me as a Community Builder. A number of individuals also
made particular contributions without which I would not have been able to
visualize the full implications of what is in this book. Many were clients as
well as colleagues, who, by sharing their vision with me, provided unfailing
support and encouragement in times of difficulty. I can name but a few of all
these people here.
Of exceptional influence were the people living and working in Lesotho's first housing co-operative, Mohalalitoe; colleagues and local women of the children's village at Qhalasi; people and staff of the rural Mission hospitals and village clinics; members of our Building Brigade; and ordinary people of Lesotho who warmly and openly invited me into their homes. I thank them all from my heart for what they made possible. Likewise I thank the people of Central and East Africa whom I subsequently worked with and came to know.
Individually I am indebted to Fr Patrick Makane, the first local person to achieve fifty years ordination. Fr Pat, as he became known, showed me how to build in a village using local skills, and demonstrated how ordinary people should be involved in the development process. He died in April 1985 and, I believe, rests in heaven.
To Jim and Joan Stewart, co-founders of 'Transformation' working for peace and reconciliation in Southern Africa. We shared our experience from the start, something
that was still evolving at the time of their untimely death in April 1984. Their influence can most clearly be seen in Section D4. To Dr Rein Verhage with whom I worked as a colleague in community health care. It is he who pointed out to me the possibility of an alternative professional approach, just as he had found in preventive medicine. To the SPB sisters of Lesotho whose exceptional sensitivity and understanding of building communities provided a constant source of guidance. To Patrick Stuart who, in adapting his skills as an accountant to the needs of community based projects, provided the inspiration for many of the recommendations in this book.
To Trocaire (The Catholic Agency for World Development) in Dublin, Ireland, who provided financial assistance when I first set out to write this book. To ICCO (The Interchurch Co-ordinating Committee for Development Projects), the Dutch funding organization who first demonstrated to me how the responsibility of a donor went far beyond the mere provision of funding, and that an alternative and more constructive approach did exist. To Hannah Schrecken-bach of GATE (The German Appropriate Technology Exchange at GTZ), without whose exceptional foresight this book might not have become a reality.
Also to Futhi, who participated with me in some of the health care projects in Lesotho' and who has continued to provide a constant source of reference. Last but not least, to my mother who has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration throughout the time it has taken to write this book.
To all these people I express my heartfelt gratitude.
This book is dedicated to all the people of Lesotho especially Fr
Patrick Makane who demonstrated to me the possibility of an alternative and more
caring way of life.
How to use this Guide
1. Read the story as an illustration of how to approach community building;
2. Extract just what you need to obtain specific advice;
3. Refer to the guide page by page as the job proceeds.
Questions to ask ourselves: Is everyone truly involved? Are we proceeding too fast? Are we taking too much for granted? Do we think we know best? Are we proceeding without proper decision?
Place this practical guide where everyone can refer to it. Do not hesitate to ask the Community Builder to explain what you don't understand.
Check Box at the end of each section for the Project staff: Community Builder; and Funding Organization.
Control over progress
Progress is reviewed at each stage of the job, by each of us according to our responsibility and interest. The Project Executive knows that, having approved CHECK A, their next review of progress will take place at CHECK B. Likewise the funding organization knows what to expect' and when, with each SUBMISSION. The Community Builder has the stage COMPLETIONs set-out, and the BUDGET reporting is presented in clearly defined stages.