The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Community Development: Verb or Noun?

The term Community Development has been with us for decades.  Surely, by now we would have an idea of what it is then.  Is it a verb, or is it a noun?  A verb is a word (or words) that describe an action, whereas a noun is a word (or words) that give a name to something.

Many definitions of Community Development emphasise its process nature.  They define Community Development as involving a community actively seeking solutions to concerns that the community itself identifies, using resources and skills that the community already has or is prepared to obtain.  From this perspective, Community Development can easily be understood as a verb.

If, then, Community Development is simply a verb and describes a process, then the term can quite easily be re-worded to become development of a community.  This understanding says nothing about the nature of the community that is developing, nor that of the society within which that community is located.

Such an understanding of Community Development or, developing a community, is of little assistance to a Community Development practitioner.  It gives no indication as to what sort of community the practitioner should work in, nor does it clearly identify the goal towards which the community is being developed.

Understood as a noun, however, helps to overcome these limitations.  Community Development as a noun announces a situation, a state, or a vision.  The noun that is Community Development often mentions equity, social justice, fairness, equal opportunity, sustainability and harmony – all naming a vision of a society different from the one we have.

So, is Community Development a verb or a noun?  It should be obvious that it is both.  The more so when we realise that the means (verb) by which we do something is inextricably woven into the ends (noun) that we seek.

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