In addition to working alongside individual families, Operation Hope works with local communities to try and bring about transformational change. Community empowerment is a two pronged approach.
The first approach is through facilitation in discussions, meetings and eventually active participation of each community as they search for ways to make a changes for themselves. This may be as simple as bringing in outside experts into their communities to help them to learn the processes involved in how to get water (for example) to their community.
The second way is though education and training. Operation Hope has 10 volunteer Community Development Workers in the communities that have all been trained in the basics of Asset Based Community Development, where they look at what already exists in their community and how they can harness what they have for change.
Education and Training is also facilitated through our Sister Act program, our Small Change program (a small business skill development course) and our relationship with various carepoints, youth and a local school.
We are also working closely with a local school and the Swaziland Government to build 4 much needed classrooms. Some classes currently have over 100 children, making both learning and teaching very difficult.