19.5.1  Community relations

Community relations are those methods and activities that you undertake to establish and promote a setting that is conducive to good relationships, and which create a strong bond with the community. Your methods of communication with communities typically involve a series of local meetings, but can also include special events and wider community meetings (Figure 19.6). The community members are central to all parts of the Health Extension Programme. If you are not involving the community the Health Extension Programme will fail (Box 19.2).

A large community meeting.
Figure 19.6  Typically, community mobilisation will involve a series of community meetings. (Photo: Basiro Davey)

Box 19.2  Working with the community

  • Go to the community
  • Love with them
  • Live with them
  • Learn from them
  • Link your knowledge with them
  • Start with what they have
  • When you finish your job, the people will say we did it all by ourselves. (Adapted from the words of the Ancient Chinese philosopher and teacher, Lao Tsu.)

19.5  Techniques to involve a community

19.5.2  Effective networking