We are happy to present to you this handbook of community transformation topics to be used by social workers engaged in serving the communities of North India. This book has come out of a felt need by many social workers, pastors, and community health education workers to have a simple guidebook which can be used for training a community on the included topics. The contents have been organized into a series of 5 categories: Health, Community, Moral Issues, Family and Lifestyle Issues. The information given is very basic and we have chosen a one page format for initial train-ing.
The goal is to help every member of a community to be aware of simple principles relating to the topics listed and improve the quality of their lives. The purpose of this book is not to give all of the details of each topic but rather our attempt is to help community workers to engage local commu-nities in dialogue and enable them to discuss the topics and find solutions to the listed issues. The topics are not arranged in any order of priority because each community will have different needs and priorities based on their locations.
There are 50 topics and their descriptions are given in a one page format with the following headers:
1. ) Objective of the Lesson:
2. ) Key Idea:
3. ) Description of the Problem:
4. ) Consequences of the Problem:
5. ) The Solutions
6. ) Discussion Questions:
7. ) Practical steps that can be taken by a community to address the issue:
Social workers are encouraged to identify and prioritize the problems in the community using a participatory method and using the most important topics for beginning initial discussions. At the end of this book, we have also given a few general rules of etiquette, proverbs and manners which can be taught to community members. Social workers are encouraged to gather people from the community, introduce a topic and share some initial ideas from the lessons. Social workers should be willing to let the group discuss the topic freely before giving any instructions or solutions. Many times, members in a specific community may have a better knowledge of the problem and be able to generate better solutions than an outsider would be able to. A few questions are given at the end of the lesson. These are aimed at helping the community start a dialogue about the problem at hand. Be sure to help the community to identity at least one or two practical steps that they can employ as a result of the session. When you meet with the community for a second time, make sure to follow up on the decisions that were made to solve the problems. Once you get the idea behind the dialogue, you can also consider discussing topics that are not listed in this book, but are problems that the community is currently facing. Do not stop with a one-time interaction, but continue to meet with the community and be involved until you see a transformation taking place in the specific area that is being discussed.