"This MP for my constituency is not doing enough for my community"......."I hear the D.C.E is not even qualified"........"The government is not doing anything for us"......."That Assemblyman is too known"......."Is this district also part of Ghana?"............"What a bad road!.......Is the government aware of this?"............"I hear that Burger is so wicked....he sacked the community Keep Fit Club from using his private field".....
Have you heard someone or found yourself making some or all of the above statements before? Many a time, we discuss and ask questions about our community leaders and government's efforts at providing development projects in our communities, what most of us forget is that most of the developments start with us. Our little efforts directly or indirectly impact our communities and the people.
It is against this backdrop of enthusiastic voluntary self-help spirit, that the office of the Centre for Human Development & Social Change, (CHDSCGhana) is calling on all Ghanains to realise that it is very important for us to re-think of what and how to support our communities. For those of us living on the continent of Africa, we need to rekindle our interests in supporting the development and growth of our communities. This call is also for our Ghanaian Diaspora, that it is about time, they made their presence felt in their home communities. Ghana needs everyone's contributions.
The list below is culled from an online source on community building and on how to support one's community. Please Read, Share and Discuss them with your friends, the family and the community, Adapt it to make a positive impression, impact and social progress in your community, district, region and your country.
There are many ways that business people can support their communities. The following are some examples.
1. Offer your premises or site for a community group to use for its meetings/events
2. Loan equipment and machinery (and operators if necessary to community groups
3. Photocopy newsletters, flyers and other material for a community group
4. Contract a community group or its clients to do some of your work
5. Include a community group's mail in your company's mail outs
6. Mentor community groups with financial management, planning, marketing, public relations, computer technology, etc.
7. Make available traineeships to community groups working with unemployed youth
8. Employ older employees who have been retrenched from their jobs
9. Employ a person with a disability who is capable of undertaking work for your company
10. Provide work experience for students from local schools and universities
11. Join Rotary, Lions and other local clubs which support communities
12. Assist a community group to plan and run a major event
13. Advertise a community group's event in your shop window
14. Sponsor a community event such as a festival, display or annual celebration
15. Offer your goods and services at a discount rate to a community group
16. Administer the salaries of employees from a small community group
17. Use your business premises as a collection point for non-perishable food for a community group which supports people living in poverty
18. Encourage employees to contribute to the food bin
19. Allocate the proceeds from the sale of a particular product (maybe specially labelled) to a community group or cause
20. Pass on obsolete equipment (but still in working order) to community groups
21. Offer reduced labour costs for repairing or maintaining a community group's equipment and machinery
22. Provide scholarships or subsidies to community groups so that their clients or workers can participate in essential training, workshops and conferences
23. Sponsor disadvantaged children to participate in sporting activities, camps and school excursions
24. Provide in-kind or at reduced prices goods for raffles, fetes and other fundraising activities
25. Provide surplus stock either at reduced cost or no cost to community groups which may be able to sell it or use it themselves
26. Promote a particular community group or cause using your company's marketing or media resources
27. Employees with particular expertise in management, financial or legal matters can advise or join community groups' committees
28. Construct and maintain a website for a community group
29. Use your shop window, office wall, signage, company vehicle or stationery to highlight a particular community issue or cause
30. Provide a commission to a community group which refers customers to your business
31. Adopt a reserve or an environmentally fragile area and contribute to or take responsibility for its upkeep
32. Provide a storage area for a community group for its equipment or goods
33. Sponsor community or school awards
34.Share your business networks with community groups
35. Encourage other companies to support their communities
26. Use your influence and contacts to advocate with government or businesses to support a 3ommunity cause
37. Assist a community group with its application for government or philanthropic trust funding
38. Provide a community group with training sessions in management
39. Assist a community group to recruit staff
40. Assign an employee for a specified period of time to a community group to undertake a task or project
41. Assist a community group to develop policies and procedures for its services, activities and projects
42. Place a fundraising collection tin, badges, ribbons, lollies or raffle tickets on your shop counter, reception area or staff room
43. Recycle or re-use as much of your company's waste as possible
44. Allow your staff to participate as volunteers regularly or once a year for a community group or cause
45. Conduct an in-house fundraising event with proceeds going to a local community group or cause
46. Introduce a voluntary staff salary deduction scheme with the proceeds going to a community cause
47. Provide a small percentage of the sale of your goods and services for a community group or cause
48. Collaborate with other companies to work on community projects
49. Educate your employees about community issues by inviting an informed representative from a community group to speak about local issues
50. Include the costs of supporting your community in your company's budget.
Thanks for reading. We are pleased that you have taken the decision to support your community. Please adapt the suggestions to suit your community's needs. We believe that when we all have that sense of commitment towards our community's needs and challenges, and do something in our own small ways, we will not only be performing our civic duty but contribute immensely towards the development and social progress of our community and our dear country's democracy.
DO SOMETHING.........IT'S YOUR COMMUNITY.