Community Engagement Learning – Workshop on organizing an inclusive community

On Wednesday, 09.10.2019. a lecture and workshop were held at the Study Center for Social Work. With that, the implementation of organizing an inclusive community began within the project “Academic service learning in the organization of an inclusive community”. Building on a previously developed curriculum for organizing an inclusive community and the program and work plan at the Community Center in Hrvatska Kostajnica, students from the course Social work in community organizing set off with preparations for community-based learning.

Students were introduced to the concept of community and community work, social work in community organization, and community mapping methods and tools. Results from previous activities were presented and showed a local community and social services and other activities in which the community can get involved. After that, they split into groups and selected their area of interest to conduct community research or mapping and design activities for community organizing, such as:

– persons with disabilities
– families in poverty
– young people in rural areas
– single-parent families.

The two groups will engage in policy analysis and prepare a virtual advocacy campaign (social media campaign) in the area of young people leaving from alternative care and the accessibility and efficiency of public transport as a precondition for making quality education available to all children.

Mentors were assigned to students who will accompany and assist them in preparation for community service with Community Center users, other users of social services and activities of RCT, and other stakeholders in the local community.

Students will go through 30 hours of community service learning with the support of 5 mentors from civil society organizations and teachers in the course. In practice, they will implement the key elements of the community organizing method which includes: development and implementation of community mapping methods, development, and implementation of local stakeholder analysis methods, development and implementation of methods of organizing inclusive actions in the community and gathering stakeholders, implementation of adequate methods of communication with the public and methods for evaluating inclusive actions. 

The activity is implemented as part of the project „Socially useful learning for organizing inclusive communities“ which is co-financed by the EU from the European Social Fund and the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.