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Community and Health Psychology

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Words 968
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Anisa Abbas

22 July 2015

Student no

3618 863 8

Community & Health Psychology


Assignment 02


Community! “A group or network of people who are connected to each other by relatively durable social relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties and who mutually define that relationship as important to their social identity and social practice. They are a selforganized network of people with a common agenda or interest who come together by sharing ideas, information and other resources.”
Trichardt, a pocket sized town which claims a mere 25 square kilometers in the Gert Sibande district of the Mpumalanga Province has a total of four thousand residents. Our small town has a mixed racial make-up with more than half of the residents being of the white race group.
Recently a substantial amount of Asian/Indian families have settled into Trichardt. A possible reason for the influx would be that the location of the Masjid is easily accessible to the Muslim families. The Masjid is a point of gathering for the youth and male folk which also introduces and welcomes any new members into the community. In the past ten years of residing in
Trichardt, I have witnessed dozens of caring, sharing and selfless behaviors within our community. There are a few senior members of the community who take on a leadership role who drive projects for funding, feeding and assisting the less fortunate with basic necessities.
Their constant commitment and reminders encourage the rest of the community to serve a bigger cause by performing altruistic acts. Whenever there are projects big and small in our area and out of area we rise up, fundraise and provide any means of assistance. This is the world in which I reside, a small but sincere community, Trichardt!
Trichardt can easily be termed as a generous and charitable community who are ever ready to assist and support individuals, families and projects to uplift and provide relief. It is undoubtedly clear that Trichardt as a community has a huge heart but the member’s shortfall with the payment of the salaries of foreign workers and the unfair working conditions. These foreigners,
Malawians have come to our town in pursuit of improved working conditions and mostly for increased salaries. Many of them have uprooted their entire family from Malawi in hope for a better future. Malawi has no little to offer in terms of income, education and health systems.
However, the menial salary which they receive cannot afford them to move beyond their current situation of border line poverty. Whilst the salary may be menial, they workers are more than desperate for an income thus they have little if not no options to accepts whatever wage they have been given.
The concern for low salary and poor working conditions brings about the topic of discussion. In order to prevent poverty, it is crucial to recognize and fix the causes that create poverty itself.
People misrepresent factors as the actual causes of poverty, such as the lack of education, lack of opportunities and unemployment. The essence in the prevention of poverty lies in the fixing of causes which salary is part of and not in the fixing of factors that create poverty. Introducing preventative measures would assist the foreigners to an improved lifestyle.

Preventative measures could include an unspoken rule amongst business to have a minimum salary in accordance to the type of work. Any work being done after hours should be fairly compensated. Most of the workers work under strict conditions and are bound to lengthy hours.
This round the clock work leaves them with minimum time for personal and family time. Their lack of education and poor language skills engenders a disadvantage for them in comparison to the fellow South African co-workers who are able to oppose disapproving working conditions.
One of the ways in which the community can encourage the underprivileged workers to improve their lifestyle is be means of empowerment. Empowerment refers to the process of enabling communities to increase control over their lives. It is the process by which people gain control over the factors and decisions that shape their lives. Enabling" implies that people cannot "be empowered" by others; they can only empower themselves by acquiring more of power's different forms. It recognizes that if some people are going to be empowered, then others will be sharing their existing power.
Communication plays a vital role in ensuring community empowerment. Participatory approaches in communication that encourage discussion and debate result in increased knowledge and awareness, and a higher level of critical thinking. One of the battles which the workers have is their lack of communication skills. It would be beneficial for the foreigner to more exposure to the commonly spoken English language.

To create change we must change individually to enable us to become partners in solving the complex issues facing us. In collaborations based on mutual respect, diverse perspectives, and a developing vision, people work toward creative and realistic solutions. This synthesis of individual and collective change is our understanding of an empowerment process. As a community we should see the individual and collective understanding of empowerment as crucial in programs with empowerment as a goal. It is in the critical transition, or interconnection, between the individual and the communal or social that programs can be invaluable for people and communities. The focus is can be on the connection between individual action and community action, encouraging individual change through training sessions and discussions, and supporting community action through participants' efforts to change their communities. While we cannot give people power and we cannot make them
"empowered," we can provide the opportunities, resources and support that they need to become involved themselves.

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