I believe strongly in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) as a powerful way forward for communities. I’ve written about this invaluable approach in three blogs on this website:
Community Building: ‘Mental health is not a product of pharmacology or a service that can be singularly provided by an institution: it is a condition that is more determined by our community assets than our medication or access to professional interventions more generally. There are functions that only people living in families and communities can perform to promote mental health and wellbeing…’ Cormac Russell, Nurture Development
Sustainable Community Development: From What’s Wrong to What’s Strong – Cormac Russell: ABCD focuses on a community’s assets, capacities and abilities. Historical evidence indicates that significant community development takes places only when local community people are committed to investing in themselves and their resources. Communities are built bottom-up, not top-down.
Community Capacities & Community Necessities: ‘We are striving to live in a democracy. A democracy is a politics that gives us the freedom to create our vision and the power to make that vision come true. We strive to be citizens: people with the vision and the power to create our own way, a culture of community capacity, connection and care.’
In this blog, I want to introduce to a great resource for those working with, or considering working with, the ABCD approach: the Nurture Development website, first set up by Cormac Russell. The website provides access to ABCD resources, reports, blogs of interest, and information on research & evaluation, consultancy services and learning development. There is an introductory one minute video from Cormac Russell, which is well worth a watch. Cormac has also written a fascinating and highly informative book, Rekindling Democracy, A Professional’s Guide To Working In Citizen Space.
I will be focusing more on ABCD in future posts on our Healing Blog. I just also point out that we are currently in the early stages of planning an ABCD project with the community of Kojonup, which is primarily focused on children and will be strongly linked to the story of Carrolup and related themes. As some of you will know, Kojonup is one of the two towns closest to Carrolup.
This potential collaboration is being developed following an initial meeting two weeks ago with Lisa Martello-Hart, an author/illustrator of children’s books. I have been talking daily with Lisa since that initial meeting, and she has been talking with community members.
John and I will be giving a talk in Kojonup (at Kodja Place) on the 29th of October, in which we will describe how the story of Carrolup and its related themes can be used, along with the ABCD approach, to improve connectedness and the wellbeing of children and their families in Kojonup and surrounding areas. A big thanks to Trevor Garland for helping connecting Lisa with John and I. I’ve been so impressed by Lisa’s passion, insight and inspiration.
I’ll leave you with an important video from Cormac Russell in which he talks about the benefits of the ABCD approach.