COMMUNITY DRIVEN PROJECTS IN SHAPING THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW
An outreach Programme or social work is a program designed to help and encourage community members. At RDIAS, we educate our students about their social responsibility to their immediate community and encourage them to think beyond the narrow confines and reach out to connect compassionately with all as we raise their awareness and sensitivity to global issues.
Learning impacts the entire educational process and is thus viewed as a long-term developmental and crucial process to inform, change and transform people.
When launching community partnership projects or Community outreach and engagement programs, it becomes critical that all parties are treated equally, and both the communities and universities/colleges contribute to the intervention. A successful collaboration between higher education institutions and communities is founded on a shared philosophy, vision, and values. Community engagement must be integrated into higher education institutions’ pre-existing activities.
An outreach program must address specific critical needs of the target audience. The relative importance of a community’s needs can be assessed through formal means like surveys, workshops, series of activities, or other, less formal inputs through interaction with the community leaders, teachers, social workers, Etc.
Advantages of Outreach Programmes
- Outreach Programmes & Community engagement can be used in higher education institutions to improve and expand teaching and learn beyond the classroom.
- Students participate in activities that address local needs while developing and using their academic skills and learning in solving real-life societal issues and problems.
- Connecting discovery and learning to the real-world needs of a local and global community energizes both faculty and students. It connects colleges and universities to expertise and resources located outside of campus.
- Students’ personal development is aided by community-based projects, particularly in terms of self-esteem and social responsibility.
- It exposes students to the challenge of working with people from various diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ages; it encourages them to work under time constraints and be aware of life issues; and it leads them to address problems, the solutions to which are beyond their comprehension.
- Such programs create a link between students and local communities, their schools, and community organizations. As a result, outreach programs are critical in shaping students and future citizens and producing relevant and valuable knowledge.
- Community-based learning demonstrates to students that they can each make a difference in society. It boosts their sense of civic responsibility. The collective actions may not always be successful, but they teach students to learn from their own mistakes by engaging in a constant sequence of action and reflection.
If Students want to be part of this innovative practice of being a part of a solution rather than a problem, they want to be engaged in outreach community-based programs, learning by doing and helping, and reaching out to the needy and underprivileged in society. If all these motivate, then do look for such academic institutions involved in community services and are doing their part in being good citizens.
Assistant Professor, RDIAS