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Community projects around the world play an important role in the development of society, ranging from social enterprises in some of the poorest rural areas of the globe, to projects designed to enhance quality of life for the more vulnerable members of society in any country or region. Local community involvement ensures that the needs of all stakeholders are considered and met to the best of the project manager’s ability, creating outcomes that are advantageous to larger sectors of society.

As the founder of several community projects and social enterprises, Fiyaz Mughal understands the importance of getting involvement and support from as wide a demographic of the community as possible when embarking upon a new project. Fiyaz Mughal is the Founder of Tell MAMA, an organisation which supports victims of hate crimes aimed at those in the Muslim community and acts as a monitoring service for anti-Muslim incidents. Fiyaz Mughal is also the Founder and Director of Faith Matters, a conflict resolution vehicle working on innovative projects to bring together those of disparate faith communities. In the infographic attachment to this post you will find a brief overview of some of the main benefits of community projects.

Community Projects for Rural Development

Community development projects have been beneficial in many of the poorest rural areas of the world, creating new opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people. Projects range from the provision of vital healthcare facilities, to the development of human resources through the implementation of educational programmes tailored to meet the specific needs of a particular community. Financial, technical and advisory community agriculture projects have also been beneficial in many areas, improving farming methods and enhancing rural farmer’s abilities to make the most efficient use of the land available. Improvements in agriculture lead naturally to a boost in the local economy, with the knock-on effect that other sectors such as power and transport begin to see improvements as well.

Municipal Housing Projects 

Where housing projects for the homeless or other affordable housing schemes are being considered in any area, there are unique considerations that must be addressed through community involvement. Concerns such as the effect of the project on local house prices and increases in risk in terms of neighbourhood security and safety need to be sufficiently dealt with. All stakeholders and members of the community need to be identified in the initial stages of programme development, and interest and support for the project needs to be assessed early on. The results of community involvement can then be used to finalise preferred solutions, taking into account the concerns, requirements and ideas of all engaged members of the community.

Why is Community Engagement Important?

Fiyaz Mughal

There are many reasons why community engagement is important at all stages of any community development project in any area of the world. Where members of the community are actively involved in the development of a project, they feel good about the outcome of that project. Members of local communities are able to provide new views, ideas and local knowledge that planners or management of the project may not already have, bringing more information at the decision-making stages. More perspectives mean a higher likelihood of a project that, once finalised, will benefit a higher proportion of the community. Effective community engagement has been proven to result in better outcomes for stakeholders, lower project costs and a greater sense of community ownership.

Local Community Project Ideas

Projects such as municipal housing, education programmes for rural areas and improvements to healthcare provision need to be implemented by those with the appropriate resources, qualifications, knowledge and finance. However, there are hundreds of ideas for projects that you could implement in your own local community to improve the quality of life for some of the more vulnerable members of society at little to no cost, no matter where you live. You can bring about real change on a smaller, more intimate level simply by offering your time in an organised way to help others feel better, become more active or simply find some company.

Individuals can help protect the environment in small ways, such as choosing to walk instead of taking the car when possible, or picking up litter from public spaces. Volunteering to spend an hour or two each week helping around the house or garden for elderly or disabled people who struggle to manage themselves, donating food or serving meals to the homeless, volunteering at a local animal shelter, or organising a fund-raising event for community facilities such as playground equipment are just a few examples of community projects you could get involved with. In the PDF attachment to this post you can find a more comprehensive list of ideas for projects you could implement or get involved with to enhance the quality of life for many members of your own local community.

Community projects can be big or small. They can be implemented in developing countries, or used to help vulnerable people in developed nations. No matter what type, size or shape of community project you choose to get involved in, the facts show that community engagement improves lives in every region of the world.