‘Helping people to help themselves’ is the slogan for my business as well as being my professional mission statement. My background is in nursing and I still use many of the skills that I developed over the course of my nursing career, i.e. communication, interpersonal, adult education, organizational, and planning skills. I’ve worked with many not for profit, governmental and non-governmental organizations, in a variety of capacities and have learned a great deal about grassroots movements and community mobilization from my experiences with them. I use a strengths based approach to my work with communities which means that when I begin work with a group or a community, I start with assessing their strengths, assets, and resources, and then facilitate visioning, goal setting, strategy development and action or implementation planning processes for them, and generally supporting and assisting them with ‘helping themselves’.
Community education provides community based lifelong learning opportunities, values diversity (i.e. age, ability, literacy and education levels, ethnic background, nationality, and other cultural characteristics) and inclusiveness, and addresses local, community issues, interests and or concerns. It is based on the principles of self-determination; self-help; leadership development; bringing programs to where people live or work, in physical locations that are easily accessible; facilitates the establishment of close working relationships with other people, groups or organizations; recognizes that resources are interconnected and uses them to their fullest potential; mutual respect; inclusiveness; responsiveness; relevance; and lifelong learning.
Literacy skills are foundational and one of the basic survival skills required for people living in today’s age of information and technology.
Family literacy – is about literacy skills for the whole family as well as about the family learning together and helping each other to learn. I have been involved in family literacy, including adult basic literacy, for over 10 years.
Health literacy – is about being able to read, hear, and understand health information so that a person can make informed decisions about their health, their family’s health, about living healthy lifestyles, and about accessing health care as needed