Capacity building for health

The capacity building approach is an acknowledgement that certain groups and communities have been or are in danger of being ‘left behind’ in our society and that they need to ‘catch up’. In making this acknowledgement, it implicitly endorses the value of equal opportunity and the desirability of greater social equity.

In its emphasis on participation and a more collaborative approach between different sectors

Communitarianism is again a vogue idea in policy discourse, but the goals pursued through associated programmes are often confused. Extravagant claims about strengthening communities, rebuilding social capital and addressing human needs in innovative ways proliferate. The state of Victoria boasts that such priorities are now at the heart of its approach to government. As evidence, it promotes one of its community building schemes as helping small communities take charge of their destinies, but a critical analysis reveals nothing of the kind. Alhough the programme supports the continued provision of low-key local services, it is just as much a frugal means to legitimate the state’s continuing commitment to economic fundamentalism.

Health Concerns

The focuse will be given on  around the question “What things are most important to me in terms of my health?” The main issues identified by  us  (a) quitting smoking, (b) healthy eating, (c) more volunteering and involvement in community life, (d) exercise/active lifestyle, and (e) access to sports and recreation activities. In all of the sessions, people highlighted how important the kitchen gatherings were for their mental health. Other aspects mentioned included a good social life, caring for older people, having regular checkups, laughter, meditation, being careful to prevent injuries, and knowledge and awareness.

Throughout the research, participants emphasized healthy eating as a priority, but it became clear that the social environment plays a strong role in defining eating habits and food choices.

With regard to health in the community (“What things are most important when we think about health in our communities?”), we have hearing   both the high number of “youth with problems” and vandalism as ongoing issues. Concerns about youth were mainly related to substance abuse problems. Arguments to explain substance abuse included easy access to drugs and alcohol in the neighborhood and lack of services to help people with addiction problems. The community center staff hope to counteract the problem through information sessions with local police and health authorities. Concerns over the health and isolation of some seniors were also expressed, remarking that seniors often find it too difficult “to cook just for themselves.” Community people  also discussed the need for outdoor and indoor spaces for physical activity and recreation:, but most participants have only taken short walks in the past, complaining that they suffer from “shortness of breath,” due to smoking and being overweight. When one of the youngest women in the group was vocal about her success in quitting “because of medical advice regarding lung problems,” a few others expressed a wish to stop smoking as well, which shows the relevance of local role models.

Things to be done

 hen prompted again to think of other community strengths, group participants highlighted needs instead, including (a) more personal commitment and community participation; (b) finding ways to help the community; (c) helping kids to stay in school, achieve higher education, and have better job opportunities; (d) knowing how to get a job or having more incentive for people to get off income support; (e) a new literacy program for all ages; (f) skills development for all ages; (g) supporting elders, youth, single parents, and minorities; (h) a neighborhood watch; (i) education for parents/policy support; (j) social outings and recreational activities for all ages; (k) home support for new mothers; (l) more involvement in community well-being from government, general population, and youth; (m) fighting against drugs and alcohol; and (n) implementing a community van or public transportation. Their lack of power to tackle these complex issues themselves was evident throughout the research..