By Mark Lundegren
Would you like to make your community a better place in which to live and more aligned with HumanaNatura’s ideal of progressive natural health?
If so, let me say that this is an important goal and worthy ambition. But I must also add that you will need help in this work. Progressive health and vitality in a community is a long-term and ranging endeavor, one requiring action on the part of all or many people within any community. It is a task you can begin but cannot achieve on your own.
In many ways, though, starting a community’s movement toward greater health is the hardest part. With time and just a bit of visibility and success, community interest and involvement naturally increases. We often steadily and unexpectedly find the resources we need to both address pressing health issues and then to begin an ongoing and self-reinforcing process of community health promotion.
But getting started, and finding early adopters and supporters, can be daunting at first. Fortunately, lessons from community activism outside the community health field, and from international development efforts in particular, provide a useful model you can use right away to jump-start your community health promotion process.
I came across a simple community mobilization model at a recent seminar, courtesy of Rafter Ferguson of Liberation Ecology, and think it applies well to communities of all shapes and sizes – especially ones in the early stages of utilizing HumanaNatura’s Community Health Program.
Finding Likely Supporters
As summarized in the graphic below, this model for finding likely community supporters asks us to consider three factors: 1) those people who are most local, 2) those who are most impacted or affected (in this case, by health related issues), and 3) people who are most organized already.