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Mining Deep, Scaling Heights, Session: When Community Gets Real

In this session “When Community Gets Real” held on 11 August 2017, a team of social service practitioners and members from South Central Community Family Service Centre share their approach to community work, including its components and platforms to facilitate relationship building and to promote responsibility and ownership. The aim of this session is to evoke participants’ curiosity towards the strengths within their community, and encourage them to mobilise those assets for community development.

Speakers – a team of social service practitioners and members from South Central Community Family Service Centre (FSC):

1. Faridah – an engaging facilitator who is skilled in cooking and handicraft

2. Elisa – A former nurse who is currently pursuing photography

3. Azizah – A connector in the community who has the heart for seniors and is gifted in cooking and baking

4. Adriana, Chi Hoon, Esther, Mark, Seow Ling, who believe in the power of community, that everyone cares about something, and has gifts to contribute for the betterment of the community

Designations as of 11 August 2017.


Building Blocks of a Community

  • Social connectedness – knowing your neighbours
    • Social connectedness enables individuals to be more aware of the resources available within their neighbourhood and community. This encourages community members to leverage on one another’s strengths and assets, rather than depending solely on social service practitioners for resources.

Approaches to Building a Community

  • Assets-Based Community Driven Development (ABCD)
    • Builds on assets that are already in the community
    • Views the community based on its resources and strengths rather than its needs and lacks (seeing the cup as half-full rather than as half-empty)
    • Mobilises individuals, associations and institutions to come together to build on their assets, rather than concentrate on their needs
  • Restorative Practice (RP)
    • Seeks to facilitate empowerment and ownership
    • Works with people – recognises individuals’ dignity and worth to establish, strengthen, and/or restore social equality in relationships through collaborative learning and decision making

Benefits of Community Work

  • Bridges and connects clients with others from the community, which enhances their well-being and initial support
  • Encourages clients to share the community’s resources
  • Moves clients away from reliance, as they now contribute their efforts and resources to the community as well
  • Builds clients’ sense of ownership for the community

South Central Community Family Service Centre’s Approaches to Community Building

  • Community Walk – Outreach, and profile assets within the neighbourhood
  • Asset Matching – Build connectedness among community members (bonding and bridging by meeting each other’s needs)
  • Bumping Space – Allocate spaces for building relationships, and for identifying community leaders
  • Goodwill ExchangeBuild community sustainability through receiving and giving
  • Community Garden – Build ownership through common interests
  • Community Kitchen – Build connectedness among individuals
  • Community Conversations – Help people understand the impacts of their actions

Looking Forward

  • How do we sustain community interest groups?
  • How do we further multiply the community?