- Community Organizing
Community organizing (CO) has been applied in Central and Eastern Europe for about 10 years, but only the last 4 years have seen its more intensive development, due to the actions of the European Community Organizing Network (ECON). In previous years, the network's members were trained in the application of the CO method mostly on the basis of good practices brought from the US. Transferring American or British experiences with the CO method to the Central and Eastern countries, with their unique cultural context and history, demands a special approach and adjustments to suit the local context. By comparing their community organizers' experiences, project partners from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and Slovakia will be able to arrive at common working standards in relatively similar cultural and social conditons.
A preliminary analysis of the needs of the community organizations has shown that currently their greatest need is support for organizers in the field of soft (social) skills. The project “European Community Organising School” answers this need, and taking the specific nature of the COs' work into consideration, aims at launching a platform for the exchange of good practices on the European level through cycle of trainings. It will later allow the partner organizations to introduce the best solutions to their everyday work. By using the acquired skills in their work, community organizers will be able to support the underprivileged groups - the indirect beneficiaries of the project - more efficiently.
One of the main elements of the project are trainings for the community organizers. It also envisages the e-learning platform that will be supplementary to the trainings. The platform will include two courses for community organizers (advanced level) and for everyone interested in starting their career as community organizer (basic level course).
We believe that platform will be important source of knowledge not only for direct project participants, but also for everyone interested in changing its local community through use of community organising method.