About Community Development
Community Development or community work is a long-acknowledged approach to addressing poverty, social exclusion, and inequality. Ireland has a long established and vibrant community work sector with Community Centres and NGO’s across Ireland and the world adopt a distinctive approach to tacking issues such as marginalisation, poverty and exclusion. Community work has been and remains a critical feature of the work to achieve equality for migrant communities, refugees, asylum seekers, Travellers and others. A Community Development approach is adopted in the fight for human and social rights for everyone in the context of issues such as racism, xenophobia, exclusion and marginalization.
Responding to the ever-changing needs of communities requires consultation, teamwork, creativity, and the development of programmes which aim to empower and include. Mechanisms and processes need to be in place to ensure that programmes/projects that are implemented are developed under a Community Development Framework.
Through our undergraduate programmes, we have established strong links with community groups and have worked with several community groups on a variety of community projects. Since 2017, Carlow College Students and Community Partners have come together to commemorate the lost lives of the Rohingya and to celebrate Rohingya resettlement in Carlow.
The Syrian, Rohingya Refugee and other migrant communities were part of the ‘Human Rights – Our Worlds, Our Stories’ project in 2020. Students and lecturers have also taken part in ‘World Hijab Day’ and the ‘One Million Stars against Violence’ project’. A core aim of the programme is to promote an appreciation of the role of civil participation and the value of contributing to the enrichment of civil society.
The Social, Political and Community Studies Programme at Carlow College St Patrick’s will introduce a variety of modules which will provide students with knowledge, skills and competence to work in a range of community related areas. Many of the modules on offer are underpinned by the Community Development principles of collectivity, community empowerment, participation, social justice and sustainable development, human rights, equality and anti-discrimination. Modules include ‘Approaches to Working with Communities’, Community Concepts’, ‘Citizenship and Civil Society’, ‘Advocacy’, ‘Facilitation’, ‘Sociology’, ‘International Development’, ‘Negotiation and Peace Building’, Youth and Community’ and ‘Group Dynamics’.