Communal effort or communal work is where the major goal is not personal but in the benefit of the community. The word Harambee appears in the Kenya coat of arms and translated this means ‘all pull together’ and there are many other translations for this word in many languanges and the importance of this concept is discussed.
The sum of what people can do together far outweighs what one can achieve individually and by embracing community effort, we can benefit individually too on many fronts.You acquire life skills and knowledge by engaging in community. Connecting and communicating with other individuals teaches us a lot about ourselves. We have an opportunity to grow from new experiences and we realise our strengths and weaknesses. We develop better interpersonal communication skills and learn how to share information in a more usable way. Being in different situations can help us discover hidden talents that may change our self worth. You may learn that you have good skills coping with a crisis or stressful situations. Perhaps you struggle to take charge and this experience helps develop skills in leadership, manage time better, work well with a team as well as finding solutions to real world problems with critical thinking.
Community work is a wonderful way to unite people from diverse backgrounds and be exposed to multiculturalism. We also become aware of issues like social injustice and dispelling stereotypes and as we understand our community, we learn to foster more empathy and self efficacy. As we build bonds of trust and generate social weaves, we are also creating strong support networks with camaraderie and teamwork. We learn about functions and operation of government and local resources that are available to solve community needs. We also save resources by leaving more money to be available for local improvements. Volunteer work sometimes provides services to those who need it the most.
Volunteering is a great way to find work that suits you best because by working in different projects where team players have different roles, you get a better picture of where your interests lie. Volunteer work also looks good on a resume as this shows employers that you are a team player and that you have experience in work related skills. You may even be able to network with future employers and make contacts.
When people work together towards a common goal for the benefit of the community, self esteem improves and these people are more likely to get involved in current events and local affairs. The psychological effects are numerous. Volunteers experience overall life satisfaction and feel good about themselves because of helping others. Community work decreases depression by interrupting usual tension-producing patterns and focusing on something other than oneself. Community is a strong support system for participants and often they can be physically healthy incorporating exercise like a beach or park cleanup. Moods like optimism, joy & control over ones fate strengthen the immune system. A human who tries to better himself and the planet earns the respect of those around.
It’s time we value creative co-operations and collaboration. Let’s produce, promote and protect social networks and by being active members in your community, you will have a long lasting positive effect on society at large