From Day 0 of the crisis, when communities stood (albeit momentarily) at crossroads wondering how to respond, we saw a tremendous surge of energy and action as people started to find ways of ensuring those most at risk of the pandemic were supported. The first responders, those who were closest to community were not the institutions or services but local people, in community responding in a way that was organised, not professionalised.
We are continuing to see these self organised, community driven efforts proliferating across communities and with no sign of slowing down. But now, 6 weeks in, we are hearing stories of how groups are looking at ‘formalising’ their structures and how they can continue beyond the pandemic to support their communities. New friendships and relationships have been formed, new digital skills have been discovered and the ‘old way’ of living now seems like a distant memory to some.
But as we look beyond the pandemic, what lessons can we learn from the community driven response, and what relevance and role can community organising play both now and in the immediate term to support and strengthen the local action.
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