Empowerment has its roots in participation. By participating in a group, people gain confidence, as well as a mature understanding of the issues and the commitment necessary to choose to do something as a group to improve their situation and the conditions around them.
“Participation” has different meanings to different people and organizations. For our projects, it means the farmers envision their futures, and plan and implement their projects. Members of the group “own” the project, and have control over all key decisions.
It also means all project participants are involved in planning and decision-making, leadership positions are rotated, all members attend meetings and trainings and participate actively, all members contribute to and participate in group activities, such as community projects, members take turns giving presentations at meetings in order to build public speaking skills, and community projects involve 100 percent participation of all households.
Full Participation In Action
Even though our group is large, we all realize we’re equally important and we all attend group activities. Laxmi Hamal, Sundar Bagaicha self-help group, Suntalabari village, Kaski, Nepal