This powerful quote by Margaret Wheatley can be echoed by community development workers around the world through stories of communities transformed, having realised they have the resources to deal with their issues themselves.
Too often communities only discover what they care about after a tragedy or crisis. But, building community resilience is not about responding to a crisis; it is about creating a way of living that will prevent crises occurring or reduce their impact. It relies on a common ownership of the issues that threaten and the use of local resources to address them.
How does this translate to the context of modern slavery?
There are three main pillars in using community resilience to tackle modern slavery:
- strengthening modern slavery awareness across the whole community
- developing pathways for victim identification and support
- slavery proofing businesses and community projects.
The Clewer Initiative is founded on a community resilience approach - based on the belief that slavery can only be eliminated at a community level where relationships are strong and where individuals are looking out for their neighbours' welfare.
A common understanding of how modern slavery can be present in specific situations enables individuals to be protected and prevents them from falling into modern slavery by supporting them when they are at their most vulnerable.