In recent years the idea of community has been highlighted as the glimmer of hopekeeping us all going through tough times. When the world begins to bend back intothe more familiar shape we’re used to, it’s often easy to overlook those thatsupported us through uncertainty. Sometimes we forget about the true importanceof communities, whether local or across the world. They often go unnoticed,ticking along as things do, silently helping one another and building bonds.
But one thing keeps us all connected and tied to this idea of community spirit – it’s away of life that’s been around since the dawn of time.
A Safe Space to Grow
But communities are so much more than a lifeline during times of crisis. They’reactive all year round. They help shape our individual identities, as well as that of thecollective.
The safe spaces inside our communities are where we can bond with other people,people that have different opinions, cultures and beliefs to our own. The beauty ofcommunity is that it can be characterised in any number of ways, you’re not solelybound by religious beliefs, location or education.
It is on this basis that within our own spaces, they help us define our sense of self andplace – essential for the change that helps us transformcultural and socialinstitutions over time. Ultimately, communities help us grow both as societies and aspeople.
Across the Globe
The wonderfully enchanting thing about communities is how they’re so differentacross cultures and continents. From the Miao embroiderers in China, whose craftand tales of traditional Miao songs are handed down from generation to generation.To the Dinka people from the banks of the Nile. A domesticated community, they’vetaught generations the importance of agriculture and pastoralism, using cattle forcultural demonstrations, dowries and milk feeding.
It’s not just ancient traditions like these that are kept alive amongst communitiesacross the globe. If we look close enough we can see all types of practices, in all partsof the world. For example, living in Punta Mona is anoff-the-grid farm and centre forsustainability and education. Located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge ofCosta Rica the local community teaches visitors each about permaculture, herbalism, yoga and art.
So what are the benefits of this sense of community, the valued part of our societies?Keeping it local means all over the globe people can support one another, makingsure no part of the tradition is forgotten – while looking to the future and embracing allthe beautiful change that comes with time.
Community Volunteering and You!
Now throughout this post, I hope I’ve been able to convey to you the beauty of localcommunities, whether down the road from your house or on the other side of theworld. But the real question. How do you expand your worldviews, visit othersocieties and learn their ways of life without feeling burdenous or intrusive? Theanswer is in bringing value, real tangible support to those you visit.
Here at WorkingAbroad we run a number of community and medical volunteeringprojects. They focus on health and sustainability, two pillars for a brighter future.Across these projects, we also offer chances to be involved in good work aroundwomen’s empowerment and education, specifically on conservationism and thevalue of ecology. So whether it’s a rural community volunteer project in Nepal or wildlife conservation and San Bushmencommunity work in Namibia, there’ssomething for you to find your passion in while helping others.
After all, it’s all about how we treat each other.