Leadership training among the Navajo men between ages 12 and 17 in the Shiprock Agency of the Navajo Nation Reservation.
A Note From the Researcher.
A comprehensive documentation of the needs and suggested solutions for any people group would probably fill volumes. This document is not, by any means, an attempt to address all the needs of the Navajo people but to identify specific leadership issues and present a possible solution in this area.
This project is an effort to contribute an organized leadership training program for young Navajo men. Its purpose is to train up young leaders who know Jesus Christ as Savior and friend and who will be able, honest, and wise leaders in every area of Navajo life. This project will take on several stages before completion: analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation and empowerment.
Community development is a process. Development is a long-term process of helping people to help themselves. It is said, “Give a man a fish and you will have fed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and you will have fed him for a lifetime”. This is the concept of community development–to empower people to care for and improve themselves.
In his book, Two Ears of Corn, Roland Bunch defined community development as “A process whereby people learn to take charge of their own lives and solve their own problems.” (1982). It is a development of attitude as well as resources. Bunch noted that poverty is often linked directly to mental attitudes more than actual physical situations (1982).
Community development includes many different areas: agriculture, economics, literacy, hygiene, and others. No matter what area in which the development is taking place it is important to remember that the purpose is to empower the people within their own society and culture so that changes are coming from within the culture and from the people, not merely because an outside influence is changing them.
In 1973 Dale Kietzman presented a definition of community development to the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). He said, “Community Development is the process of helping to strengthen a community (and its leadership) so that it can resolve, through its own initiative, the problems which face it” (Yost & Yost, 1999). Continue reading →
In the early 1980’s, a vision was born to establish a practical training center for Christian workers going to serve in developing regions of the world. In the late 1990’s I considered attending the HEART Institute in preparations for my missions and community development plans, but ended up taking a different route. While I’m glad I followed a different path to the mission field, I think H.E.A.R.T. can be a huge benefit for anyone planning on living in rural areas as part of community development and missions.