Self-esteem building and the community organizing process

Self-esteem building is at the core of the community organizing process. Self-esteem building through community organizing is one of the diverse processes in the work for Peace and Development. Peace in the world cannot happen without social justice. Social justice is the priority of a society that takes seriously the concept of citizenship and the common good. Social justice can only happen when society as a whole recognizes and respects the role of the poor in the continuing flow of life in the human community. The attainment of social justice is a long process.Self-esteem building among the poor and powerless is a process that is at the heart of community organizing.

A community organizer, using issues as entry points to consciousness raising engages communities so that they are able to see that there are two concepts of peace in society. It's a pity that these two concepts are in perpetual conflict - peace at all cost and peace based on justice. While the former seeks to disempower the poor, the latter works to empower the poor. Peace based on justice cannot be viewed separately from self-esteem building. Because peace of the heart is the heart of peace, a wounded self-esteem will always cry for justice. Without a healthy self-esteem, society itself will not be a healthy organism. Power, that force that makes collective self-esteem possible, cannot be isolated from peace, social justice and social transformation. The healthy intertwining of the concepts of peace, social justice and social transformation is an aspect of self-esteem building and community organizing. People power is the high end of this healthy intertwining of what is mentioned above.

Power is supposed to be a neutral term but when you work for social justice, power of the poor is with a capital P. Power of the oppressed is that force that can make those in power act on the alternatives presented by the poor. Without people power, anything given to the poor that comes from the programs and services of government are perceived even by the poor themselves as favors from the government, not as citizens’ entitlements. This view stems from a mental attitude honed through the years by the poor’s lack of understanding of their rights and roles in society. This is not because the poor are negligent of their rights. To understand this without any judgment on the poor, it is important to look closely at how society is arranged economically, politically and culturally. This arrangement did not happen by accident. We know society has a history. Because the poor are generally viewed as beneficiaries not only by the general public but also by the institutions themselves that are opinion leaders in the development of thought in society, even the poor are led into thinking that indeed they are just beneficiaries of the magnanimity of the benefactors. This is the reason why without people power, the poor is not listened to when they speak their truth. Those in the reigns of power will not be shaken by pleadings. They will only be moved by a political and moral force that will enable them to come to their senses and accept the fact that power is both a burden and a responsibility, not a privilege.

Community Organizing seeks to help the poor help themselves. It doesn't mean that the poor are not helping themselves. What is meant here by helping the poor help themselves is helping the poor empower themselves. For as long as the poor do not realize that they need only to depend on themselves in an organized manner to achieve their vision of society, social transformation will be very slow.

The process of helping people help themselves is never separate from self-esteem building.In the prevailing socio-economic-political and cultural arrangement of most poor societies, there is a blindness to the poor's sense of self-esteem. It is as if society has a mental template that is programmed in a manner that says it's all right to look down on the poor. This school of thought is very dangerous not only to the poor but also to the entire human community. In this light, it is the wish of this site to focus on how each of us could contribute to help the poor help themselves in reclaiming that power which is their birthright but is continuously being stolen from them everyday by a society whose systems do not take the poor seriously.

Self-esteem Building: A Task of Community Organizing
From the perspective of a community organizer and self-effacing educator, the intention of this blog is to share practices of self-esteem building through the community organizing process.
Community Organizer About Me
Community Organizer, Francia Clavecillas, tells about her experiences in facilitating the process of self-esteem building and community organizing.
Self-esteem-building helps us revisit the kind of programming in life we've been through. This helps us clarify our home of meanings.
Self-esteem Building and the Action-Reflection Process
Self-esteem building is an experiential process. It takes the action route first . After the action, reflection follows. It is during the reflection session that realizations take place.
Self-esteem and Serenity
Self-esteem is a pre-requisite of the capacity to be serene under pressure.
Self-esteem Building: How to be serene under pressure
This is a continuation of the page
Love for People
Having faith and trust in people's capacity to help themselves is also what helping people build self-esteem and community organizing are about.
The joys of being a community organizer
This is about the joys of a community organizer that people who care about the destiny of society understand.
Fear of Freedom
A person who has lived in an oppressive condition for a long time longs for freedom. At the same time that he longs for that elusive state of being, he is at the same time afraid of the uncertain.
The Genius Within
For people interested in helping build poor people's self-esteem, here's a way to help oneself.
Horizontal Violence
Self-esteem and horizontal violence are key factors in the community organizing process.
Community Organizing is building hope when everything looks hopeless.
Hopelessness II
This is a continuation of the page entitled: Self-esteem building in a landscape of hopelesssness
Perception of Powerlessness
The mainstream mindset, consciously or unconsciously, is dragged by the prevailing power arrangement into contributing to the powerlessness of the poor.
Self-esteem and the Humps on the Road
This is about the humps on the road a community organizer has to deal with in the process of the work for self-esteem building.
More Humps on the Road of Self-Esteem Building
This article is about the humps on the road of self-esteem. A spotted hump is how media manipulates people's psyche. The task of community organizing is to be aware of these humps to be effective.
Self-esteem building and the irreverence of the poor
This article is about irreverence, the capacity of people in an oppressive situation to question the existing oppressive economic and political arrangement.
Apathy tends to eat up self-esteem
This is a brief write-up on apathy as a situation community organizers should view with compassion.
Self-esteem building and addressing the issue of “class determinism”
Tools for social analysis are crucial in the work for change in society but confining the analysis strictly to
The best and the worst in the Philippines this month
This is a write-up about the best and the worst that can happen to human beings under two opposite extreme circumstances.
Self-esteem and Community Organizing: In the Shadow of Mt. Mayon
This is an article about the Bicolanos and Mt. Mayon as a symbol
Self-esteem and Community Organizing at a Time of Natural Disasters
This article is about the poor and the aftermath of natural and human-made disasters highlighting the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy and the impending eruption of Mayon Volcano.
Self-esteem building and Community Organizing: The Right to be heard
This is an article on the Protest of the Indigenous People of Quezon Province against the construction of a dam within the Sierra Madre Mountain area.
Self-esteem building after a flash flood
Helping the poor build their self-esteem after a flash flood needs more than that sense of closeness with the poor. Respect and faith in their capacity to change their situation make up the iron rule.
The Spectrum of 2010 for a Live Dot in the Universe
This is article is about my musings in symbolic language.
Self-esteem building and Susan Boyle of Scotland
This is a very brief write-up on Susan Boyle's story highlighting her self-esteem as a factor in her success.
These are my links to very enlightening websites.
Sharing Stories Through Content 2.0
This is an invitation for guests who would be interested in sharing their stories on self-esteem building and community organizing.
Self-esteem and Valentine's Day: Reflections of a Community Organizer
Loving oneself to be able to love others deeply has not been featured in the Valentine's Day celebrations. This article highlights the importance of loving oneself.
The most beautiful sound: I love you.
"I love you" is the most beautiful sound there is. This article is about a number of "I lkove you's" in different languages.
Self-esteem is built on pain, suffering and moments of joy.
A forwarded e-mail from a friend, as it is a practice today to keep in touch with friends wherever they are in the world, has been a very valuable instructive material for community organizers.
Self-esteem is built on pain, suffering and moments of joy.
A forwarded e-mail from a friend, as it is a practice today to keep in touch with friends wherever they are in the world, has been a very valuable instructive material for community organizers.
Anxious that you’ll be stood up on your Valentine’s Day Date?
We have been conditioned by society to think of good things as permanent. Our self-esteem has been built on the concept of permance. This article is about dealing with change like a bird in the air.
The Kindle Wireless Reading Device and World Literacy
Humanity has reached a very impressive level of technology in the field of literacy - the Kindle device. Ironically, one fourth of the world's children fall victims to illiteracy because of poverty.
A self-esteem deepening moment: A kissing couple inside a rose!
Kissing inside a rose is surreal but this article takes the surreal scene to emphasize the deeper meaning of a kiss.
Cancer and Self-esteem from a Community Organizer's Eyes
It's not a joke, financially speaking, if you want to survive cancer and you are coming from the existing medical paradigm. This article is about food as nourishment and medicine.
Evicted Poor Citizens of the City Dispersed Violently at Midnight
When poor citizens of the city have nowhere to go after a forced eviction, the government should be held accountable.This article is about the human barricade that was not broken by the eviction team.
Community Organizing is Self-esteem and Social Justice Building
Many people may not realize how the poor put their lives on the line when it comes to getting a decent place to live for their families.This write-up is an example of the poor's non-violent protest.
A Village by the River
This is about a village by the river. The villages is in Holland. The means of transportation around the village is by boat. You would think such a lovely place doesn't exist!
Community Organizing is a Vocation too!
There is a big need for community organizers but there are a lot of problems attached to recruitment . This article is about community organizing as a calling.
A Community Organizer's Journey With Cancer
This is about a community organizer's journey with cancer and with two kinds of doctors - the conventional and the alternative. The latter brings a lot of hope for a longer and healthier life.
The Training of Community Organizers
This is article has a number of parts which will come by instalment. This is about the training of community of community organizers
The Training of Community Organizers - Part II
This is about learning the use of the dialogical method.
The Training of COs: Understanding Social Investigation and Integration
For the trainee in community organizing, social investigation and integration, is not just a CO Step but also a way of viewing reality.
The Attitude of Solidarity with the Poor's Vision of Society
This is a part of the topic "The Training of Community Organizers".
Organized River Clean-Up by the Urban Poor Dwellers beside San Juan River
The urban poor living along the Pasig River and its Tributaries has always been viwed harshly. On September 28, 2010 they will lead in cleaning the river.
A Community Organizer's Jewels for New Year's Evening
Words of wisdom are jewels of the heart that we cannot live without. This is about those jewels that a community organizer would like to wear on New Year's evening.
How to spot potential community organizers
Spotting potential community organizers as a skill is the result of years of experience. This write-up is about getting really good potential Community Organizers.
Crucial in the Community Organizing Process: Issue and Target Analysis
In Community Organizing, issue and target analysis are crucial to the resolution of an issue. This article is about Issue and Target Analysis.
What a Community Organizer should know about Targets
It is important for a Community Organizer to know the types of Targets. This write-up is about identifying the Targets that people will deal with.
Year 2013: A Challenge to Community Organizing
This is about the uphill effort of the urban poor for a place in the city.
Target Analysis
In the community organizing process, being able to read the "Target" is prerequisite to a successful group action. This write-up is about how to go about analyzing a "Target".
How does a Community Organizer Welcome 2014?
This write-up is about the highlights of the old year in terms of my life and work as a community organizer and how I would face 2014.

Community Organizing deals with Reality vis-a-vis The Ideal

The world as it is

vs. The World

as it should be -

These are conditions

that in themselves

are inherently

in conflict.

Community Organizing

facilitates a process

in which people

are able to identify

and name the

root causes of these

two conflicting


From these conflicting

realities people start

working on simple

issues and then continue

moving onward to more complex

ones. These issues

become entry points

for people in the

continuing process

of analyzing society

and finding ways to change

it so that it becomes

a more just and humane


Advocacy for People-Centered Development:ODA Watch - South Korea

Theme of World Habitat Day 2011: Resist Demolitions and push for Alternatives

Advocacy work starts in the community