The Montegonian Proposal
The C.U.P. of Life
"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:39
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."
"Life is, Sheer passion , You have to fill, The cup with love, In order to live, You have to fight/struggle, A heart to win."
Ricky Martin- English Translation of “La Copa de la Vida”
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?”
Kahlil Gibran “At the third cup, wine drinks the man”
I have a proposition for my future MP, my councillor, my community. A CUP… what kind of cup you might ask! Well the Community Upliftment Program. Well it is the propositional brainchild of the Montegonian no doubt, but what it needs is political will, community spirit and probably some financing.
An Argument for Community Development
Welcome to a 21st century in which many cities, in many countries, link the revitalization of the central business district and renovation and improvement of houses or districts so that it conforms to middle-class taste of residential neighbourhoods to earlier community development initiatives. In this day and age it is undoubtable that we need policies based construction and more on renovation and investment, and today these new kinds of policies are an integral part of many local governments worldwide, often combined with small and big business incentives.
Community development seeks to give power to individuals and groups of people by providing these groups with the skills, proficiency and expertise they require to make and cause change in their own communities. These skills are often focused around building political power through the formation of large social groups working for a common plan. Community developers have to understand both how to work with individuals and how to change and elevate communities' positions within the context of larger social institutions and society.
Essentialy community development is the process of developing active and sustainable communities based on social justice and mutual respect. It is about influencing power structures to remove the barriers that prevent people from participating in the issues that affect their lives. Community Development expresses values of fairness, equality, accountability, opportunity, choice, participation, mutuality, reciprocity and continuous learning. Educating, enabling and empowering are at the core of Community Development.
Several angles can be taken to initiate community development including: Community economic development, Community capacity building, Social capital formation, Political participatory development, Ecologically sustainable development, Asset-based community development, Faith-based community development.
The proposed CUP, community upliftment program, would be a two pronged approach to developing communities, one, on the macro level and the other being the micro level. This is to say that they need to address issues that affect the community as whole and their position in the bigger scheme and order of things, and next to address the community on an individual and family level, the level of familiarity which exists in the common community family. Cup I believe needs to be and is designed to address the peculiarities of Montegonian families and communities.
CUP: The Macro Plan
1. Economic Opportunity - including job creation within the community and throughout the region, entrepreneurial initiatives, small business expansion, and training for jobs that offer upward mobility. Training that includes life skills training, things like “making technology work for you” “some office procedure” “home economics: budgeting” “shopkeeping math and accounting” “some fundamental nutrition” “Spanish: lite or beginners or simply basic conversation” “Computer training that offers more than just word processing but, teaches that and offers optional diversification, like intro to digital music, or graphic design, or music engineering, and the range of other directions computer can take you.”
2. Sustainable Community Development - to advance the creation of livable and vibrant communities through comprehensive approaches that coordinate economic (FUND RAISERS- new and innovative ones, not ticket sale or conventional dance), physical, environmental (gardens, parks and community monuments), community, and human development ( help families through hurdles like education and home making and developing);
3. Community-Based Partnerships - involving participation of all segments of the community, including the political and governmental leadership, community groups, health and social service groups, environmental groups, religious organizations, the private and nonprofit sectors, centers of learning, other community institutions, concerned citizens and low-income residents. We need to move away from the constant one shot solo projects and find ways to incorporate everybody who is doing something in what we are doing;
4. Strategic Vision for Change - which identifies what the community will become and develops a strategic map for revitalization.
CUP: The Micro Approach
1. Community Week – It is full time we initiated a system where each community has a week for itself. A week of festivity and commemoration of their existence and history. There can be a memories day, where everybody carries out their old pictures, video footage, any big dance that made it to DVD etc, if you have cell phone clips or whatever, to be displayed and everybody can reminisce, and this way the generations can mix and mingle and pass on stories of yesteryear etc. There can be a big Sunday dinner, a Friday dance, a memorial for all those passed. I wouldn’t be averse to a Church service day where most people go to church and commune or whatever and Muslim similarly and a Rasta event etc.
2. Change for change – In order to finance things like back to school and kiddies treats etc, set up a bar and shopkeeper program where people contribute change in order to secure a set amount of exercise books or pencils and things like that for generation next.
3. Orchard and Garden Program –A system to access idle lands in areas to be planted up with fruit trees and such, to ease the burdens of GCT, save us from dry goods and diabetes, nutrition needs, and rescue the little air and ozone we have left.
4. Naming and Mapping – The proper naming and mapping out of communities, and naming of streets, so that people can actually feel like they live somewhere, instead of in hell with names like hmmm dead man alley, Afghanistan, Bagdad, Gaza, Tel Aviv, Vietnam, Blood Lane, Piss Lane, Corn Corner and you get the picture. We need to resolve the psychological impact of feeling like you don’t live anywhere, especially when you and a million people share the same address, which is usually the most popular main road in your community.
5. Sports Outlets- Do I need to explain how critical sports are? Well hmmm other than finding things to do for idle hands before the devil, well it hones natural talent, potential financial rewards, keeps young minds away from guns, avenues to release sexual energy instead of making unwanted babies etc.
Well that is my proposition folks, maybe someone actually uses it.