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Signs and Wonders: Sojourn in the Inner-city (Paperback)

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Signs and Wonders: Sojourn in the Inner-city takes the reader along the journey of a grassroots organization operating in one of Kingston Jamaica's poorest inner-city communities. Through recounting personal encounters, observations and direct interventions, Signs and Wonders captures the challenges that Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and community development practitioners face. These include achieving community buy-in, overcoming biases, class and gender divisions, addressing people's sense of alienation, managing limited financial resources, and working with political cultures that view people's empowerment with suspicion.This is not only a recounting of challenges however, for beyond them are the stories of hope, resilience and triumph. The S-Corner Clinic & Community Development was an NGO operating in Kingston 13. The community is characterized by older houses typical of early middle class Kingston, now overshadowed by rusty zinc fences, dilapidated buildings and weak sanitation disposal. The community's decline has not just been physical but also social with high levels of illiteracy, teenaged pregnancy, underemployment and gang violence. The S-Corner Organization initially provided programs in education, health, sanitation, and economic development to help to alleviate the complex issues of intergenerational poverty. The organization's integration into the community coupled with quantitative and qualitative research unearthed a myriad of critical underlying factors hindering community development. In response the organization broadened its scope of work to include projects such as sanitation infrastructure and peace building. As an escalating homicide rate became an increasing burden on our health care programs, costing lives and damaging the community's economy; the addition of peace-building programs was especially essential to make it possible to achieve community social and economic transformation. Signs and Wonders presents the reader with ten compelling short stories of triumph. The stories illustrate the human impact of the trials and ills experienced by many communities - unemployment, crime, gangs, domestic abuse, interpersonal conflicts, and parenting challenges. They emphasize the triumphs and the resilience of the human spirit. The reasons for triumphs are varied and attributable to the determination of the community residents, the multiple approaches of the NGO, the author's deepened faith and relationship with the creator, and to unexplainable occurrences. The stories will provoke academic debate and further discussions. Taken as a whole, the book exposes systemic inequities which create and perpetuate poverty. It provides social workers and social work agencies with important insights and ideas for their work with vulnerable communities and challenges practitioners of community development and peace building to respond in ways that lead to equity and justice. Perhaps most importantly, the stories are intended to inspire individuals living in difficult circumstances to believe that transformation is possible. Each story highlights a unique and personal experience and yet an underlying thread of community challenge and resilience is woven from one story to the next. All stories are true. The author has been given permission to tell individuals' stories and to use their names, although some names have been changed to protect individual identities.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781080007387
ISBN-10: 1080007385
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: August 11th, 2019
Pages: 230
Language: English
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