When you’re working with the community, does it mean that you are working at the Grassroots level?

I have heard so many stories around people claiming that they are actually working at the Grassroots but then again, they never really went down there, people would do research and would use years of experience to bring out probably the more brilliant ideas and proposals and projects but then again, they have never really been down there or maybe at least not recently.

People actually instruct or direct the community to do this and that but then again, they never really asked what the community wants to begin with– thinking that their suggestions are what’s best for the community.

It’s like, how can you actually be a trainer when you haven’t really practiced what you are supposed to train? Or manage a food Business Without Really learning and experiencing what the crew members are doing?

Of course, people can actually do in-depth research, both quantitative and qualitative, to come up with cerebral research materials but when they haven’t really immersed, I always feel the lack of soul in the research. It all seems like a bunch of words and numbers and figures and graphs. 

Without actual immersion, are we actually asking the right questions in a research?
The Grassroots is where the real struggles are and in the end, it’s where the answers are. We can always come up with the most intellectual theoretical Solutions but then again, the mind and the heart will have to meet somewhere for a proposed solution to be seamless.

I think (some of) the problems are:

  • that people tend to think that education and work experience adapt them into the Grassroots level, not taking into consideration that actual Grassroots experiences evolve and constant immersion is needed
  • That some people think they are more Superior than others that they forget all about the phrase, “nothing about us without us.”
  • That sometimes perceived commitment and passion to the advocacy leaves us Clueless with  what’s really going on down there

Yes, we all believe in evidence-based data and research as well as evidence-based proposals, but then again let us not forget that the Grassroots will always make an important part of that evidence.

ALWAYS go back to where it all started.


About +daddy+drEw+

HIV awareness and treatment Advocate & Activist. Living with HIV since 2007. A friend. A partner. A dad to the HIV Community.
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