Community Aid Alliance (CAA) Is a India-Australia civil society initiative for linking, learning and acting on sustainable development. CAA is greatly influenced by the development understanding and practice of the former Community Aid Abroad, Australia, which was involved in development support activities in India for almost 4 decades. The core activities of the CAA are fundraising for and on behalf of community based organizations, promoting development education and advocating pro-poor policy.
The establishment of Community Aid Alliance is linked to the history of the 45 years of Community Aid Abroads involvement in India. Out of this involvement with local partners and communities evolved Community Aid Abroads understanding and practice of community development. From the very outset Community Aid Abroads objective was to work with very poor sections of the communities with a self-help motto, without being directly involved in the implementation of programs.
The focus was on identification, orientation and support of individuals and organisations, which were willing to work on empowering individuals and communities, and building a network between communities. From this experience, it was realised that community based organisations (CBO) were generally facilitated by NGOs, and these CBOs empowered people, keeping them at the centre of development.
CAA practices a development philosophy which states that development process should.
- Start from the needs of the neediest, so as to reduce inequalities within communities and between communities
- Foster self- reliance based on participation and control by the people in the community concerned.
- Encourage a greater sense of community & co-operation and gender equity.
- Promote the growth of organisational structures, skills and knowledge.
- Expand a communities resources equitably.
- Protect and sustain the environment.
STRATEGY AND ACTIVITIES
The strategy of Community Aid Alliance (CAA) is to focus on empowering community based groups (CBOs) and partner with CBOs for sustainable development. This empowerment process in the short-term will bring an improvement in the quality of life of people in their present context, and in the long-term aims to achieve economic, environmental and social justice.
CAAs programs give priority to working with socially and economically disadvantaged communities. Every project/activity is assessed for its impact, especially on environment and gender equity.
The activities of Community Aid Alliance (CAA) include:
- Fundraising for and behalf of CBOs: Raising resources (money, material and human) for community based projects, fellowships and coping with natural calamities;
- Capacity building for empowerment of community groups: Facilitating issue based workshops and training programmes;
- Facilitation of linking and learning among community groups in India and elsewhere: Facilitating development education and community to community linkages in India and elsewhere to sensitize them to development issues, responsibilities and solutions;
- Promoting community based advocacy on issues: Facilitating campaigns on public initiative issues relevant to communities.