Local church groups in the eastern and southern regions of London of the UK have over the recent years enjoyed existence of the churches such as Catholic. The society has enjoyed immensely from the voluntary services provided by churches in collaboration with government and donors which have seen the area hit by poverty, homelessness, diseases and alarming unemployment. Through introduction of the CANDAL project under the Catholic missionaries’ umbrella, the local dwellers have a reason to smile, as their life will be improved through trainings, such as carpentry and tailoring, to the youths and free education facilities, such as nursery school to the disadvantaged children in Barnardos.

Moreover, through adoption of this project, the government will have relieved some reasonable burdens by the local church, hence apart from spiritual services provided to the communities, their lives are also improving. The goal of the project is to improve the life of people and to transform their cultures which indeed are a great threat to their economical and social viability (McCleary & Wogaman, 1978). However, the local churches face financial constraints in their attempts to improve lives of these people and hence the government must financially support the project.

Introduction

CANDAL (Church and Neighborhood Development Association in London) is one of the community-based development organizations that will be started by Roman Catholic missionary’s church in East London in the next few months. CANDAL will be initially established at a village called Barnardos, since the area is very hit by poverty and the main purpose of the mission is to improve the quality of life for young people, families and even disadvantaged children in the area of eastern and southern parts of London. Mainly, the children are hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemics. Most of the CANDAL’s work is carried out in towers Hamlets and Hackney in the east of London, while some other services are currently being diverted to the southern regions such as Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. Moreover, some other staff will help in the Pan London region, though the government there has greatly contributed to the improvement of the dwellers’ lives.

Apart from providing the HIV/AIDS medical services in the region, CANDAL will also center its work on the provision of training and consultancy services to the local church-based groups of the community. The training process is ranked from those relating to the business and informal sectors, such as carpentry and dressmaking. These services have been found to do a favor to the worst hit children and unemployed young people through creating job opportunities. In the future the organization is seen to be instrumental in the local community, as it started to provide some direct financial services to those parenting through the Big Lottery Fund.

This research paper will greatly focus on how the CANDAL project, initiated by the Catholic Church in London, has improved lives of the southern and eastern London dwellers and more so, of those in the neighborhood. Below, under section 2, we discuss how presentation of the HIV/AIDS needs scriptural backing of the project and goals for the resulting cultural changes from the projects, recruitment strategies, budgeting and presentation of the project among other details necessary for the projects’ continuous survival before drawing out conclusions (Grant & Cappon, 2004).

Presentation of the Need

CANDAL’s activities within the area are very essential in supporting the local church group members whose majority area is young people and disadvantaged children in the society. Several research studies reveal that churches play vital role in trying to solve many social problems, such as unemployment, diseases, drought, famines and cultural erosion among others. They have been found by doing so and children and young people in the society are saved from being deteriorated by the problems. The faith group and church also help in substantiating government in provision of some of the necessities that people have been deprived of; hence there is a need to have projects such as CANDAL started by all other churches within their immediate vicinity (Stephenson, 2008).   

As the faith communities, such as Catholic churches, possess the unparalleled access to those groups which are hard for the government to reach up, there is the need to have them in the neighborhood as a way of them working alongside the government and other voluntary service providers in promoting peace, cohesive harmony and progress among the communities.

In urban areas the rise of many evil-based actions among the youth groups and children has attracted a lot of faith ministries and local churches to create the faith-based projects as a matter of urgency (Lindqvist, 1975). The institutions have recently receives an enormous highly profiled support from the government through creation of the Neighborhood Renewal and proposal  for local strategies partnership, which try to recognize all those faith groups that play a key role in sustaining the life of disadvantaged communities.

Scriptural Backing for the Project

Biblical scriptures and Koran advocate that children will inherit the kingdom of heaven and thus they are a blessing to the community. It is necessary for the community and all the faith groups to take care of them. Apart from holistic biblical services provided by churches, there is a need for faith groups to focus on improving the quality of life for their members and more so, the lives of young people and children. According to a sample survey, carried out in London on all the faith groups, the churches were found to have improved immensely the life conditions of their neighboring communities, both holistically and financially (Hillerbrand, 2008). The survey further revealed that over 78 percent of the children, young people, elderly men both housed and homeless, were the full-time beneficiaries of the services provided, yet they are not the members of faith groups.

However, the churches were found to have inadequate funds necessary to sustain and improve the life of people in their regions. Therefore, the survey recommended that it is essential for the faith groups to look for external sources of finances, local knowledge and good mentoring techniques. The Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) was seen as a poor agency under the government in improving lives of young people and children. Thus, existence of the faith-based catholic infrastructure, CANDAL, in East London, which had better understanding of the people’s problems, like HIV/AIDS, will greatly succeed in improving the life of community due to strong religious beliefs.

Goals for the Resulting Cultural Changes from the Project

CANDAL project was purposely started to generally improve the life of people within the southern and eastern part of London. Through provision of carpentry and tailoring training services to young people, the project serves as foundation block of creating job opportunities to those unemployed. Moreover, through provision of medical consultancy services to the youth and elderly about HIV/AIDS, the traditional and cultural perception of the disease has changed and thus, inevitably, we find the community living positive life free from HIV/AIDS. Moreover, the disadvantaged children have been trained that through living the positive life, such as avoiding alcohol and drug abuse, there is a great room for succeeding in the future life. Hence these projects have been found to create a cultural room for those faith groups around them. Thus, in brief, the CANDAL organization ends up achieving its goal of improving the quality of life of its neighbors.

Recruitment Strategies for Personal Needs

The Barnardos institute of policy and Research Unit conducted a research on the various needs that people were deprived of and found that food, clothing and necessary drugs were quite essential in the project to start with. Normally the researchers use the qualitative method of data collection. The recruitment team also relied on these qualitative methods in identifying the needy people. These methods include six interviews with the church leaders and representatives of the local-based faith groups, three consecutive discussion interviews with members of the CANDAL’s advisory groups, single interview with the executive director of the faith regeneration-based network in the UK, interview with the CANDAL’s manager before meeting the focus group of the project workers. Later the members selected were secretly observed on they are attending the CANDAL’s workshops and trainings in the local church before confirmed to be the CANDAL members. Note, that interviews were done either through the telephone or face to face communication. Sometimes direct observation of the dwellers’ life and filling up of questionnaires was used (Levinthal, 2012). In order to scrutinize the people well, the project workers and the Catholic Church authorities ensured that all interviews lasted for not less than 30 minutes.

Budgeting and Planning Presentation Process of the Project

In accordance to the needs of people in the area, if the project had little finances for supporting all the dwellers’ needs, such as providing the family support, breakfast to the club members, nursery school for those under five years, parenting program centers, development of a church hall for community trainings, shelter to the homeless people, guidance and counseling center, may mean that they have a source of external funds from donors or even the government. As the majority of donors and the government see that the needs of the project are approached well, they will definitely provide a fund kit for supporting the CANDAL project. Moreover, as financial resources are minimal, there is a need to ensure that all the requirements are in order of preference, and thus they will be financed, starting from the most deserving needs, such as the church hall for mothers and toddlers, the nursery school, and up to the guidance and counseling center.

Conclusion

CANDAL is a catholic-founded and community-based project that is purposely aimed to work towards improving the quality of life of the local church groups in such areas as young people, elderly and disadvantaged children in the society among other groups. It is quite essential for the government and even other stakeholders to view the needs of people positively and to support the CANDAL’s initiative towards its goals. As the program is religiously based, there exists higher chance of better tackling the problems adequately towards improving lives of the people from southern and eastern London. However, from the budget capacity, the organization will face financial constraints meaning that it may opt to source finance from the external donors and government.

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