A global network of community centers in migrant slums around the world.
Community centers connecting across the world.
We are working towards dozens of community centers in migrant slums. With our Communities of Promise affiliates, we provide a network for better access to education, employment, social services and information. These hubs connect and share best practice and aligned models in the communities, drawing on our on-the-ground experience so we can tell the global story. In our first phase we have a target of 100 community centers worldwide.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT.
In our ECD Program, preschool children (between the ages of 1 and 4 years old) participate in activities that develop their cognitive and creative abilities and motor and social skills. Parents and caregivers participating in the program and learn how to engage with the children during and after program hours. By providing a space for a child and their caregiver to learn and grow together with a qualified teacher, INCLUDED places an importance on the production of healthy relationships that are cultivated in the classroom.
At our community centers we provide periodic workshops on parenting, marriage and family through the semester. These workshops aim to increase healthier family lives by improving communication and relationships between the migrant children and their parents. By providing the migrant family with the space to openly discuss familial issues while providing a specialist in the subject, INCLUDED places the migrant family first and works with them to learn how to communicate in a healthy manner.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM.
In our after school program, students receive homework support through specialized attention from mentors that volunteer from some of the top universities in Beijing. The children also participate in creative and social activities, which include art, drama, reading, computer skills, character building, music and English. Through ASP, INCLUDED helps raise children’s self esteem, and creates positive attitudes towards homework, by providing a safe and stimulating place for learning.
As an information hub, we act as a clearing house for the research we gathered through our community centers. We also catalogue and display findings and best practices from other slum upgrading initiatives and report on innovations and discoveries made in the urban development field.
INCLUDED has pioneered a new model for community centers that creatively refurbishes shipping containers to build modular centers as classrooms, libraries, toilets, administrative offices, and other multipurpose spaces. Named "Community Cubes", this innovative approach is both cost effective and replicable in new cities and countries. Over the next few years, INCLUDED's Communities of Promise Network (ComProm) will use this model as a blueprint to provide facilities, program knowledge and network support to other like-minded organizations to establish dozens of Community Cubes worldwide.
The Vision for the Community Center Approach.
The migrant communities of China are not un-like those of other cities around the world. They are groups of people who often have little in common apart from their shared poverty and subsequent drive to improve the quality of life for their family. In the midst of this fractured and sometimes bruised section of society where it’s every person for himself, there is room for a call to cohesion and opportunity for true community.
INCLUDED’s model of the Migrant Community Learning Center is one workable answer to this situation. We have seen these community centers serve as the framework which provides the stability within which migrant families can build the intangible aspects that make a community thrive and mature. The centers become places of collaboration, creativity, and mediation as migrant children, parents, and teachers come together to move towards places of greater hope.
While we were gaining experience with our first migrant community center, INCLUDED has been listening, watching and learning as we launch the new community center model which we plan to spread worldwide. We have learned that the children we are working with are not just a faceless mass of humanity but instead are Xiao Mei, Yuan Yuan, and Yi Cong. While we are working to empower positive shifts in communities and cities, our day-to-day work is with these individual precious lives. We have learned that as these individuals share similar opportunities, challenges, and dreams, their lives have become intertwined into a community as a whole, banding people together who otherwise have very different stories.
INCLUDED is pouring its programs in and around the community centers, creating an active hub of change in migrant communities. During the days, preschoolers aged 1-5 years old and their mothers participate in Early Childhood Programs at our centers and in the late afternoon, children from the surrounding unlicensed migrant schools pour in to attend the two hour After School Program where they are tutored and take part in activities which foster creativity. Family Education workshops for the parents and their children are conducted at the centers on the weekends.
It would be great if tomorrow every father found a good job, every child was given the best that education can offer, and every family had the tools to build a healthy environment at home. But this won’t happen tomorrow and probably not even this year.
Before these tangible benefits can be achieved, there will be a shift away from the discrimination towards the migrants that have effectively turned them into second-class citizens in this country of hope. We not only work for immediate change but also for a vision in which future generations of children are assimilated into all the best their society has to offer. Though a migrant child may be born into poverty, they have the right to not feel the intense sting of the stigma accompanying this poverty. We can observe from human nature at a micro level that when we walk into a roomful of people and show honor to the one being ignored, this causes others to begin valuing this person as well. We trust that our efforts of valuing each member of society may play a small role in encouraging the public to also place greater value on their fellow citizens. There is room for a brighter future around the corner.
Community of Promise™ Network.
INCLUDED's Communities of Promise Network (ComProm) supports the development and ongoing operations of community centers for migrant neighborhoods in urban centers worldwide. Its end goal is to see a vibrant community center in every migrant neighborhood in which its residents are in the lowest 10th percentile of wealth and social status. These community centers bring the community together, building the intangibles of genuine community. The community centers strengthen and support the community’s migrant schools and highlights the issues and needs of the entire community, championing its goals. The Communities of Promise Network headquarters serves the network by offering guidance on implementing the programs, connecting peers for moral support and shared learnings, and contributing to the overall development of the NGO sector serving migrants.
Who We Help and Why
ComProm connects, equips, and resources groups and individuals which are operating community centers for migrants. We also help groups open up community centers from the beginning stages.
Why focus on the migrant community center model?
- Brings the community together, building the intangibles of community
- Strengthens and supports the community’s schools
- Highlights the issues and needs of the entire community
- Champions the goals of the migrant community
How We Help
The Communities of Promise Network and INCLUDED have been building and operating community centers and programs in migrant neighborhoods for over five years and bring hard-nosed experience, knowledge, and net works to help create and operate successful migrant community center projects.
- Practical, step-by-step tools for new centers and those looking to expand
- One-on-one consultation from ComProm staff and committed members provide distinct support
- Access to the Migrant Resource Network’s online directory (www.mrn-china.org) which offers a database of other organizations serving migrants, as well as a general knowledge database speaking to the issues of migrants
Beginning in 2010, the ComProm Forum connects groups and individuals with experienced professionals
Online ComProm Resource Center enables groups and individuals to find models, program manuals, research, sample documents, and case studies. Publications offer in-depth how-to guides based on innovative models of migrant community centers
Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Kunming, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Kathmandu, Dhaka