Ways to activate social work in the countryside
As practice shows, an important means of activating social work in the countryside is to rely on traditional sources of rural survival, the use of primordial ways of organizing life in extreme situations, and the restoration and strengthening of the traditions of communal life. Let's consider positive social and psychological factors that must be taken into account when activating social work in the countryside.
1. Close fusion with the habitat. For the rural dweller, the general conditions and resources of the surrounding environment are fertility or soil conditions, climate, weather conditions, provision of resources, terrain, richness of flora and fauna, etc. - remain decisive factors in the organization of life support. As a rule, rural residents know the specifics of their locality thoroughly. Moreover, the ecological component determines the choice of the system of farming, the composition of cultivated plants and animal breeds, the ratio of different branches of the economy, the nature of settlement and settlement, methods of communication and even specific forms of social communities. From the natural environment, a villager traditionally through means for strengthening his health, treating illnesses, in the course of economic activity is guided by long-term observations of weather and climate patterns in their relationship with various natural phenomena. The traditional values of each ethnos are inseparable from its habitat. The ecological situation inherent in this or that socium is the most important source of the formation of a national character, the improvement and organization of the life of rural societies.
2. Personal farmstead. Historical experience of the life of the rural family shows that at all times the main means of survival was work on a personal farmstead. Regardless of the existing social system, political and economic situation in the country, working on the land, the family will be able to feed itself. Labor on personal farmstead is the most reliable guarantee of social protection of the rural population. Calculations of specialists show that having a plot of land with an area of six hundred square meters, it is possible to provide a family of four people with vegetables and fruit and berry products. But this is possible only with proper management of the economy. Therefore, social workers and social educators should equip rural people with agricultural knowledge, improve the culture of agricultural production.
3. Commitment to traditions. In rural areas, the indigenous population of the country resides, inheriting the historical memory of previous generations. The peasantry is still guided by tradition, which is for him an immutable law of economic and all other activities. Dependence of economic activity and the entire life order of society on nature dictated the orientation toward the reproduction of previous models inherited from ancestors. A departure from the production and environmental experience of many generations could turn into a catastrophe. The conservatism and adherence to the tradition programmed with natural influence served as a guarantee of the stability and well-being of the society, a condition for the physical survival of people. Tradition was fixed in rituals and customs. Various forms of mutual assistance, cooperation, harvesting and storage of agricultural products, livestock, etc. have been preserved in these or those species in the village. These factors are the main factors in the professional activity of the rural social teacher and social worker.
4. The role of the family. The family in the village is perceived as an economic unit, as a form of correct organization of adult life, as a source of support and a means of survival. In rural areas, the concept of "family" something more is invested than in the city. The family in the village is also siblings, and close relatives, and past generations associated with living invisible threads. The well-being of the family depends to a large extent on the ability to maximize the mobilization of resources and resources for self-reliance. During the crisis, the rural family has a very limited choice of place of work and, accordingly, sources of income. This, in turn, reduces the possibility of consumption and inevitably leads to finding compensating lack of money resources of types of employment and other ways of obtaining income. Many families almost completely live off their farms. A rural family is more stable than urban, rural women show much greater tolerance in marriage than urban ones. Children very often take first place in the system of family preferences.
5. The role of informal support systems. In rural areas, the interrelationships of people and their solidarity in sensations and identities lead to a strong interdependence of each other. Therefore, rural people, relying on the preserved traditions of communal life, often turn to each other for help, than to support state and public structures. Interfamily, friendly, neighborly, related mutual help has different forms: natural assistance, mutual exchange with other families, donation, assistance in building a house, looking after children, help with housework, etc. The mechanism of mutual assistance, through which a large number of participants is involved in the orbit of mutual support, is an important means of social protection for a person. And this factor must be taken into account by the social educator and social worker.
6. Inter-family cooperation. Often, without the help of the state and other structures, people themselves organize a home or family business, mobilizing previously established links, establishing contacts with city relatives, forcing the interest of informal creditors to be actively using the potential of the family economy. There are many examples of when several families, combining their strengths and capabilities, collectively harvested hay, plant potatoes, harvest the harvest, supply a large batch of dairy and meat products to the market, share responsibilities for managing their farms. Multilateral cooperation becomes the basis for the existence of personal subsidiary plots.
7. The role of public opinion. Public opinion is of great importance in a spatially limited rural environment. For example, actions of the authorities, when they are oriented toward personal gain, are very often opposed by the traditions of the community, collective action of the villagers that have developed in the village, with which the head has to reckon. In such cases, the leader can not, ignoring the subsequent reaction, withdraw from the position of a foreman or specialist who enjoys the support and respect of people. To a greater extent this resistance is felt by the leaders- "strangers", i.e. Those who were not originally his inhabitants - their in the minds of local villagers. But not everywhere rank-and-file people are capable of confronting the powers that be. And this circumstance, directly, in a certain way affects the situation in the village as a whole and the position of each family separately.
As we can see, social work in the countryside, being a new kind of professional social activity, should fit into a complex system of social relations based on the historical, cultural, economic traditions of a particular rural social community and take its niche in it. For this to happen, it is important to know and understand the psychology of the villager well, to respect the traditions of the area, to use the historical experience of human social protection and at the same time to bring the latest professional knowledge to help a person, his family, the community.
In social work in rural areas, it is also important to take into account the specifics of the way of life of the peasants, the traditions, the role of the church, nature and way of life, as well as a wide network of social "adaptive techniques": patterns of mutual assistance, forced generosity, communal land and division of labor that help peasants align the inevitable failures in family resources.
The population, even if it is homogeneous by confessional or ethnicity, is different in terms of such factors as prosperity, gender, age and professional qualification group. Therefore, a social worker dealing with rural clients dealing with the resolution of social problems in rural areas must take these differences into account, since professional intervention, as a rule, needs to be addressed in a specific way, taking into account the specifics of the sociocultural group. The social worker in this case should partly be an ethnographer or a social anthropologist.
Another principle of social work in the countryside is the complex nature of social services. Such specialized services, which can be found in urban settings - rehabilitation centers for disabled children, crisis centers for women, shelters for children and adolescents and many others - are difficult to organize separately in rural areas. Centers for social services in rural areas, in fact, should be the quintessence of all kinds of services, be comprehensive services that can solve multilateral problems. Accordingly, the training of rural social workers can not remain highly specialized.
Rural residents are unlikely to assess the quality of social work only according to the diploma of a specialist. They need to see the real results of professional work, so in reality the rural social worker will only be successful, known and appreciated when, not limited to the tasks of an office clerk, he will be able to hold individual consultations, group talks, organize a support group, raise the community to collective action .
Here we mean the efforts of a specialist aimed at organizing a common cause, for example, order protection, cleaning, digging a well or helping a disabled person, giving the opportunity to influence the administration of the village or district in order to get funding for any needs of the village. The same specialist should be able to discuss the problems of the children with the school principal, join the working group of the non-governmental fund on the problems of elderly villagers and coordinate a clothing bank or a bank for refugees.
In order to carry out such interdepartmental and multidisciplinary coordination, a social worker in the countryside must necessarily have the skills to establish and maintain horizontal and vertical connections both within the rural community and outside the village. Horizontal communications are the key to sustainability of the rural community.
Horizontal communications imply contacts and relationships with those who provide other types of services, and simply with influential people in the community (teacher, doctor, head of administration, priest, ). In a village where most people are personally acquainted, and many are also relatives, these links are largely informal and can facilitate easier access to certain services, and possibly become the basis of a project.
Vertical links relate to the relationship with the external environment of the community: regional, regional and federal authorities, state and non-state organizations, on which the work of local schools depends more or less, hospitals and social service institutions. A social worker can perform an intermediary function, advocating for the rights of rural consumers of social, educational and medical services, seeking negotiations between different parties and resolving difficult issues in a wide variety of situations.
On the one hand, here we have in mind the situation when the community receives additional resources and additional problems due to its proximity to the terminal that is under construction for the destruction of chemical weapons remnants or is experiencing economic development because of the "untwisted" in this area of tourism. On the other hand, it can also be about the reverse situation, when the village is in crisis and literally dying out due to the decline of agriculture, unemployment, alcoholism or intensive emigration of young people.
A social worker in the countryside may experience difficulties due to the fact that life in the rural community is transparent, all professional and personal problems are on display. Therefore, personal prejudices towards the social worker on the part of villagers, some of whom influence decision-making, can interfere with the promotion of (or by her) an idea important from the point of view of social development in the countryside. Probably, the conflict of values of social work and values of the local community is inevitable, as in many situations in the urban environment, when difficult dilemmas arise.
In general, social work in rural areas is determined by the specific social situation faced by the social worker and which requires its methods, its decision techniques, a special form of social participation.
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