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Connecting Communities Handbook


‘Connecting Communities: A Practical Guide to using Development Education in Community Settings’ is a  LYCS resource for facilitators or tutors working with groups in Community Education and Community Development contexts. It is unique as it’s been designed specifically to introduce development education into community settings.

The first version of this handbook, written by Helena McNeill of LYCS, was published in October 2005. It was updated in 2013 and is available here for free download. The handbook consists of an introduction, and the instructions and materials for 10 ready made thematic workshops.


The Introduction. Please download and read the Introduction here before using any of the workshops. Thank you. The introduction discusses development education in community development and why a global perspective is useful. It deals with inequality both in Ireland and worldwide, and introduces the methodologies and educational approach adopted in the book. It gives guidance on using the handbook, and also includes a calendar of international days which are useful for development education e.g. International Women’s Day. Each workshop begins with a cartoon which can be used to explore some of the issues touched upon in the workshop.


Workshop 1 ‘Unequal Ireland, Unequal World’. Download here  This workshop explores inequality in Ireland and in the world.

Workshop 2 ‘Life and Debt’ Download here This workshop allows participants to explore debt (personal and national) as a symptom of inequality around the world. Includes and exploration of the IMF.

Workshop 3 ‘Home Sweet Home’ Download here This workshop explores the human need for the security of the home, as well as examining the global housing crisis. Includes work using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and a fact file on Brazil.

Workshop 4 ‘Your Health is Your Wealth’ Download here This workshop explores the relationship between health and inequality. It also deals with myths around health issues in Africa and includes a profile of Africa.

Workshop 5 ‘Hard Labour’ Download here. Part 1 explores and values the part played by ordinary people in the economy, whether paid or unpaid. Part 2 focuses on the working lives of people in the Global South.

Workshop 6 ‘History and Herstory’ Download here This workshop is about exploring gender roles of women and men and the impact they can have on a person’s development.

Workshop 7 ‘The Drugs Trail’ Download here Gives participants a chance to explore drugs in their communities in a wider social context, by exploring the origin of and trade of drugs worldwide, particularly cocaine from Latin America.

Workshop 8 ‘People on the Move’ Download here Gives participants an opportunity to explore migration as a global and historical phenomenon. The first part looks at the meaning and causes of migration and the Irish experience, and the second one looks at the global refugee crisis and the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland. Uses song to explore migration and includes a Nigeria factfile.

Workshop 9 ‘The Human Race’ Download here Explores the effects of discrimination and the nature and origin of racism. Includes a South Africa profile.

Workshop 10 ‘We The People’ Download here Reflects on struggles for social change, and explores participants capacity to affect change.

To download the entire handbook in one pdf document click here.

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