PHASE 1: Initiation

Up to a year should be allowed for this phase. The amount of time will depend upon whether the training team is made up of local people or outsiders.

Step 1:

Get to know the area and its assets, resources, and needs.

Step 2:

Meet with government and church leaders in the most likely areas to discuss their needs, assets and resources. The aim is to begin in areas that are likely to succeed, not necessarily in areas of greatest need.

Step 3:

Choose the area in which to begin. Work with the local chief/leader to organize a large community meeting. In church-based CHE, work with the pastor and the church. Help the community people/church to identify their assets and things they would like to change and encourage discussion about ways of solving these problems.

At follow-up meetings, discuss ways of dealing with one or two of their most important areas of interest. Discuss ways in which an outside team could help, as well as the role of the community and the team. The community then chooses a community health committee with 25 to 30 percent of its members from the supporting church.

PHASE 2: Training

The length of this phase will vary greatly. The key to success is for the program to be community led and for the community leaders – the committee – to receive training first. The training of the CHE committee is as important as the training of the volunteer CHE workers.

Step 1:

Train the committee members.
Help the committee to finalize its membership, make plans, and organize the community. Members need to work on the expected roles of the CHE workers (also called community health evangelists or CHEs) and then choose a group of these CHE volunteers, which the training team will train. The committee also will identify the community’s assets and their concerns for what needs to change in their own area. These results will form the basis of the training.

Step 2:

Establishing community assets and interests.
The training of the CHEs begins with a community survey to discover the main felt needs of the community. Training is given in spiritual truths in the identified interest areas. Initial training takes, on average, 30 to 50 days—three hours per training spread over 30 to 50 weeks—and should be held when most convenient. Each training day includes one physical and one spiritual subject. Home visits by the CHEs are begun early in the training. Local churches are encouraged with discipleship training to welcome new members. After the completion of training, the CHEs are officially commissioned by the community.

PHASE 3: Evaluation

Many committees/communities consider their programs complete at the end of Phase 2, but we believe the evaluation of the program is very important.

Step 1:

Continue training the CHEs for two or three days each month for an additional year and then four times a year afterwards. Evaluate their progress with them. The committee and community should choose a second team of CHE volunteers to receive training.

Step 2:

Select CHEs to be trained as trainers and to begin training programs on their own. Continue training until a ratio of one CHE for every 10 to 15 families is reached. The original training team will move to a new area, while the local teams continue their expansion into neighboring areas.