Community tool box

The four-part framework for building a Compassionate Community

cfc-discover-focus-build-evaluateThe Charter for Compassion International has developed the Community Tool Box, which is a four-part model or framework for building a Compassionate Community. In many ways, the model is similar to other models for organising a community-building effort.

The objectives of various efforts are usually related to the well-being of the community, e.g. improved healthcare, decreased crime, increased assets for youth, economic improvement, and increased resilience.

The CCI, too, is interested in the well-being of communities and applauds all of these efforts since many of them do indeed address pain and suffering within the community.

The difference in the Charter’s model may be understood as a difference in perspective and intention. Those working to create Compassionate Communities are moved through empathy to compassionate action—a desire to address pain and suffering wherever it occurs–not only in their own communities but in all communities and for all living beings everywhere.

That perspective is perhaps best articulated by the Dalai Lama: “When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognise and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

Grounded in the concepts of the Charter for Compassion this model is intended to guide your process, and to provide a place to begin. It can and should be adapted to the unique circumstances of any community that seeks to become a Compassionate Community. Each of the four broad phases (noted below) includes more specific steps along with stories and examples that you may find helpful and even inspiring. Depending on the community, its particular issues, and available resources, this process may take from one or more years from “discover” to “launch.”

Explore the four phases

Phase 1: Discover and assess
Phase 2: Focus and commit
Phase 3: Build and launch
Phase 4: Evaluate and sustain

View the framework for getting started.

The Charter for Compassion International has gratefully collaborated with the Community Tool Box, which is a public service of the University of Kansas. It is developed and managed by the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development and partners nationally and internationally. The Community Tool Box is a part of the KU Work Group’s role as a designated World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development.

Within the Charter Tool Box, you will find relevant references to the University of Kansas’ Community Tool Box, a rich and valuable resource for those who are building Compassionate Communities. We encourage you to make use of these useful tools as you build your own Compassionate Community.