What does it mean to be inclusive?
At the forefront of this endeavour is clarifying what inclusiveness means. Is it equity? Empowerment? Opportunities? Participation? Satisfaction? A combination of these? Or something else?
At PeaceBuilders Community, we see inclusion as a process and as a goal.
We do not, however, close our eyes to diversity as a fact of life. Difference is normal. Some people are excluded from society because of difference. Difference can be due to a range of factors, some universal, some cultural and context specific.
Inclusion for us is about society changing to accommodate difference and to combat discrimination. It sees society as the problem, not the person.
To achieve inclusion, a twin track approach is needed:
Focus on the society to remove the barriers that exclude — i.e. mainstreaming.
Focus on the group of persons who are excluded, to build their capacity and support them to lobby for their inclusion.
Because inclusion involves everyone in society at all levels, collaboration and networking are core strategies to achieve inclusion.
PBCI looks at being inclusive based on three pillars:
1. high, sustainable development to create and expand spiritual, psycho-social, political, and economic growth of both individuals and communities;
2. broader access to opportunities to ensure that members of society can participate and benefit from holistic development; and,
3. social safety nets to prevent extreme deprivation.
Here is how Asian Development Bank looks into our inclusive development approach through Coffee for Peace, Inc. — the social business we established — framed in Peace and Reconciliation principles and practices: