Ubuntu approaches to working with immigrants communities

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this chapter I present a case for using an Ubuntu approach in community development work with young African diaspora communities in Australia. The challenge faced in social work and community development in working with such immigrant groups is that the dominant individualistic-based theoretical approaches do not work effectively for people from communities with predominantly collective understanding of themselves. An Ubuntu approach means that the Africans see themselves as agents, actors, and participants in determining their destiny rather than accepting a marginalised position in relation to the professionals. The Ubuntu philosophy is based on African cultures and philosophy and emphasises that our destiny is both as a collective as well as individuals. This approach helps to understand the importance of extended families diaspora communities as well as those in Africa. It also helps to explain the problems encountered by such communities when they migrate to societies with more individualistic ethics. There are lessons to be learnt about working with non-Western communities from a community development perspective with diaspora communities. Because Ubuntu emphasises the goodness and value of humanity, the principles have a universal appeal beyond Africa and African communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity work
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, experiences and challenges
EditorsKalpana Goel, Venkat Pulla, Abraham P. Francis
Place of PublicationBangalore
PublisherNiruta Publications
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9788192332673
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Ubuntu approaches to working with immigrants communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this