Supporting Article

CHE in China

A dear child may have many names, and that is also the case with CHE in China. I have come across each of these: Community Health Education (CHE); Community Health Education Development (CHED); and Community Development Education (CDE). All are built around the core principles of traditional CHE and desire to focus on holistic development. The following are the main components that compose CHE’s philosophical approach to community development: holistic approach, incarnational approach, relevant social need programs, integrated approach, community ownership and multiplication.

The traditional (or classic) CHE Model championed the establishment of a “training team” that entered a community and through the use of a Vision Seminar, and possibly a School Screening followed by an Awareness Meeting for the community, helped the community see its need for holistic health education. The “training team” then assisted the community to establish a local supervisory committee to oversee the general program, projects, trainings and the volunteer trainers (CHEs) who then multiplied the preventative health lessons from door to door.

The CDE (Community Development Education) model is by far the most common design used in countries like China. It basically champions the same overall procedure, but the entry project/training may not be preventative health lessons but may address another relevant developmental need.

CHE is organized around equipping and training people in holistic development through the Training of Trainers (TOT) levels 1, 2 and 3. The TOTs teach one how to select a community, enter a community, hold a Vision Seminar, hold an Awareness Seminar, and train a committee and a training team in supervisory skills. It introduces main techniques, principles and various concepts. It also employs a number of educationally related principles on how to teach community-based development in a participatory way.

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Hjalmar Boe

Hjalmar Boe is currently based in Norway. He has lived many years in China and been involved in development work.View Full Bio