Using PILLARS

PILLARS Guides are designed for use in small community groups such as youth groups, church groups, women’s groups, farmer groups and literacy groups.  The Guides address different aspects of community development, including health, nutrition, food security, credit and loans and HIV and AIDS.  Any group which meets on a regular basis could set aside some time in their meetings to read through and discuss, one of the topics.

At the back of each Guide are a number of Bible studies related to the theme of the Guide which can be used to provide a Bible-based introduction to the theme and its relevance to development. 

One person, usually an existing member of the group, acts as the facilitator, and leads the group in discussions and activities based on the PILLARS Guides. Ideally the group would work through a whole Guide, as each double page builds on the previous page, to reinforce and develop the ideas presented. The process of relaxed and open discussion will be easier within a group that already meets regularly.

PILLARS Guides aim to:

  • build the confidence of the group and its individual members as they have access to printed and relevant discussion-based information in their local language
  • encourage group members to share their knowledge and experience and to learn from each other
  • help people consider new ideas and skills by discussing the information presented
  • encourage and enable a practical response to the information
  • encourage a collective learning process that equips a group to initiate and manage change
  • strengthen the literacy skills of the group
  • strengthen the literate environment by providing additional reading material.

The PILLARS approach combines reading with listening, talking and acting, to reinforce learning and to make the information accessible to people with different learning preferences, and little educational background.

Related documents 

Finding opportunities for using PILLARS Guides (PDF 5 KB) 

Ways in which PILLARS can be used

Participatory community development (PDF 8 KB)
Increasing understanding of integral mission
 (PDF 8 KB)
Mobilising the church
 (PDF 8 KB)
Disaster management
 (PDF 8 KB)
Disaster mitigation and preparedness
 (PDF 8 KB)
Gender sensitivity
 (PDF 8 KB)
Responding to HIV and AIDS
 (PDF 9 KB)
Child participation
 (PDF 8 KB)
Advocacy
 (PDF 8 KB)
Micro-enterprise development
 (PDF 8 KB)

Strengthening local capacities

Planning, monitoring and evaluation (PDF 8 KB)
Strengthening cultural identity
 (PDF 8 KB)
Strengthening literacy skills
 (PDF 8 KB)
Developing translation skills
 (PDF 8 KB)
Developing writing skills
 (PDF 9 KB)
Developing facilitation skills
 (PDF 8 KB)
Servant leadership
 (PDF 8 KB)

Building knowledge and skills in the following areas

Food security (PDF 8 KB)
Agroforestry
 (PDF 8 KB)
Improving nutrition
 (PDF 8 KB)
Spiritual development
 (PDF 8 KB)
Water and sanitation
 (PDF 8 KB)