This guide, developed by World Relief, explores the evidence base for the Care Group model, offers criteria to assist project managers in determining the feasibility of using this approach within their own programs and provides a step-by-step guide for starting and sustaining care groups.
For almost a decade now, the care group model, in several countries has provided a counter-balance to the negative outcomes of many volunteer-based programs. Care groups are the core element in an emerging model for organizing, training, supervising and motivating volunteers in a cost-effective, sustainable manner. Care groups achieve broad, deep and lasting community change.
A Care Group is a group of 10 to 15 volunteer, community-based health educators who regularly meet together with project staff for training, supervision and support. Care Group volunteers provide peer support, develop a strong commitment to health activities and find creative solutions to challenges by working together as a group. World Relief pioneered the Care Group model as part of its Vurhonga child survival projects in Mozambique (1995-2003).