Human rights day has just passed and one of our rights is the right to citizenship. It is an important  that forms part of our bill of rights.  Being a prominent member of society is also an important ideal with the people at OurHood. Active citizenship is one of the core qualities of a prominent member in society. Active citizens improve the quality of lives for the people around them. They believe and actively take part in social justice in their communities. They question their community and try to improve it. These are just some of the many things active citizens do.  So what does it mean to be a citizen? Not only that but an active citizen?

What is an active citizen?

According to Oxford Dictionary, an active citizen is a person who actively takes responsibility and initiative in areas of public concern such as crime prevention and the local community.

The different levels of active citizens

local level citizens are people who are actively involved their communities. The tackle problems, bring about change or resist unwanted change. They develop the skills, knowledge and understanding ton informed decision making about their communities and workplaces to improve quality of life in those communities.

Regional and national level citizens are those who actively improve the nation as a whole.  This could involve voting for political parties and other things like igniting beach and street clean ups around the nation by getting friends and businesses from different parts of the nation involved.  can move from voting in democratic processes, to being involved in campaigning groups, to becoming a member of a political party.

International level, the global active citizen can involve themselves in movements to promote environmental sustainability or fair trade, to reduce poverty or to eliminate people trafficking and slavery.

What does it mean to be an active citizen?

Being an active citizen involves getting your community members involved in the upkeep of the community.

It means inspiring people to better their community and to take pride in their community.

It requires taking an interest in your community and its areas surrounding it.

It means you get a say about your community and taking part in decisions that affect you and your community.

Most of all it means becoming an everyday superhero and having people depend and look up to you because you make things happen.

How does active citizens benefit the community?

It benefits the community by creating a supportive environment for all members of the community. So if there is a problem, help will be provided.

It promotes having a clean and beautiful looking community through community projects like street clean ups.

Communities become safer because of initiatives by active citizens like neighbourhood watch groups and allowing community members to give alerts about problems through platforms like OurHood.

It promotes community businesses because tourists are more likely to go to a safe and clean communities and this provides businesses opportunities to get more customers.

The qualities of an active citizen?

Active citizens are ordinary, everyday people.

They believe in fairness and equality.

They are doers not thinkers.

They make a difference in their communities.

They stand up for what they believe in.

They make an effort to include all members of their community.

They become role models in their communities.

How can you become an active citizen?

  1. Join your local community forum
  2. Try some volunteering in your community
  3. Support local organisations and businesses
  4. Take part in decisions about your community
  5. Start community projects like street parties for communities and clean ups.

How can you improve active citizenship in your communities?

Become a role model in your community, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Get to know community members and encourage them to get involved in community projects.

Create a fun initiative for the future generations like the teenagers and children. This will encourage them to become active citizens and give them a sense of social identity.

Check out this cool video on active citizenship

Here are 50 things to do as an active citizen

Your friendly neighbours at OurHood