URDT was founded to offer a development programmes that is a merger of truly functional education and training with rural development interventions, with the intent of empowering marginalized people living in rural communities.
The mission of URDT is:
* To facilitate integrated, self-generating development of the rural communities and economies, using an approach that combines rural development projects with consciousness raising, training, education and information sharing, so that the new awakening is buttressed by skills and knowledge and remains resident with the people as they organically change the quality of their lives.
The URDT methodology has 3 fundamental results:
1. Mastery of the principles of the creative process: Making ones way of life in the creative orientation in which the individual is consistently in touch with ones aspirations, values, vision, current reality and structural tension. And recognizing what choices must be made (primary and secondary) in favour of ones vision. This leads to what we call: visionary leadership.
2. Mastery of systems thinking: By looking at the interrelationship between fundamental, primary and secondary choices, a larger picture emerges: the interfaces develop and once the individual or the community appreciate the interconnectedness and how each element influences and is influenceb by others, this is what is called ‘systems thinking’. It result in an intergrated development programme.
3. Mastery of sustainable development (lasting change): Given that there are many primary and secondary choices leading to the attainment of the aspiration, the question ‘what next’ leads to formulating a new vision and the same cycle of structural tension is developed, actions evolved and this leads to sustainable development. The structural tension, as explained ahead, in the methodology enhances strategic planning based on the following hierarchy of choices:
Fundamental Choice or Aspiration– is a choice upon which other choices are made. For example: prosperity, peace, health, freedom and happiness.
Primary Choices or Vision- these are choices whose realisation leads to the attainment of the fundamental choices. For example: nutritious food, good housing, land, capital and equipment.
Secondary Choices or Actions– these are choices whose realisation lead to the attainment of the primary choices and ultimately, fundamental choices – For example: the discipline to work hard and intelligently, to search for knowledge and learn.
It is one thing to have a vision and another thing to put food on the table. Vision alone is not enough. Commitment will not lead to effective action. Training in relevant skills (personal mastery) follows as people learn new knowledge and relate differently to themselves, others and tasks at hand. Once all these are mastered, community learning takes place and sustainable change happens:-the secret of rural transformation.
URDT has developed path ways through:
Through ARU the URDT methodology is now taught at University level. This way, we can create more visionary leaders and systems thinkers to enable others to be creators of the live they truly desire.
The people have Shared values, vision and current reality; Shared structural tension; Dealing with world; views/mental models (mind set change); Recognizing the human power (personal mastery); Team learning (building community intelligence); Interconnectedness between different development disciplines (systems thinking)