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Attend a meeting to learn about our community development process and asset/place-based practice.

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What is our goal?

The primary goal of the H. Kumi Foundation is to provide access to water in communities facing infrastructural deficiencies due to a myriad of factors, be they political, economic, and/or environmental.

Our focus is to remedy these deficiencies by establishing community associations in conjunction with local businesses in order to fulfill demand for water through sustainable, longterm community managed water sources.

In a sense, our goal is to bypass the structural problems to go directly to those affected by these deficiencies and build on the assets the community has, while creating new assets. It is an endogenous development model, development from the inside-out.

What are our assets?

Community development projects with a focus on endogenous development have to utilize many of the resources a community already has at its disposal.

This means building from within the sustainable future and greater wellbeing. Assets are the resources a community have for a development project and what can be built upon to increase project success.

The literature typically labels these assets as different forms of capital. The different types of capital fall into seven categories: physical, human, social, financial, environmental, political, and cultural.

Each asset has a specific conceptualization, allowing the organization to organize the different types of capital, see where there is strength, see where there is weakness and decide based upon the assessment the most efficient and productive strategy.

Strategy for Asset Building

Humans are local.

We develop social relationships in our general geographical area. We build cultures in these areas; we build traditions, bonds, norms, values, and life. Here the H. Kumi Foundation recognizes the importance of place meaning and place attachment, in building strong communities to support sustainability.

We must recognize place-based development goes beyond the social relationships to a relationship between the individual and the environment.

This is what place-based community development is all about. Utilizing present positive sentiment from social and environmental relationships – and then building on that sentiment in order to encourage civic engagement maintaining the community water source.

How does a Community-based Practice Increase Success and Long-term Sustainability?

By demonstrating participation from the people being benefitted, the project becomes more than some charitable endeavor where we drop off a bag of rice and leave. Participation means ownership, it means taking responsibility and growing, it means community and self-betterment.

Success is then measured beyond access to water; it goes to the core of community development. Did our project develop a community civic association discussing water management, increasing access, repairing and maintaining the water sources? These are measures of success that cannot be understated for a truly successful project.

Those measures of success are also tied to education and making sure everyone in a community has adequate levels of knowledge about community water management. Another set of questions asset-based community development brings up in terms of human capital is, ‘did we start classes about water management and system maintenance, classes on water irrigation, plumbing, and engineering more productive systems?’, ‘does everyone in a place where a water project was completed have access to the necessary information on the project and its sustainability?

Where the H. Kumi Foundation goes, it becomes a part of the community.


Attend a meeting to learn about how you can help with future projects here in Houston.


Monthly meeting held the last Sunday of each month. Contact H. Kumi for details.