Factors involved in social mobilization and empowerment of volunteers in HIV/AIDS community based organizations in Uganda
Many community mobilizers in Uganda do not recognize that psychological empowerment is central in social mobilization, and that social mobilization involves an interplay among several social psychological variables including; social capital, psychological sense of community and group member satisfaction to produce psychological empowerment for volunteers. This has led to rapid decline of well intended HIV/AIDS community initiatives. The study uses a cross-sectional survey design and explores the interplay among cognitive social learning variables that play a significant role in social mobilization, namely social capital, psychological sense of community, group member satisfaction and how they influence psychological empowerment. The study is grounded on the premise that the success of community initiatives relies on the strengths, commitment, expertise, skills and empowerment of volunteers. Data was collected from 370 respondents work ing as volunteers supporting people living with HIV/AIDS from five geographic clusters. The questionnaire used 4-point Likert scales in each of the four sections assessing social capital, psychological sense of community, group member satisfaction and psychological empowerment. Correlational analysis and multiple regression analysis are used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study show that there is a significant relationship between group member satisfaction and psychological empowerment (p = 0.029), social capital and psychological sense of community (p = 0.000), and psychological empowerment and psychological sense of community (p = 0.000). Results also show that psychological sense of community (p = 0.000), is a stronger predictor of psychological empowerment than group member satisfaction (p = 0.060). The study recommends that in-order to be effective in social mobilization at the community level, it is essential to comprehend how the cognitive social learning variables interact to build psychological empowerment.
Key Words: Social Mobilization, Social capital, Psychological; sense of community and Psychological Empowerment