Connecting local responses around the world
As a public health practitioner and community activist working for health and well-being of community people, I have always seeks a better way to build an admirable understanding between facilitators and community people. During this search I have discover the venerable approach, which I called the “DELA” to, built a trustable relation with community people. We as a facilitator need to very conscious about the various aspects of society, when we visit community with the good purpose.
We consider S.A.L.T. as a DNA of the community life competence and SALT visit is the tool for to promote local action. I believe that the success of SALT visit is base on the unfathomable relationship we as a facilitator able to establish with the people we visit. People only share their stories when they trust us as we are one of them and we are their friend. Likewise, if we properly understand community people their culture and the way people think, then we able to stimulate them to share their success stories, and good practices. To make this kind of relationship I try to follow DELA approach, which I found very effective.
The acronym DELA stands for Dress, Eating, Language and Accommodation. These are the things a good facilitator always need to sentient about. Form my experiences, I can tell that aforementioned are the thing community people judging you as their friend or outsider. This approach is quite similar with the popular idioms “Do as Romans when you are in Rome”.
Firstly, we as facilitator need to wear those kinds of dress that does not shows us we are form outer planet we need to be similar with the dress and quality of dress the community people wears while we are visiting them . Secondly, the food we eat the language we speak need to familiar with the community people. Lastly, the accommodation or setting arrangement place we as facilitator take should also be more similar with the people we sit together.
To case in point, I would like to share my experience visiting river belt community near Pokhara Valley. I was there with a couple of volunteers from UK. Actually, we are there with the objective of helping them to teach them to become a healthy and explore the existing problems in that community. As a CLC practitioner I believe in community strengths not in weakness, so we sit together with the discuss about their practices. I was aware about the living condition of that community and dress according but that was not case with other volunteers. During the discussion, the sitting arrangement shows the difference we on the top and front on chair and community people on mattress. I found that quite awkward so I joined with the community people on the mattress but the volunteers form UK does not join as I do. While the discussion progress because of this community people are more opened with me, participated actively and share their stories.
Thus, I believe that if facilitators add DELA approach on SALT, it would be more effective and useful to build the profound relation, built trust and motivate community people to increase local action.