Connecting local responses around the world
“But isn’t that just the normal behaviour?” asked one of the students in response to the explanation of the SALT way of thinking and way of working. Together with Boris and Marlou, we went to the Hogeschool of Amsterdam on the 29th of September to transfer CLCP to a group of 17 students.
Following a course in Community Development, they are currently in full preparation for their final projects. One student will be going to the Philippines in November for a community project with sex workers, whereas others will stay in Amsterdam to contribute to the handling of the immigration wave on a local level. As a practice on how to approach communities as a team, the class went for SALT visits all over Amsterdam the week before our second CLCP session. They were overall very successful, with some teams getting more out of it than others. One team visited the Ghanese community in Amsterdam where they observed and learned a lot about their discipline, community spirit, and celebrative atmosphere! Other teams found it an issue that they had no concrete action planned when visiting the community as they didn’t get to meet the core members. Instead they met the supervisors and got an insight of the community from an exterior point of view. At first this was seen as a disappointment by the teams, but when during our session they realised that what they really did during their visit was adopting a SALTy behaviour in its purest form, the disappointment was replaced by a sense of pride. It already seemed so natural to them that they couldn’t imagine behaving otherwise!
Personally, I attended this CLCP session to share what I learned during my SALT experience in Mauritius this summer. Together with a friend of mine, we went to learn from and contribute to the projects of Le Pont Du Tamarinier (LPDT), a Mauritian NGO that provides social housing to families in need, and accompanies them in their new lives in the villages. Together with Autry we got the opportunity to assist several SALT sessions in two villages in Tamarinier. The team behind LPDT was an extremely enthusiastic one, with SALT running through their veins. I explained at the Hogeschool how this team ran their After Experience Reviews, which was one of their favourite parts of the approach. Always with tea and biscuits, this would be their moment of constructive causerie and peek of excitement. From the students of the Hogeschool I learned how obvious and natural this step might seem at first, but how once they applied it to their own SALT visits, they realised that this step isn’t that evident all.