Dutch Competence: Changing the World May Seem Difficult, but it Begins with One Person

From the Constellation 2016 Report, p. 36.

Support team: Dutch Competence

Country: Netherlands

First activities with SALT and CLCP: 2010


Joke and Birgitta have been exploring with a Dutch NGO on how to support the sustainable integration of refugees in their local neighbourhoods in the Haarlem region. They were very much inspired to do this after hearing the experiences from the ‘Et Après’ Community of Belgium, a group of former asylum seekers who used SALT since 2008 to take the lead on their own local integration. With the flood of people seeking asylum in the Netherlands, this seems to be a hot topic where SALT can really make a difference.

To transfer the Belgian success story and inspire our Dutch friends, Joke and Louis-Marie, from ‘Et Après’, co-facilitated a special facilitators training: on how to use SALT for self-organisation and integration of immigrants. With the support of Birgitta, the facilitators visited a lot of impressive local initiatives in Amsterdam like Safe Haven where undocumented women can work towards their future, ‘We are here’ a grassroots initiative for assistance for and by refugees, Buurtzorg, a famous organisation for community health services that has self-directed teams (no managers), Syrian refugees (SYVNL) established in response to the Syrian crisis by a group of young Syrians living in the Netherlands, The World House where people without a staying permit can come for information, personal advice and to develop their own initiatives, and the Neighbourhood Cooperation (OHG). After a very inspiring weekend, the facilitators all went their own ways to do even more SALT visits together and applied SALT in their different contexts. Here some of their stories…

  • Facilitator Margriet is exploring how to use SALT in a natural way to support wise people to join and give their wisdom in the region of Friesland.
  • Facilitators Els and Constance are discovering new ways to create enthusiasm and commitment by integrating the dream and the After Experience Reflection in their work with appreciative inquiry. Constance says it works wonders when you let two teammates dream separately and then co-create practices. She also started to volunteer at one of the organisations we visited.
  • Facilitator Suse is supporting members of a local platform to realise their dream of creating value together. By applying the CLC Process they now work together with less tension and more results.
  • Facilitator Birgitta is applying SALT and CLCP on the island of Texel to inspire the board of a grassroots cooperation in (holistic) health care.  The board wants to apply SALT in their dream building/action planning process to ensure: (1) a strong vision and solid collaboration within the board, and (2) to explore if the SALT approach can add value for the members of the cooperation.  She asked the professionals to start by sharing a personal story about sickness and recovery.
  • Facilitators Joke and Birgitta will accompany a group of refugees and their new neighbourhood for sustainable integration, while transferring in house at VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (the Dutch refugee council).

These are just some examples… What is also very encouraging is that the Dutch facilitators are reaching out to connect with other countries. Facilitators Marlou, Rituu and Autry were all received at an international meetup for a round of SALTy stories sharing and, through personal friendships, we are exploring the possibility of organising a learning festival in February with Dutch and Belgium situated facilitators.

In a world where a lot of things happen over which we seem to have no control, SALT is bringing us together to share inspiring stories of what we CAN do and encourage each other to keep our dreams alive and work towards it. To say it with the words of facilitator Elif: “Changing the world may seem difficult, but it begins with one person.” 

Prepared by Joke D’haese, with inputs of Birgitta Schomaker

Weergaven: 27


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