Connecting local responses around the world
Yesterday I conducted my first SALTY activity. Well, technically I didn't conduct it because I don't have the language skills. I shared the idea with my field team member Krishna and she conducted the session. My colleague Balaram and I brainstormed to design the session.
Having just completed my SALT facilitator training, this was a momentous occasion for me. But despite the training, I was unsure of how to go about conducting a SALT session in real time. So, I scoured through this site for ideas and I have to thank you all for posting on this site. It is truly a treasure trove of information.
The Setting - A tribal community where the NGO I work with is building permanent shelters for families who lost their homes in the recent Kerala floods.
The Audience - Youth of the community. It was mostly girls and a few boys.
The Purpose - To develop a program to build community resiliency in a post-disaster scenario. After much deliberations, we have decided to work with the youth of a few flood-affected communities. We will learn and develop the program as we go along but for now, we will work with the youth and help them become change agents of their communities.
The Activity - We started with an ice breaker activity where the groups needed to help each other to complete the task. To identify that thing which connects us all - we talked about times when we had helped somebody. Next, we talked about what help their community needed; and if and how they could help; and if not, what were the challenges.
The AER - We shared what we liked about the activity and how we could do better next time. I shared that I appreciated their enthusiasm and engagement. Most of the youth liked brainstorming on their community needs, while some enjoyed learning about how each of them had helped someone. The boys said that they would share their experience with their friends and will bring more of their friends to attend the next time. Everyone loved the activity and commented that this was the first time they had been asked to share their thoughts about their community.
As for me, I am pleased with my first experience of conducting a SALTY activity. I always had my doubts about how to conduct a dream building exercise, but now I can see the process unfold and I am looking forward to the next time with this group. In Kerala, my biggest challenge is the language barrier. But I am pleased that I have been able to gather a team that appreciates the fundamentals of SALT and recognizes its value.