Connecting local responses around the world
SALT draws attention to a two-way process of learning. On the one hand, is the SALT Facilitator who introduces SALT to a person/group. These recipients begin to learn and so does the facilitator. Both come with their own luggage of knowledge and experience, and both are important, as SALT penetrates them and makes a place for itself. This process is critical, and recipient’s knowledge and experience (K&E) must be respected, as it is to make way to accommodate SALT, and it cannot be just banished. Thus, inside the facilitator and recipient, a silent interaction begins – interaction between the given K&E and the trickling in of SALT.
For the interaction of SALT ideas and K&E of recipients, adequate space it to be crafted… no hurried learning; instead , there is to be time to muse/reflect/ponder; and exchange between the learners/recipients. The Facilitator watches over the interaction amidst the recipients, for the interaction is not only between the Facilitator and the recipients. Thus, the Facilitator ensures that he/she does not become the center of a SALT activity.
A learning environment is created, whereby freedom to express views/opinion prevails, as there is no judgment stalking the discourse, and a listening prevails – all who speak are listened to, and appreciated (very simply, as a minimal, the Facilitator says, ‘thank you for sharing your views’).
Once the process of SALT begins, and communities where it is introduced begin a new experience of self-discovery and connectedness among themselves, the Facilitator is to establish a rhythm with the recipients. This could mean, visiting this community once a week or once in 10 days. These follow up visits are important, and the Facilitator needs to know why he/she is going. The purpose is simply to chat with the community… find out what’s happening, meet a special group (example, those with TB, the elderly, the poorest, the women, to name some) These would be SALT visits, where listening and appreciation prevails.
SALT does not work on the basis of predictable outcomes, to appear within a certain time period. SALT waits, like the gardener, to see when a new leaf germinates, and when flowers and fruits begin to appear on the tree. A mystic poet of Pakistan said:
Task of a gardener is to give water, bucket after bucket he pours
Task of the Creator is to give fruit, he may or may not give