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. 

Next steps - We will conduct similar activities in 7 other communities; identify community mobilizers and youth leaders and use the SALT framework to see where we get 6 months from now. 

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Comment by Bono Sen on Tuesday

Thanks, Autry for your words of encouragement.  
Yes, will share upcoming activities. Quite excited about the possibilities. 

Comment by Autry Haynes on April 15, 2019 at 8:09pm

 A brave but positive start Bono. Kudos on the outcome. Looking forward to the continued posting because I am inspired by this post (^_^)

Comment by Bono Sen on April 14, 2019 at 11:11am

Thanks Rituu.

Next steps - the group put down what changes they want to see in their community. It is in Malayalam. I will sit down with the program team and assess. We will then together with the youth pick one or two issues we will tackle. We will continue to conduct these sessions; get the youth more engaged through these sessions. Two specific activities we want to conduct with this group - photovoice and a community wall. Photovoice - where we will use photos taken by the youth to share their concerns with district officials at a public exhibition of photos. The second activity will be to create a public wall in the community where the youth will share their thoughts in writing on issues of their choice for the whole community to see. We think by using these modalities we can facilitate conversations on youth-identified issues within and outside the community. We believe these are fun activities that can be used to engage the youth, while giving them a platform and voice to share their thoughts and ideas with the adult community. 

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 14, 2019 at 10:51am

Bono, very nicely facilitated as well as written too. Loved the pictures.

Did the conversation stimulate any thought on action? What are the next steps for this group of boys and girls? 

Eagerly waiting for the next blog:-)

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