I just returned from four days of SALT visits in Karnataka, India. I am still grappling with what happened. No words will ever translate the power of the inspiration flowing through all of us, hosts and guests alike. Maybe the only way to thank for the gift of these days is to act on what we learned in our respective contexts.

This is why I would like to share the story Sue Parry (Zimbabwe) told us, when we were reflecting on SALT. It is about a situation that occurred in Rwanda. ‘As a result ofthe genocide and the impact of AIDS on adults, there are many households headedby children and adolescents. In a certain district, a well-meaning NGO decidedto intervene by providing each child-headed household with a goat to raise and breed.One day, a NGO official discovers that one of the youth has killed his goat and is selling goat-meatskewers in front of a bar! ‘Oh no,’ thought the official, ‘this is totally irresponsible andwill not happen without consequences.’ He goes on to tell the child that the NGO will drop this family from the program! “But why?” asks the child. “By selling kebabs, I earn enough money to send my siblings to school, and to buy another goat! “

The youth knew exactly what he was doing. He had used his initiative, resilience, and knowledge of his surroundings to make the most of his gift.

How many timeshave we acted without consultation or reacted on assumptions that proved to be false? By appreciating strengths, instead of passing judgment based on preconceptions, we are getting closer to reality.

Displayed in large in my office, is this simple question: "Are you sure? "

Sue, many thanks for telling this story and foryour help in editing it.

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Comment by wiwin winarni on November 12, 2010 at 10:20am
Dear JL;

Once again you remind me about believe on strengths and believe of other people solving their problem. What we need is that communicate and deep talking so we understand why someone do something. Since I do believe that every body has their own principle, believe iot and use it five their live.

For Sue also, thanks for sharing this wonderful story..Its really touching and let me aware that every human has capacity facing and addressing their own problem. Best Regards from Indonesia..

Comment by ukeme okon on November 10, 2010 at 3:39pm
Please i need someone to translate what Younoussa Diarra wrote in english.

Comment by Younoussa Diarra on November 10, 2010 at 2:32pm
à travers la réaction d'Ukeme Okon, je crois avoir bien compris l'histoire relatée par Jean-Louis. En effet, le plus souvent, nous répondons à nos besoins inavoués qu'à ceux des autres que nous disons vouloir aider. Aussi au lieu qu'ils s'en sortent, ils s'engouffrent davantage dans les problèmes. Si nous pouvons laisser les gens décider par eux-mêmes, les défis disparaîtront de bon.

A plus chers amis!
Comment by Phil on November 9, 2010 at 11:32pm
I like Younoussa's question. Sure of what?

Could we ask the question, 'What are we sure of?'. And then we are forced to explore and to justify the things that we normally just assume.

Comment by Younoussa Diarra on November 8, 2010 at 9:24pm
''Sûr de quoi?''
je n'ai pas bien compris la version anglaise mais je pense que souvent nous qui sommes de l'extérieur, appréciuons mal les besoins de ceux que nous sommes sensés appuyés. En leur laissant le choix, ils ont la meilleure solution.
Comment by ukeme okon on November 8, 2010 at 6:29pm
Dear Jean,

This very good story for people to learn and to also know that thinking is part of us. The young boy realised the means of making money to help him raised is younger siblings and he was productive.
The NGO had one striaght strategy or patern.
I remember some couples of year ago, when an NGO came to provide us with Motocycle, when we needed Canoes for fishing and all the project was uselesshere were no good roads for us to drive the motocycle.
Sometime people teands to make wrong decisions for others and the end result is always very bad.
People should learn how to follow their heart.

Thanks for Sharing this stories with us Sue Parry.

Warm Regards



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