Connecting local responses around the world
Community Action Day 2011 SALT Activity
We started one hour late due to rain. The rain however did not damper our spirit. It was here, our Community Action Day activity.
I planned a SALT activity with my family, we are a small but very close family and I wanted them to experience the SALT process. My family consists of My Dad who lives in St.Lucia so he was not part of the workshop, but everyone else was, my mom Margaret, My sister Penny, My eldest sister Vickiola who is married, my brother in law Kelvin and my three nephews Ryan 16 yrs, Daniel 2yrs and Nathan 1yr.
We began with the Introduction where everyone introduce themselves and associate ourselves with a fruit and stated why? But since we all knew each other very well I decided that our name tags will be the fruit we chose.
Our Workshop was now officially on track and I choose to start with our family tree. I did this so that everyone could recognize and acknowledge where we came from and appreciate it. At this point I reflected that our fore parents in the family tree would have had dreams for their future generation, who are us. And that made us have greater appreciation for who we are now as a family.
Having that understanding where we came from, we ventured into “Are we human?” to help my family understand that although we are a family, the human element applies to whatever we do for each other as a family. Also to acknowledge, looking at each other not only as family members such as sibling to sibling or parent to child, but looking at each other as humans. We all agreed that we are humans and that realization did not go unnoticed. They said “that thought never came across our minds of looking at each other on a human level.”
We then did our Hopes and concerns where we listed a hope and a concern we have about our family.
(Daniel Hope & Concern is there too)
We broke up into three groups, to begin the exercise identifying strengths. One of the groups was “The Little Ones” because we are an inclusive family and choose to acknowledge the presence and participation of our little ones. We did the usual identifying strengths using clippings.
But I had a surprise! I presented photos of our family to each group and ask them to identify and list the strengths. The groups exchange photos and continued to identify and list strengths, then we compare the strengths as listed by the groups. The comparison indicated that similar strengths were identified from the same photos by the two groups. From our family photos a combination of 41 strengths was listed and I said, “Look how many strengths we have as a family, and I know we can add so much more,” and they all agreed.
After this, I did a stimulating exercise where we pair ourselves off with a sheet of paper and at the count of three we tore it apart in our teams. I then set 1 min for us to fix the pieces back together as neat as possible… the reason for this exercise was that the paper represented our family and knowing that some difficult situations and complications will arise in the family from time to time and knowing that we can work together using our strengths we listed and even more, to mend and work through any situation in our family.
NOW!!! Its dream building.
We started with our personal dreams; here we wrote one statement on how we see our family in five years and our future generation. We pictured our family as a MORE competent family.
After everyone read and explain their statements I said “I know when you were thinking of your personal dream you were picturing it in your minds, so now I want us to go into our groups and discuss our personal dreams and merge our dreams to create our group dream and present it in a drawing.”
After the groups presentation we did Our Family Dream. Here we looked at all three drawings to create our family dream. The little ones Dream is represented in our Family Dream as the water.
After Lunch and an ice Breaker …….. Emanating from the hopes and concern and dream building was a vision statement. The family began to create Our Family Vision Statement from our Family Dream.
The major elements of the dream contributed to the vision statement. Having derived at the vision statement we identified what are key / major things we can start doing from now as a family and individuals to achieve our dream.
Understanding self assessment using exercise, we assess ourselves on that since health is one of our main elements in our dream and vision. After understanding each level of self assessment we assess ourselves again using ‘savings’ to illustrate the importance of developing COMPETENCE as a family unit.
I then touched on Action Plan and emphasize on how important this is for us on this journey in accomplishing our dream. Finally, I explained how using the S-M-A-R-T concept is a good way in putting our action plan together.
MY final Sharing was explaining the process SALT. Going back to the question my sister asked me months ago, “What exactly do you do…….. Well, what exactly is Dream Building?”
I said “well guys this it what I do, this process is called the SALT process.”
S – Stimulate, A – Appreciate, L – learn & listen, T - Transfer
It’s a process that we as Facilitators use to connect and interact with any community. I know you are not facilitators by profession, but you, as individuals can still apply SALT in your ever day lives and I would like you to do so looking through the Human Eyes and become SALTY! I want you to be able to Stimulate the people around you, in your workplace etc, and Appreciate others for who they are, always looking for the strengths in individuals and situations, and to genuinely listen to others because you can learn from anyone anywhere and you must also Transfer your knowledge so that others can learn from you and last, the Y stands for YOU, because only YOU can make yourself become SALTY and when you are SALTy these actions flows naturally.
Recapping! I emphasized “As Humans we all have hopes, concerns, strengths and dreams and how important is it to look for strengths in each other as family members and also in people we interact with in our daily lives. Sometimes we as individuals forget about strengths, so every image in front our eyes we tend to focus / notice the faults/ weakness, so as we learn to look at things through the “Are You REALLY Human Eye,” you automatically see strengths first, then you tend to focus only on the strengths and that’s where you can stimulate positive OUTCOMES."
I ended our 5hrs workshop with reflections which took the form of “what’s the weather like inside?”
My mom Maggie, “In reflection my weather inside is, am standing on top of a high mountain looking over the distance and I see the future, the sky is blue with brilliant sunshine and a nice wind blowing across the mountain top. What I see in the future is alls’ well with my family, we can accomplish our dream and I am proud of my daughter Tricia for taking us through these exercises. I think this has great meaning for us.”
Kelvin, my brother-in-law, “Well for me the weather is very warm and so uplifting, for me the wind is so soothing. In my mind I can see our dream will come true, it is possible! I like how this workshop was put forward and I believe once we work as a Team with the togetherness we have it is possible. I learn to now focus on peoples’ strength, rather than weakness”.
Ryan my 16yr old nephew, “I now know how to look for and identify strengths in others, and how we as a family always had so similar dreams.”
Vickiola my eldest sister, “My weather is a cool sun setting weather. With all what we did I already see and feel we accomplishing our dream. I know we have to get up and start acting, to plan our future. I see a positive road ahead and I need to start acting because I don’t want to stay at level one, I want to be at a level 5 and I can see our future generation continuing on this positive road we set.”
Penny my sister, "the weather in me right now is hot and sunny, and I’m also feeling a lot of wind, the reason why it’s hot and windy is because I want to start immediately and I’m full of energy and ready to get this process started and I can just see the future and I’m so excited. I found the workshop very, very useful very motivating and it’s a dream for the future but I can see myself in it right now, I can see us working towards it and accomplishing it and that’s the good thing, I don’t feel this is impossible. And Tricia, I can see how this process would work in communities and I would endorse this process. "
For me “This was truly a rewarding experience. I now know that my family has a better understanding and appreciation of the work I do and its value.”
The day despite of the rain was full of positive interaction and fun. I had initially planned this activity for Community Action Day but because of family commitment we are now able to accomplish something that we ALL wanted to do, an even though dad wasn’t here, he knew about the activity and supported us in sprit and love.
You can check out the photos in my CAD album :-)