Family reunion in Chiang Mai: I met my brothers, sisters, nieces, oncles and aunties

I just realized that I had family members all over Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc. The International Knowledge Fair in Chiang Mai felt like a family reunion...
It is so special to be in a room with 76 people who all share the same values... I felt safe, appreciated, stimulated.
We all felt that "yes! I'm not alone... believing in people's capacity to solve their own problems."
We also felt the connection with the rest of the world. Friends who could not be there, teams of passionated facilitators from Africa...

On the last day, we had a moment of reflexion.

"I was at risk when I was a child. I wanted people to care for me. Not because I was at risk but because I'm human. Let us care for each other because we are human. Not because this or that group has the label "at risk"."
John Pierre, Philippines

"The AIDS Competence Process is from the heart, it flows from the heart. The basic core is the heart."
Mai, India

"If only all the strengths from the stories we shared could come true in my community."
Albert, Philippines

"I'm very impressed to meet young people. They are young but have a lot of experience. This inspires me to implement HIV in West-Kalimantan."
a participant from Indonesia

"Yesterday was a day of deeper reflection. We went deep into discussing vulnerabilities. What touched me is the passion that people have. I have to keep this passion in my heart and carry it with me."
Prabakar, India

I was so impressed by the way Prabakar and Ohm explained the AIDS Competence Process, with passion and personal experience...

Prabakar explained: "Since I am young people told me: Prabakar, you are not good in writing and you should work on it. Then, I worked hard to try to improve it but still people would tell me that it was not good enough... So I stopped writing.
When I met Rituu at one of the ADB learning events, she got very interested in what I was sharing in the group. So, she told me: "Prabakar, you need to write down what you are explaining." But I told her: "You know, Rituu, I'm not good in writing, I cannot do it." She sat down next to me with her computer and she said: "I'm sure you can do it, Prabakar!" She asked me to just say what she needed to write (because I'm fortunate to be a good speaker). Then, she asked me to repeat paragraphs in 5 sentences... I managed little by little to formulate a written text...Since then, I keep on writing.
Rituu could really show me my own strengths and encourage me to start from there..."

Now that the Knowledge Fair is over, the family connections have to stay alive. We hope that all friends will be able to connect and continue to share through this platform. How do you all feel now that you are back? What did you think about the event after a few nights of reflection?

Kiss to all of you...


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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on February 9, 2009 at 4:25pm
Hi Lawan, Lau, Gaston, Marlou, Usa, and JL,

Feedback has been pouring from my friends on their return from the Knowledge Fair in Chiangmai. They can’t stop gushing about about the event with reiteration of their commitment to ACP.

The best workshop I ever attended...I didn't feel like coming back...I miss the participants especially the Indonesian team- Sandeep Gaikwad

It was out of the world...I finally got over my discomfort with MSM. I feel so good. Rabindran Shelly

Well organised...we were 14 from India.. good story telling...provoked my thoughts... I am going to contribute to the AIDS Competence e-platform.. Fr. Joe

Thanks for looking after my friends. Gaston, your email prior to the event was very touching. You kept your promise.



PS: Thanks for the pictures, Lau. Hope to see more of them


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