(Version française au plus tard mercredi!)

2009 saw four major advances: first, our common vision evolved from AIDS Competence towards Community Life Competence; second, we consolidated our way of thinking, our way of working and related facilitation tools through the development of our blended learning program; third we can now learn and share with other Constellation members through Ning; fourth, we better understand our organizational model –the starfish!- and have at our disposal a “suitcase” of processes and tools for the Constellation Support Team and the support teams of Member organizations.

Maybe 2009 will be remembered for a more fundamental reason: whether we formally facilitate life competence processes or not, we find inspiration in belonging to the Constellation, and for the first time in 2009 we acknowledged that inspiration flows through us. That inspiration comes from our appreciation of people’s strengths.

2010 is year of immense opportunity. Our accompaniment (or “blended learning) program, in English, French, and Spanish will enable teams all over the world to facilitate local responses. Our new, beautiful website will attract more individuals and groups to join and support local responses to global challenges. UNAIDS, the RBM secretariat and other international organizations increasingly see how our approach contributes to the increase in the return on their investments. Maybe 2010 will see authorities appreciate anew the power of local responses and give higher priority to their facilitation.

This is why 2010 is a dangerous one. “The old man within us is still alive”, said Antoine Saka Saka from DRC. Stress can make us reduce our vision. Ego’s, institutional and personal, can come in the way of the modesty required from true facilitators. Old habits of seeing the negative in others can come back with a vengeance. We might set unattainable goals for ourselves or worse, determine goals and objectives for others to achieve. We might cling to established processes in the abstract rather than accept the challenges coming from their implementation in real life. Inspiration might stop flowing; life in the Constellation might dwindle and falter.

What is then success for 2010? That people in growing numbers can honestly say: “Since I have started appreciating strengths, my life has changed, and so did that of those linked to me”. Only in this way will the spirit spread through those who are open enough to appreciate and learn from every person, every community: whoever, wherever. Each of us is at the heart of our success.

This is why “2010 is your year”. Whether you are involved in a local response anywhere in the world, a member committed to contribute to our common vision, a facilitator aspiring to become coach, a coach wanting to be more connected: this year is yours. The CST will try to better support you as a vital link in the spread of Community Life Competence.

Happy 2010!

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