Home visit has significant contribution to S,,to A,,to L to T of SALT

I remember the words vividly "..happy couples make happy families, happy families make happy communities, happy communities make a happy nation and happy nations make a happy world.." of the song. But there is another saying "..a house is not a home.." When Le Pont du Tamarinier had the opportunity to support vulnerable / marginalized communities with houses, this was what it hoped for, making houses, homes. It dream created with support of SALT is "Equal opportunity for all peoples, enabling accomplishment of individual dreams and that they give back positive to society." Two of the seven practices to accomplish the dream are [1] Greater community involvement and [2] Family strengthened efforts.

Since Pont du Tamarinier adopted SALT as its Way of Thinking and Working, the three communities it engages have tasted SALT and are stimulated at the community levels. Pont du Tamarinier is now taking a conscious effort to strengthen individual families in an effort to greater community involvement as well. "We will experience home visits as a TEAM so that we have a common understanding of its use and potential." This experience focused on two questions [1] What are you most proud of? and [2] What has the experience with Le Pont du Tamarinier meant for you?

Satisfied faces of what home visits can accomplish in pursuit of family strengthening effort

The taste of 'home visits' was inspiring:

S - people were stimulated and we feel inspired by their response to the two questions;

A - we feel appreciated by the invitation come into our homes. There was space offering comfort on both sides. There was expressions of appreciation for what we do;

L -  we have learn so many things from this short visit. We learn more about the individual families that helps us work more effectively with them;

T - there is even more trust developed between us and the families of the community

"We want to do more of this as our Way of Working," the consensus of the appreciative team.

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Comment by Autry Haynes on July 21, 2016 at 10:21pm

Thanks for sharing your incites n inspiration Bobby. We always learn from and inspired by you (^_^)

Comment by Bobby Zachariah on July 20, 2016 at 10:08pm

Hi Autry,

I agree with you that a crucial point in our approach to stimulate a community response is visiting people in their homes, the most private and emotional space for the members.  This is a place where the deepest concerns can be shared in confidence - as relationships are nurtured.  While conducting home visits in a community with high suicide rates, the communities opened up regarding their personal stress factors, feeling of suicide, suicides that were reported as 'accidents'.  This eventually led to community led teams that worked for suicide prevention in their neighborhood.

It makes us one with them.  We learn from the families as much as the families are stimulated by our visits.  As a part of the CSR community engagement program, 600+ home visits were conducted in a community in Pune.  During the debriefing, the volunteers would come back with lessons that they could apply in their own life.  

I earn several times the money these families earn.  However, they are immensely more happy than I am ;

The way the husband cares for the family is something that I can practice with my family as well.

It awakens the program and the organisation and connects it to the core of the community.  Programs that are 'lifeless' often spring to life, when SALT visits to homes of people become an integral part of the program.  The CSR Head of the company once remarked We are working for more than 8 years in this community, with no tangible results.  However, after the SALT visits started, I am able to see movement and articulation of results

SALT visits can be a spring board for broader program development based on developing human agency.  The SALT visits has awakened the communities and the CSR program now works in partnership with the community on a broad range of issues including education, livelihood, gender, computer literacy etc.  However, each program has the vision of 'agency development' at the core of it.  This is done through reflective discussions during the program.

I am glad that you brought this up Autry.  We intend to use this approach in our upcoming SALT and Immunization project in Assam as well.


Comment by Autry Haynes on July 20, 2016 at 9:38am

Here are some reflection moments on HOME VISITS(^_^)

What was the experience like?

Annelise: It was very good. I don’t get to visit everyone because of my work, it was interesting to get to know people and see how they interact with the ONG. It was good to witness how they responded to our presence.

Sebastien: For me, I saw that they have a good impression of the association. They were happy to come to meetings especially when we do them in small groups. They like to be visited, just even to listen; it was a pleasure for them. They had time for us, even joked with us. It was good.

Anièle: I really like the experience because we don’t go enough to them. I thought they were touched, happy and proud. They were happy to be there, proud to be in the village, proud of their house. We like our children to come here, get advice where to go. They were grateful for the visit, thankful. They want to talk. Mirella talked about her dream of a bigger shop, go forward in life. She said that she believed in herself, she knows she will achieve her dream. I like all the people living here, I was happy that annelise was with me.

Sandrine: It was like an adventure, didn’t know what was going to happen. In the end it was fruitful.

Jean-Noel: It was very rewarding and eye-opening. One lady didn’t know she could get help for her house which raised the question if we were telling people about us and what we’re here for. I think people are waiting for us to visit them. It was a very good experience.

Autry: Warm welcome from the people in the community. Good experience. Confirm my beliefs in the importance of home visits.


What have we learnt?

Anièle: Very aware that they were progressing in life. What they’ve achieved and going to achieve. Seeing change in people. We gave them the opportunity to reflect. They took their time. They discovered what they really feel about that. They are happy in their village. Solidarity. Learn to ask good questions.

Sandrine: They had a welcoming attitude. Proud to have their house.

Autry: I always thought that everyone who lives here was because of the association but there was people living here before the association. Someone in the village had a vague idea of the association. She would like the association to support her to finish her kitchen.

Sandrine: Florence said she had a dream to have a room. She’s scared of what’s going to happen. I was happy and surprised about the welcoming attitude of Edley. He invited us for Gajack. He said that it’s better than before.

Comment by Autry Haynes on July 18, 2016 at 6:29pm

Thanks for sharing this inspiring story Aurelie. It reinforces the thought of how important home visits are.

Comment by Aurelie Blanc on July 18, 2016 at 4:40pm

Here is a story from Mauritius Global Learning Festival which I posted here http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/a-story-from-the-glob...

Here is the story that Eryka, Laval and Rituu shared on the last day of the Global Learning Festival in Mauritius.

Home visits using SALT are important

We visited Renaissance which works on drugs and HIV. We did SALT home visit with a family of four sons who all are drug users. I learned that is important to do home visit and one does not have to go into large groups. Home visit is important because in this case parents together with the drug user can together overcome the issue of drug use. Family structure is required to support if a family member is in trouble. SALT helped the sons to share the problems with their family and together they sought solution to the issue. Family appreciated that the children are seeking their help.

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on July 17, 2016 at 10:09pm

Yes SALT makes home visits very effective. I am beginning to combine them with group community meetings. I will soon post a blog on a recent home visit to a family affected by drugs in Mizoram. Your blogs are valuable and through you Autry we are learning what is happening in Mauritius. A big thank you


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