Ian Campbell: Reflections from first phase of GloCon

( Ian and Alison Campbell are re-visiting all the communities they have worked with in past two decades.  They will cover 25 countries in six phases. The local team mates join this team in their respective countries. The journey is called Global and local community conversations. Here are reflections from Ian after the first phase. Thanks Ian for sharing!) 

Ian Campbell, United Kingdom

Local response is about movements for care and change.

Glocon or the 'Global and Local community Conversation' intentionally focuses on the 'DNA' of local movement, which is relational listening in homes and streets and neighbourhood community.

So far in four countries -India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and China-we have listened  with 13 local communities. The 'Community Story Syntheses' and link to the monthly 'Glocon Update' can be seen at www.affirmfacilitators.org and https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/glocon/

All have  a significant history of pain, loss, and disconnection related to HIV, drugs, or massive sudden interruption to life-flow through an event such as the tsunami of December 2004. All are distinctive-yet all are a story of positive change over the last decade and more. All show 'Care to Change', which  is a phrase used many years ago, describing the expansion of HIV related community response noticed through home care with one person and relatives, that 'infects' neighbours with a realisation of shared concern, and the possibility of reaching for a better future.



In an administrative area in Long Chuan county in southern China, near the Myanmar border, 5 out of 8 villages are now 'drug free' after a  long and hard community struggle initiated in 2004. Home based conversation with all families, and community conversations, have intersected with evolution of supportive local government policy -a rare synergy, difficult to find anywhere in the world. HIV stigma is no longer evident.Confident village families have tripled income over 8 years. They say their village is a good place now.


In  another nearby administrative area, intentional care of HIV positive women in the county hospital and in homes is linked with energetic prevention interaction with spouses and affected others, through enlisting the village doctor as part of the follow up process.


The factors that have helped and limited change are different in each place yet some are common, pointing to a community initiated social, spiritual, and health related movement for response.


Some emerging observations:

  • We know that scaling up response will only happen when scaling out locally is matched by adapted interventions ie we need to want to shape organisational 'scaling into' the 'scaling out from' local community. 
  • Listening through community conversation generates respect, which grows invitation, which enhances accompaniment, which opens love in action, which is the  space for faith related grace encounter
  • The DNA of local community response is community conversation stimulated by a relational counselling approach via a team ie community counselling 
  • The DNA of systems response and adaptation is SALT. 
  • Transfer community to community happens all the time -and facilitation team presence can accelerate the process and help connect for wider transfer.
  • Facilitation team is the mirror image of functional local community -and is often a way for organisations to live the community response vision authentically and sustainably.
  • SALT and community counselling are valid self assessment processes often complemented by other self assessment tools and approaches.


And so on...  more elements are emerging as we go forward with Glocon, building on past realisations and opening more ...still 21 countries, many communities , before 2013. See the schedule on the web site.

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