Connecting local responses around the world
When those in authority become too involved in the community's life, the community becomes dependent and see themselves as recipients of welfare and help. Working in a community with a good mix of low, middle and high income group, it is natural that that rich sees themselves as superior and powerful. They take charge of leadership positions and make decisions they deem to be helpful for the whole community.
I was invited by the Residents Commiittee (RC) to make a presentation to this community a couple of days ago. They wanted to know what WE are DOING in helping the community. Together with 2 other colleagues, we discussed and decided we will take this opportunity to share about CLCP. We also wanted to take the opportunity to appreciate the RCs work and thank them for inviting us.
Our sharing about Constellation was not well accepted by some members. They said they are only interested to know what we have been doing to help. I replied by saying "Our help in the community has been in the form of strengthening community and encouraging community to take charge of their own issues and in believing in their own collective capacities." One members response to this was: "Don't try to brain-wash the RC." At that moment, I felt the strongest urge to remain SALTy. I apologised if I have come across as brain-washing the RC and I that was indeed how we have been involved in the community . I also invited them to join us for our SALT visit to tne low-income community this Saturday and see what work we are doing with the community :))
This is the first meeting/situation where my SALTiness was challenged!!! I am glad my 2 other colleagues remained calm and non-reactive.
What was good:
a. We took the opportunity to introduce CLCP
b. Some members were more receptive to the idea, so, the door is not totally shut for future collaboration
c. We work as a team and we remained united in the face of adversity
d. We were able to laugh at the rather unexpected experience!
e. We invited them to our SALT visit this Saturday.
What we could do differently:
We had some questions here:
a. Could we have just shared about our programs - ie sharing on some practical help we have been rendering to the community
b. Was it too soon to intorduce CLCP?
a. The Chairman wanted us to go along with the politics for now as a way to "enter" the group. I wasn't informed of this and I might have come across as not in collaboration with her. Having knowledge of this information could have altered my approach a little.
b. We could have addressed those who were more receptive to CLCP and not focus too much on the 2 resistance members.
It was still a very enriching community visit!!!