- Well this is my first blog and i want to first talk about my inspiration with the bottom up approach of the community life competence before loading blogs on my specialty as a malaria coach and facilitator.
- My journey with the Constellation started in the summer of 2005 when I joined the Constellation community of learning and sharing of malaria competency experiences and in building and strengthening communities to scale up for impact. This experience is remarkable most especially in knowing that you are part of the process in helping people to transform and be more responsible for issues that affects their lives.
- The constellation community experience taught me the other way; that in addressing development needs; certain things are of essence such as:
• Appreciating and building on communities’ strengths,
• Stimulating local response for ownership and;
• Learning and sharing of experiences
These essentials will serve as catalyst for community participation and will in the long run ensure sustainability. Working with the Nova Scotia –Gambia Association, a local NGO involved in health education for behavioral change though the employment of the Peer Education Model , a very participatory community approach ; coupled with the bottom up experience of the constellation community of learning and sharing exposed me to a wide varieties of development planning ,implementation and evaluation realities. The fact that my work gave me the opportunity to involve directly with communities made me realized that many a times development experts usually tend to “think” for the communities in project proposals and thus packaged programmes sent to communities without taking into cognizance of the importance of communities perceptions and participation in the planning and implementation of programmes.This is where the constellation community experience makes a difference for it beliefs in the people as the agents of change and development.
- This belief in people as the agent of change and development made me envisioned a dream and that dream is:
- To live in a malaria competent society where every individual is able to self assess themselves and innovate the necessary measures to prevent / curb it.But most importantly is living in a society where people can possess the ability to apply S.A.L.T in every aspect of their lives
I believe this is possible for it has been done on small scaled and community response was marvellous;thus we need to scale.It is time to tightened our belts for we (communities) now know that there is another way,a more sustainable way.A way that emanated from our collective local responses and resources to combat malaria.