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Inspiration from Papua New Guinea

Dear friends, A short update on what’s happening here in PNG. Conditions are still challenging here, but the inspiration is flowing like the Congo river!

The two day Knowledge Fair was incredible. Organised on an island, PNG AIDS Competence invited the 14 top facilitators from the 5 provinces. The event was characterized by inspiring stories, but also people feeling guilty because they haven’t done much facilitation the last 2 years. However, the biggest transformations were on a personal level. I only pick a few of the facilitators stories:

- Kasure who you might know from the story on our website could not come. Although he was a former criminal, he now has a full time job as a security guard! ACP taught me I had strengths, so now I use them!

- JK from Goroka could not come. Although he is from the settlement with limited education, ACP gave him the skills to be employed with PSI working on Malaria community mobilization and earning serious salaries to treat his friends regularly for betelnut;

- Chris from Goroka was here, shaved his dreadlocks and has a part-time job putting his daughter on school. Chris does regular home visits in his community;

- Joyce from Lae is a full time nurse in the Lae hospital integrating the values of ACP in her work with PLHIV

- Ben got re-elected as ward councilor in the second biggest city here and just built his new office in Tent city to host a mix of community activities. He will propose to the Lae provincial government to host CLCP;

- Roselyne from Bougainville still is in contact with the communities. Health authorities responded to the request of many youth for mobile testing during our initial SALT visits in 2008. The mobile testing tested 1,000 youth in 24 hours. More than during 1 year in normal VCT centres in Bougainville!

- Last but not least. Jasper from 9-Mile. He shared how his father was cruel and how he engaged in crime before. Now he changed for the sake of future generations. He also took down my fence around my house. People in the community now come to me, especially women that are abused (see videos in Knowledge Asset). I am now also voluntary chairman of the Red Cross in NCD and facilitate a workshop on Community Conversations next week;

We started from sharing inspiring stories to each other to reconnect. We built impressive Knowledge Assets. We went together through Blended Learning. We discussed our facilitators self-assessment. But the most impressive thing was the vision for the future. Each provincial team has a different plan using their own unique strengths. Although the serious funding stopped two years ago, CLCP is still alive in each one of us and in the way we live, work and exchange. 

The 5 hour board meeting that PNG-Communtiy Life Competence (PNG-CLC) had yesterday was inspiring and incredibly effective. As a newly registred organisation, many things need to be done. It showed me how we can do this in a human, authentic way and not let bureaucracy take over. Board members show an incredible commitment and competence in taking this on.

This week, we’ll meet key partners to show that PNG-CLC is out there for them to invite. I have an incredible confidence that this country is leaping towards life competence using its own unique strengths and the facilitation and support of the registered PNG-CLC entity.

For your information, the agenda of the 2-day Knowledge Fair: 

Day 1



Session 1 : Sharing something that inspired us since we last met

Objective : Start from inspiration and reconnect as human beings


Session 2 : You have 2 minutes with a VIP to explain CLCP. What would you say ?

Objective : Come to a joint understanding again of what is CLCP and what is its essence


Session 3 : What is happening globally with the Constellation ?

Objective : Share the major trends and inspirations that happen in other countries (from AIDS to Life, going to scale, organisations adapt, Blended Learning and country support teams)


Session 4 : Provincial presentations on what happened since we last met

Objective : Allow provincial team to share and learn from each other’s experiences


Session 5 : Practicing story telling

Objective : Extract together the elements of a good story and how we can share a compelling story of local response in less than 3 minutes


Session 6 : Building Knowledge Assets from our common experience

Objective : Based around practices of the self-assessment, share experiences, extract common principles from the experiences and document the stories on video

Day 2



Session 7 : Reflections in a circle

Objective : Reconnect and provide space for reflections and inspiratinos that arose during the first day


Session 8 : Blended Learning : a presentation

Objective : Present the Blended Learning Programme and together go through the 6 modules


Session 9 : Our Facilitators self-assessment

Objective : Discuss in groups our facilitation skills according to the facilitators self-assessment, set actions to improve and together build the River Diagram to show the potential for learning within the group


Session 10 : Reconnect to our vision

Objective : Re-do the dream building exercise (individuals, provincial, national) to agree on a common vision again


Session 11 : Defining a way forward

Objective : Based on the dream, extract key practices and come up with concrete actions to move forward on these areas for the next 12 months, both on a provincial and national level.




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Comment by Autry Haynes on April 11, 2011 at 8:17am
Dear Gaston, "knowledge Fair" are trully inspiring, they motivate within individual an eager strength to share successful stories. They present what communities can do as they take ownership and responsibilities of their concerns but also a sense of appreciation by Facilitators of their self sacrificing strength. Seeing the result of their effort Facilitators will be re-invigorated and do not feel 'burnt out'. Thanks Gaston. 

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