Laura Simms, a story teller based in New York, attended the knowledge Fair in Guwahati, Assam (India). This one day event was supported by Taos Institute.

Constellation with CNES and Voluntary Health Association of Assam has been working on community ownership on health in three districts - Bongaigaon, Udalguri and Kamrup rural. On 5th and 6th feb 2020, community members came together to share and learn on the actions they are taking for health of their children. Youth role in this process has been strong. Laura shares her experience of a Knowledge Fair. 

Laura- A day long Knowledge Fair in Guwahati, Assam sponsored by Taos Institute and facilitated by Constellation and two health organizations- CNES and VHAA. My role was co-facilitating community storytelling.

It was a long and revelatory day about how a story lives differentiated from a litany of events or an anecdote. The depth of intimacy that a story creates, always deeply personal and larger than the parts or what it relates, lives in details and experience. To witness how those living in the villages - that have been trained to uncover their strengths and self create solutions to tremendous problems - was awesome. But to witness their discovery of how to tell the story was life changing.

We all agreed afterwards that it was not only the way to motivate more action, but by sharing their stories we were all motivated to trust in the power of listening to one another - a source of genuine transformation and a way to leave an age old belief of being a victim or less than. Communities are invigorated . They are the leaders, champions of their communities. I feel excited and humbled. In this place where the old world continues back to back with burgeoning digital access. Fishermen, women making food on the streets, grass roofed huts and staggering temples. All in five languages. It was more than I could have expected. I went back to the school of the heart and the power of true words.

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