Hello all,

I am back at Jakarta almost after 5 weeks. This green city, the ojecks ( motor cycles), vendors at the streets selling all sorts of foods... make me feel I am home. Even this time in Dhaka I was missing Jakarta, life in Jakarta and off course the warm welcoming people of this city! Peoples are busy all day yet not rushing. You won't see here people are walking in hurry. relax and happy smiling faces. In my 2 years stay here now I think peoples smiling face are the uniqueness of this place. But don't they have any issue that they want to improve? How do they do it? How is day to day life for them? How are they thriving? I know little about that.

I am really hesitant to write what I am writing here. I am confused about shifting from AIDS Competence to Life Competence! Friends, I have this question to you, shall we call what we do as "Life Competence"? Don't people just born and naturally develop their life styles, coping mechanism and etc. We as facilittaors ignite people's inner force, inspire and nurture people's strengths. But people take charge and act on thier own. They sing thier own song, in natural way. Can some one be Life Competent through using some techniques and tools or they have their own flow? I hesitate to call our approach as Life Competence. Please think on this and lets come up with a new name.

At our office (UNFPA), we started calling 'gender based violence competence', 'Adolescent Reproductive Health Competence' etc. That make divisions to different issues. I am aware of it and do notlike it either. I invite you all to discuss on this if there is still time to do so.

I found this quote very refreshing,sending this for You!

""A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
-- Maya Angelou

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Comment by Phil on February 1, 2010 at 3:23pm
Hello Rebeka

I lived in Jakarta for 2 years and I count the day of my departure as one of the saddest of my life. Your description of that city brings back the energy and the joy of life there.

I am glad that you raised the issue because I went through those same thoughts and feeling. I really don't want anyone to tell me how to live my life. And I certainly don't feel able to tell other people how they should live their lives.

But I think that we are able to talk about the competence of communities. How can communities come together to deal with the challenges that they face. And in that sense, HIV/AIDS is one issue, it is one of the challenges that they face. HIV/AIDS has its special characteristics, but it also calls upon skills and talents that are useful when we, as a community, face any challenge.

And for me, it is that change that we are trying to capture when we move from AIDS Competence to Community Life Competence.

Comment by Marlou on January 28, 2010 at 8:59pm
Welcome back Rebeca,
And how does Community Life Competence sound to you - and others?

Comment by MariJo on January 28, 2010 at 8:44pm
Dear Rebeka, how nice it sounds your description of Jakarta! I just feel like going to visit and stay there for a while or longer, as I would probably fall in love with it as you do.

I think I understand your doubts about the shifting in names, because normally I am afraid that coming to a broader terminology will imply that we may loose focus. In this case I must say that I completely support the changing because it is for me a natural process of competence. We start by being competent to one specific challenge in our lives and that provides us with some tools that make us be better prepared to address other issues that may put our lives in danger.

It means that for me becoming competent to respond to aids made me stronger and more competent in many other areas of my life. I think that is true also for communities. The process of aids competence, malaria competence, gender-based violence competence, etc., is a process that opens up our capacities to make use of our strengths, both individual and collectively. And that makes us better prepared to enjoy life.

And it makes sense for me also in terms of what the Constellation does: we accompany communities in becoming aware of their strengths to deal with issues that are life-threatening. Of course, the issues are diverse. As diverse as communities are. And the process each community engage in is a response to the specific challenges the are facing at a given moment. In that sense, it is good that each community identifies their particular process by the specific name they feel is appropriate.

My feeling is that Life Competence is the global approach for all the specific competencies that we can develope for specific issues. Don't you think?

And also, thanks for the lovely quote!


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