Connecting local responses around the world
We work with a NGO called Avani, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India and have been introduced to SALT process under Global Fund for Children project in 5 villages. We decided to hold a SALT meeting with Anganwadi workers. They are community based front line worker who play a crucial role in promoting child growth and development. It was getting difficult to get a meeting with them as they were busy and kept postponing our meeting.
What happened in the meeting? Finally a meeting was fixed on October 25 in Kerli Anganwadi centre.
Meeting began with my team members, Jayshree and Shahrukh having a brief conversation with the Anganwadi workers. After that I (Imran) took up an activity called "Pass the Strength" with everyone. In which everyone wrote a strength of their companions, after reading which everyone liked it very much.
Jayashree gave an example from her life. Then, Anganwadi workers narrated stories about an achievement in their personal life and struggles they went through. Stories moved many of the angandwadi workers to tears. One of the workers shared her story of not giving up hope inspite of losing two children. She remained strong and got the job of an Anganwadi sevika. She had a daughter but within a year her husband died. Similarly, we heard several painful stories of resilience which inspired us as facilitators and we got to learn a lot from them. We realised that everyone had many strengths.
Instant results of our meeting
We closed the meeting by asking what do they like to do? Some said that they like to spend time with children, some like to cook and others like to do farming. One said that she likes to take selfies. So, we invited her to take our group selfie. Finally, the meeting ended with a Hindi song on life by an anganwadi worker who likes singing , "Haste haste kat jaye raste, zindagi yuhi gujarti rahe rahe hai.."
When everyone heard each other’s stories, they became emotional. They was also happy to know the strengths of their companions and the good things in those they work with. Our meeting showed that in in spite of a difficult situation, everyone can face any challenge.
After Experience Reflection (AER)
In the next meeting, it was decided to conduct SALT meeting with the parents and all the Anganwadi sevikas would bring 2 - 2 parents with them and promised.
(Blog by Imran with support from Shahrukh and Jayshri)
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