Connecting local responses around the world
I wish to share with facilitators and communities around the world about the incredible strengths of the people in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. This week I have had the privilege of accompanying a new facilitation team through a process of “Visioning” in 3 villages – Santey (a farming village), Muk Wat (a fishing village on the banks of the Tonle Sap, houses raised on stilts above the water) and Peam Ta Ou (a floating village, pictured below).
Visioning is a 4 day-long process, where each village conducts Dream-Building, Self-Assessment, Resource and Stakeholder Mapping, Action Planning and finishes with a big celebration. The process is facilitated by 2 newly-trained community facilitators who are residents of the village. These facilitators are accompanied by newly trained local NGO staff, staff from World Fish Centre and Constellation coaches, Dusit and I. After each activity we hold an AAR – reflecting and learning together. Throughout the week, the facilitation team conduct SALT visits to different homes, families and people going about their daily lives. We will do this four times over (a total of 4 weeks in 12 villages). It’s a wonderful and exciting challenge!
Today is day 3 of week 1. Each village have now completed their self-assessment, and the facilitation teams are preparing for Action Planning tomorrow. I wish to share with you 3 stories from these very intense, very incredible first 3 days.
Now, when I say “newly trained” facilitators, I am not exaggerating! Only a week ago we held a first 5-day learning event for 47 facilitators, including representatives from 12 villages, 9 local organisations, local government, and almost all of the World Fish team working on the programme! With such a big group, I really did wonder whether we’d had time to successfully transfer all the steps of CLCP and the SALT way of working to so many people. Luckily, we had assistance from Thuom Nary, who is a native Khmer speaker with years of experience facilitating CLCP in her own organisation. Nevertheless, all those steps and an entirely new way of working – it’s a lot to learn for anyone. So no surprise I was a bit concerned as to whether they’d be able to cope this week during visioning.
Well, here are 3 reasons why I was totally wrong!
I love being wrong. It means I have learned something. I learned this week that people take initiative when they believe in something and feel that their role is important. I learned that people gain confidence when feel they are valued. I was reminded that practice makes perfect, and sharing with others is a great way to improve our own skills. I learned that teams are far stronger than individuals alone. I am so inspired by what I saw in the last 3 days. So just imagine – this is only the beginning!