Connecting local responses around the world
As a member of the Guyana Team I have so much to be reflective about during SALT visits. Quite recently CLCP has just conducted training of which I participated. Looking back, before Life Competence , local response meant feedback after an intervention in the community - how they felt about what was shared and not really about what they could do for themselves. SALT brought new flavour to local response - community involvement from beginning to end. I recognize that to be successful in this process there are qualities that one must possess or reshaped, that of openmindedness, self awareness (being comfortable with who I am) and a willingness to try new things.
I'll first share on the visit on a girl's orphanage. They were first asked to introduce themselves and state how they felt about being there. They were very restless and just wanted to talk, thus asking "how they felt?" was a way of opening commuication. It was a way of asking "how was the weather inside?" I then asked them to share their concerns and hopes of which the majority wanted to be reunited with their families. A six year old who couldn't write still wanted to share and said, "I want a heart because I still want to write," and even though it was in scribble that a person couldn't understand I allowed her to state what it was she wrote. She said she wanted to be rejoined with her sister who was adopted. i was in awe of this, as a facilitator I was able to watch something come into fruition before my very eyes.
i found that their restless and disruptive demeanor at first was because of who they are - children from various backgrounds, circumstances and maybe unknown future; as a facilitator I had to exercise patience, tolerance and to maintain open communication to stimulate a discussion that unfolded beautifully. They were supportive of each other thus putting into effect the ideal of what a competent community and local response should be, with open communication as key. Because of this I eventually got to the understanding and appreciation of why it is that they behave the way they would.