Last week, held in Bogor, some ACP facilitators to met again. Bogor is a city that connects Jakarta with cities in West Java.It is about 2-2,5 hours away by bus from the international airport Soekarno-Hatta, Jakarta. Bogor, a haven was once the Dutch officials who will be traveling from Jakarta to Bandung (capital of West Java). Bogor also has botanical garden (tropical), one of the most complete in the world. The city is nicknamed the city of rain, because it's rained almost every morning/afternoon in this city.
This time we met in a workshop named: Workshop for AIDS Competence Facilitators in supporting the HIV prevention programme through NGOs. One purpose of the workshop was how to incorporate strategies that BCI (Behavior Change Intervention) is now running by all the NGO partners of UNFPA with ACP approach.
It started by sharing session. Many stories and experiences of friends from the field were cool and interesting to learn, dug deeper and some can then be applied by others. I shared 2 experiences. it's like a story of before 'n after.
Story #1: Around late of 2006 to mid 2008, in West Kalimantan (Pontianak & Singkawang) ACP workshop held 4 times, starting from kick-off, learning event and support visit. In that period we were visited by friends from Jakarta (Indocompetence) and also from Constellation (JL, Lawan, Joseph, etc). A day before event, we usually meet first to discussed the plan briefly.
At the second and also the third visit, at the 'pre-meeting', JL asked us (he usually asked this one...;-D): what happened since the last time? He asked the local team. This question was not only about ACP, it also about life, such as: how's the city goin'? how about Major, is it still the one that we met before, etc. But, ACP was the most. At that time, we, especially my self, more talked about that it is very difficult one, more participants confused, more were not understand yet, etc.It was most about negative things. This was causing a negative aura, the atmosphere wasn't cool. (I'm sure JL, Lawan, mba Ria, Eq, Rachel, Dewi & Harry might still remember this condition).
Time passed, we (WestKal team) discussed about why ACP does not work.We got some conclusions,: we as facilitator were not really facilitated communities, we're not actually practicing ACP, we're just too busy imaging and analyzing ....... from our desk.
Those were waking us up. Those were to spur us to improve. Now we practice and also facilitate. We finally found that so much strengths and potency in community.
Story #2: As a programmed coordinator at the provincial level, I periodically visited partners at district level, 3 times a year. When we met, my first question was usually: Ok guys, what problems we have in this quarter? It's just the same: the atmosphere wasn't cool. Sometime we debated, we defend our own word. Sometime we're just silent, we probably too lazy to argue.
Since the early of 2009, I changed it. When we meet (especially with partners in the field), my first question is: ok guys, does anyone here wanna share about the cool stories? any interesting moments you wanna share? what success story you wanna tell? Then some cool and funny stories and also success stories were just coming out. Some were fought to sharing stories. The atmosphere? Happy off course!
We have also a report form. There's a column for 'Finding'. In the past, we used to fill it with problems we have at that period. The funny thing was I feel confused when I didn't find any. The second one was we felt cool when we able to identified a lot of problems and also proposing the solutions, seems like we've been working so hard. Now I prefer fill it with the positive stories, partners success stories and anything that achieved by partners. It makes me more appreciate what partners have done.
Rebeka asked me, what did I do with the form, did I change it? I said no. The form is neutral. It's about perception, about vision.
Those are a little bit of change, very small and simple, even probably meaningless for some others. But I'm
enjoying that change. I'm happy with that.
Back to the workshop. Then how to combine BCI & ACP? In BCI we have Individual Risk Assessment (IRA). I see similarity among them, where ' where are we today' and 'where we going to go' are decided by their own, by community. Not by assisted NGO, not even by donors. Field workers are really play as a facilitator. This is in-line with SA in ACP.
And based on my experiences above, whatever you do, whatever your job, wherever you work, do it SALTY.
Just like Dony said (a friend from PKBI/IPPA), there's no contradiction at all (between BCI & ACP). They could completed each others. For me, it would be interesting to do not bait to identified the differences strongly. We better explore and reinforce the similarities. Now, the similarities is our strength and we're gonna use it to address the differences (if any).
At the workshop, we have a new friend from Australia, she is Olivia. She is pretty and warm person. She shared something interesting about the power of listening. She said,: Are you listening, or waiting to talk?