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Like many communities in northern Thailand 25 years ago, Tha Wang Tan had a number of people living with HIV/AIDS.  There was a lot of fear and stigma. It was a dark time with no hope for treatment, people felt rejected by the community and society and deeply despaired. ‘One of Us’ tells one of these stories.

 I met the people of Tha Wang Tan for the first time in 2006 and from the start it felt that I was very fortunate to be in the presence of something very special. It was on that first visit that I started to learn from the wisdom and Tawin Chuduang, the Head of the Tha Wang Tan Health Centre. He is a little older now and he has left Tha Wang Tan but he plays a central role in the film.

Every time I met Tawin, I would come away with a deeper understanding of Local Response. I would also come away with practical tools and ideas to use in my work. I see this film as continuing that tradition and increasing my debt to Tawin.

The clip shown here in this post begins at 8 minutes and 32 seconds in the film. Pi Tiw has learned that she has contracted HIV from her dead husband. She wants to commit suicide and to goes to ask Tawin to look after her daughter when she is dead.

In the Constellation, we emphasise the idea of appreciating strengths. What I have come to understand is that this means that we help others to appreciate their strengths so that they can then take action based on those strengths. We can do this simply by asking a skilful question.

Tawin asks, “Can others look after your child better than you, Pi Tiw?”

“No,” replies Pi Tiw

“Then I cannot care for your daughter as well as you.”

In the depths of her misery, Pi Tiw recognises her strength. There is no one who can look after her daughter better than herself. She must live.

It is a wonderful moment and it can teach us so much.

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