The answer is not out 'there' - its about me

My SALT journey- part one I will share one of the reasons which made it my path...there are many paths but I chose this.

Communities and institutions hand-in-hand

Both institutions and communities have a role to play in development and progress. Institutions like government, NGOs, research organisations etc can provide information, facilities, awareness etc. Communities decide what is their issue, what can they do themselves and where they need external help.Communities can address some challenges on their own and for others they need 
However in the course of time the role of communities has got sidelined and they have become passive recipients of what institutions decide is 'good' for them. This has developed dependency of communities and citizens on external support for their challenges.
 
Once I realised the key roles communities play in development, I was in look out for what made communities take charge of their situation. I got trained in many approaches, studied and documented and somewhere SALT seemed to have felt right to me. There are many paths but this was my path. 
SALT and Community life competence process (CLCP) are woven around the idea that 'we do not change people, people change themselves" So we were not going to empower the communities or change their behaviour. But it  is us outsiders who need to change- from experts to human beings and facilitators. Our way of working is SALT and way of thinking is that 'we are human'. Once we change, people around us will be stimulated to change.
So SALT was not out there about someone else, it was about me. I had to change. I had to start working to shift my practices from judgemental to non-judgemental outlook. "judging separates us, understanding makes us grow". From finding weaknesses to looking for strengths but most importantly letting go.
What does it mean for our work with communities?
So when I started facilitating CLCP  the focus was on the mindset of NGO staff working with communities, how could staff practise SALT.
SALT way of thinking is unlearning for the field staff who have been service and solution providers. This move to listen and learn from communities is hard.
To conclude, its not about 'empowering someone' its about creating the space where people realise the potential which exists within them. Everyone has something special, we just need to help others discover their inner strengths.

(I am getting clarity on my SALT journey thanks to a group of absolutely wonderful people Kausar Apa and I have been facilitating. Alexander Wofa, Ame, Moiz, Munazza, Neeta, Yamini+ those who joined us briefly Jean Louis Lamboray, MariJo, Laura Simms and Phil)

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Comment by Yamini Suvarna on March 1, 2021 at 11:39am

Love the way you have expressed your thoughts- totally resonates with me Rituu

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