Connecting local responses around the world
Some years ago, I worked for the National AIDS Council (NAC) on a project funded by the World Bank. It was a well-funded project and we set up youth centres in 129 districts. We gave money to Youth Associations for training and sensitisation. We had more than enough money, we had set-up an excellent programme and we had a group of very knowledgeable people who were dedicated to behaviour change in young people.
And I was one of those very knowledgeable people. I was an expert and I wanted to help people. I knew what they had to do and what they must not do. And I told them what to do and what not to do. The young people saw me as an expert. They were very polite. They found me intelligent and interesting. There was a programme and they took part in the programme. The programme finished and the experts went away.
And then I learned about CLCP. I got the opportunity to follow the process and then to use it. I applied the process in small groups, in my family and with leaders in a Civil Society organisation. In CLCP, my interaction with people does not depend on the organisation that I work for or my job title. In CLCP, my interaction with people depends on the fact that I am a human being who has some experiences to share and who is willing to learn. And as a result, we can interact on that common base.
I try to listen and I find that it brings more results. They tell their stories. They share their experiences. They give themselves a dream that they want to reach. They feel more comfortable when they interact in that way.
When I am talking to a student, I consider very carefully what they are telling me. And they see that they are important. Instead of seeing that they are talking to someone who is very important, they recognise that they are very important.
And I feel more comfortable too. I don’t have the status of an expert or a consultant, where I have to demonstrate that I am very skilled. When I work in this way I am not obliged to show that I am very skilled. I just share what I know and what I have been doing myself. People find that I am one of them and that is a comfortable position for me.
What I have learned from this is that I will be a successful when people understand that I am one of them. Instead of finding me important, they will be proud of what they do. They will recognise that they and the work that they do is important.