The Power of a SALT Visit: SALT connects neighbour to neighbour

Health Nest Uganda entered into partnership with The Constellation in December 2011 to introduce the Community Life Competence Process (CLCP) to Uganda.  It was agreed that two workshops be held in January 2012 and April 2012 respectively.  As part of the workshop in January, participants paid a SALT visit to the community of Katabi.

 

Arriving in the community, we parked our vehicle near the home of an older person whom we did not specifically plan to visit and moved out into the area.  For this SALT visit, households had been prepared to receive us and these were the homes we visited.  Following the SALT visit, however, as we prepared to leave the community, it was clear that the old woman at whose house we parked our car was not happy to realise we had just visited her neighbours.  “Are there only special people you visit?” she asked.  “Why do you leave us out?”

 

We began in that moment to see the power of the SALT visit.  The team was invited to her home where we found her preparing potatoes for sale.  We explained that we were in the community to learn, especially from older people, and asked her how she manages in the community.  She told us how she used to sell from the main market until her son fell from a mango tree and badly injured his arm.  All her capital was used on treating her son who later had his arm amputated.

 

“When my capital was finished,” she told us, “I came back home and we formed a group of older people where we have been collecting money to help ourselves and each other.  That is where I got enough money to start selling potatoes.”   She showed us her stall outside her house where she sells bananas and potatoes to passers-by at the roadside.  She explained that she would like to accumulate enough profit to take her children to school, and expand her small business to sell charcoal as well.   We appreciated her initiative, and encouraged her not to give up.

 

Following the visit, our team realised how our visit to this home was spontaneous and by invitation; our visits to neighbours stimulated the invitation of other neighbours.  Community Life Competence spreads through these home-to-home connections.  We recognised the strength of this community – the togetherness, care and leadership amongst the community members who managed to mobilise themselves to form a group to address their common concerns. 

Namara Arthur Araali

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Comment by Ricardo Walters on April 24, 2012 at 4:50pm

Great story, Arthur.  I remember it well.  For anyone reading the blog and interested in seeing the experience, pictures of this SALT visit are found at http://aidscompetence.ning.com/photo/albums/who-healthnest-uganda-i...

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