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We were trying to teach so much to the people who already know

( Cho Naga for Foundation, Cameroon is a part of Constellation’s Go Girl multi-country project since April 2021 on engaging communities particularly girls in prevention of teenage pregnancies. Read more about the project )

Doreen Bieri's team works with girls on teenage pregnancy and menstrual hygiene in schools and communities in Mbengwi / Bamenda North West Province. She shared the shift in her organisation's approach after introduction to SALT way of working. I was privileged to hear her during a Zoom call and took some notes, which I am sharing on her behalf.)

We have actually been investing so much energy and giving so much to the people who already know what we are telling them. So, the SALT approach helped us to change our approach as a whole. I am confirming what my other team members have said, the approach going in the communities, the school environment was very large. Using the SALT we could identify that singing a song with the children a simple song they know makes them keep quiet, and makes them participate.

We started doing our activities based very much on ideology of SALT. We did not just give as we used to give. 80%  of was what children gave and 20% what we brought in as said by Paul, my colleague. It made the activities very light.

We worked with two groups. In each of the groups We had a crowd of about 100 children. We were able to implement 2 activities in a one day with the primary and secondary children. We met the head teachers, had conversations with the school upfront, community was able to accept us.

It really is about what we have to do with them given the SALT approach. I realised that we had not been appreciating much. We started  to work with what they know, we appreciated just a little, and they added to what we brought to them. It created a whole world and a whole different environment, especially when we let them remake ownership of their problems and support them to teach each other while we add w to what they know. With very little stimulation, learning and transfer becomes more effective thanks to the SALT training.

The whole activity was done jointly by group as one and through that, we were able to achieve our goal by looking at how to implement our activities further.

Case study if our approach is a girls group piloted by Helen with Brandy and Marie to train girls every Monday to Friday over WhatsApp. Through this, we realized that these girls know a lot. Then we tried to use whatsapp during the holidays. What can we do that is profitable to them. Every evening these girls spend two hours chatting talking about say Gender Based Violence(GBV), u wanted pregnancies, and girls come up with their own ideas. We don’t go and tell the girls about GBV as if they don’t know. We have come to realise that girls, the people, and the community we are trying to support know already much. So appreciation and learning from each other that has been our guiding principle through the support of the SALT approach.

Childern take ownership of the project and teach others

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