We, as humans, have the inherent ability to change our behaviour. Once people discover their own strengths, they often want to change their situation right away.
When you change your own behaviour, this generates a different response around you, bringing about a much bigger transformation in your community and beyond. Extended in time, this transformation establishes a new cultural environment that can be transmitted to others without needing to be explained, it has the capacity to directly “infect” others.
It all begins with one, then a few more, and
eventually the whole community gets involved...
We have done a lot after our mindset shift from being entirely dependent on agricultural extension officers for their interventions to believing that we have our experience and strengths that we can use to take charge of our issues/concerns as farmers....
When all members of a community strive together to achieve a common dream, they put in place new ways of relating among themselves.
The people of the commune (municipality managed by a mayor assisted by a council) of Grez-Doiceau, Belgium, are interested in the future. They plan to spend the next few years working towards the realisation of their dream of a commune where life is enjoyable... They put themselves in action to “create a local dynamic concerning respect for man and nature… The citizen does not depend on electoral programs. He or she may have his or her program for the municipality and those who will want to help will.”
It was ... I do not know where to start ... First, the strength of a group, the benevolence that it brings to life, the energy that comes out of it... A lot of evidence has been shared. If we think it over alone, we all know what can be good for our well-being but, then we can only share a cold list.
Here, however, we had the opportunity to feel it in our guts and share it and it became alive. And that makes us more eager to engage. And this was made possible by the professionalism of the facilitation. Here, spontaneity was at work. You must be able to anticipate when a group can possibly slip, reframe and I think they did this in a professional and sensational way in benevolence, confidence and joy."
Marianne (citizen of Grez-Doiceau)
The inhabitants of Grez-Doiceau built their common dream and used their strengths to take action together!"
The real participation of all those involved is paramount in the stories of community transformation. A shared challenge brings people together into action in order to work for a different future. This is the case in Mauritius’s response to drug use.
An appreciative mindset (SALT) and a systematic process to learn from action (CLCP) were the magic tools that Constellation Coaches from four continents brought to Mauritius for the past couple of years. Their goal was to support the Mauritius Drug Platform in creating a sustainable and nationwide change in how their country responds to the challenge of drugs.
An important element in this shared dream is the platform’s belief that a solution to the drug challenge in Mauritius will not come from top-down solutions, but needs to recognize and build on the efforts and strengths of people who use drugs and those of drug-affected communities. … The platform and its members are committed to learnfrom the way people are effectively responding to drugs today, and adapt their services to support these actions.”
The change in communities is also about feeling proud of belonging to it, of contributing to its achievements.
Father Joe Ngankhuchung (The People in Need Foundation - India) tells the story:
Using the CLCP - SALT visit principle, the question of “what will make you proud about your village” was put to them. The “MY village” concept gradually sank into the community. Community consensus was reached and water and sanitation committees were formed. What has worked has been the “MY village” concept. The village community is bigger than one individual and the individuals derived their identity from the village. Individualistic egos are gradually giving way to empathetic attitudes in the villages. May be, we are on the way to community transformation. Quite dangerous! Isn’t it?”
Fr. Joe Ngamkhuchung, Knowledge Fair 2012.
The most vulnerable often show the greatest competence and
take action on their own.
Care India and India Competence joined forces with cross-border migrant communities in Mumbai, India.
The India Competence Team used SALT as a framework to develop mutual caring in protecting populations from HIV.
All the elements of the Community Life Competence Project as planned could not be implemented in one year. In summary, however, the visible changes we have seen point toward the effectiveness of this approach, one which mobilizes community ownership and adapts to local conditions,”
says Nabesh Bohidar, Care India.
Through previous work, the project had established cross-border programming, and had increased awareness of HIV and treatment among Nepali and Bangladeshi migrants in India. The initial actions undertaken here by the India Competence Team were to identify inherent strengths in the project, the local NGO team, and the community."
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Our 12-year-experience with over 100 partners, discover their appreciation of our work, the transformation of people communities and organisations that our approach fosters, the natural spread of our way of thinking and working in more than 60 countries worldwide; as well as articles and evaluations about our work.