When facilitators meet with communities they look for their strengths. They do not start from their weaknesses. Communities take action from strengths, not from problems. We call SALT our mode of interaction with communities. We pratice SALT in each step of the process.
S : stands for Stimulate, Support
|“If you ask appreciative questions, the self confidence of the community will grow.” John Rwomushana, Uganda|
The most important objective of a SALT Visit is to appreciate what a community is doing. We seek to identify and to name the strengths that the community displays through the actions they are already taking.
When we listen to the community and we recognise their strengths, we provide support to the community to continue and to expand their actions. We often fail to recognise our own strengths! And from this conversation, we can take back what we have learned to our own organisations and to other communities.
Change in perspective
Once we accept the idea that we are going to stimulate, to support and to connect Local Response, we change how we engage with communities. We start from our common humanity. We learn from the community we visit and transfer into our own context. We move from 'expert' to 'facilitator'.
|From expert||To facilitator|
|We believe in our own expertise||We believe in people's strength to respond|
|We respond to needs||We reveal strengths|
|You have problems. We have solutions.||Together, we have solutions|
|We mobilize expertise||We connect you with others|
|We instruct and we advise||We learn and we share|
Story from Novi, a facilitator
During a SALT visit held in Singkawang district, I visited a transgender community. It was the first time I could understand the essence of SALT and it has influenced my life. What I've learned from the transgender community is the strength of their bond, something that is missing in my family life. That moved me to tears during the visit. They taught me how to respect and take care of yourself and others and how to respect friendship and family.
Novi, Programme Officer at the AIDS Commission in Pontianak, Indonesia
Story from Benda, a community member
My two wives died of HIV. Members of my family stigmatized me. I felt totally lost and confused. People from the Constellation came to see me in my small health center in the middle of nowhere. They then highlighted all my achievements which I could no longer see and reminded me of my value, of my dignity. When you hear someone say that you have strengths, it makes you strong.
Dr. Fidèle Benda, Executive Secretary of PLHIV network in DR-Congo
You could read also about the recent International SALT Visit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, that took place from 15 Feb 2012.