Amba Datta has just returned to Kathmandu from a teaching mission to Jhapa. Jhapa is the easternmost district of Nepal and is divided into 47 Village Development Committees and three municipalities. Jhapa is home to many indigenous ethnic nationalities, thus it is diverse and rich in culture and traditions due to the influences of its different tribes.
Amba’s training team was Atmaram Timsina, Parmila K.C., Surendra Bhandari and Ganga Basnet from the ICA/Social Artistry Center in Kathmandu.
They conducted Social Artistry trainings in Japha as follows:
1. Women’s Cooperative for 2 days
2. Mechi Municipalities staffs for 2 days
3. Life Line Help Group for 1 day
4. Sunraise Rehabilitation Centre for 2 days
The team was unable to do the scheduled training at the jail because the Chief District Officer was transferred to another district, and there was no liaison to carry out the arrangements.
A full report will follow this one as soon as all of the team has returned.
Janet Sanders, Social Artistry international coordinator, and Evelyn Philbrook, Social Artistry trainer, have recently returned from a Social Artistry teaching/training mission to Nepal working in partnership with ICA Nepal.
A quick snap shot of the trip includes:
The group in Nepal has selected Amba Datta Bhatta to serve as full time coordinator of the Social Artistry program in Nepal. Amba has been a human resource trainer in Nepal for over 20 years, a yoga teacher and has been working with Social Artistry principles since he met the team in 2001.
Dr. Tatwa Timsina has initiated a challenge to the North American social artists. He feels that the full-time initiative will need outside support for the next 2 years and then it will run on its own. A program with at least one full time staff person will cost $500 a month. Tatwa and Amba are committed to funding $200.00 a month and would like to request that North America support the program at $300 a month for 2 years.
How You Can Help
I have made a commitment of $50.00 a month. Are there others willing (and able) to stand with our Nepali colleagues through a financial commitment? Amba has already begun to work 3 hours a day.
Additional money raised beyond the $300 a month goes to support training programs and the trim tab work in Devdaha.
Supporting Each Other
This is not just about the funding but also about globally supporting each other. One day, perhaps Nepal will be able to fund expanded work in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India or Africa. Trainers from India, Tibet, Bangladesh, USA and Taiwan have already come to the Social Artistry programs in Nepal.
Help us put a solid foundation under the work of Social Artistry and Leadership Development in Nepal at this critical time of nation building.
Reported October 2010
The Jean Houston Foundation and ICA Nepal sponsored a month long trip to Nepal to continue the momentum of Social Artistry in this Hindu Nation. Partnering with local staff trained in the 9-day Intensive in 2008, three 2-day Social Artistry Seminars were held, Social Artistry Trainers gathered in Kathmandu, and recipients of Robertson Work Micro-Grants were visited.
The seminars were based on the Introduction to the Social Artistry course, based on the work of Dr. Jean Houston and designed by Jan Sanders, Tricia Webster, and Peggy Dean. These include exercises in the four levels of Social Artistry Leadership. A manual was revised to include the cultural wisdom of Nepal. Atma taught sessions in Nepali and other sessions were conducted in English with translation.
Janet Sanders, international coordinator for the Jean Houston Foundation, joined Nepali leaders from around Kathmandu meeting at ICA Associates for a debriefing of the year's activities and a look into the future. She reports that it was a very exciting gathering--to see old friends and hear the wonderful work that is being done in the country. For example Salik uses the Social Artistry tools in his banking training, of which over 600 people have been through the training.
Atma and Janet went to eastern Nepal to Janakpur (250 miles southeast of Kathmandu) and did a 1.5 day Social Artistry training program for a women’s cooperation organization. Thirty staff and volunteers participated in the leadership program. They then traveled further east for 4 hours to reach one of the wetland projects of Nepal in the Sunsari District. The accountant, Raju, is a former staff of ICA Nepal so he hosted Atma and Janet for the evening and an early morning boat ride on the wetlands.
They stayed in Sunsari District and conducted the second two-day training with those involved in the peace initiatives, community development and HIV and AIDS. They also met with some of the participants from the first training in Nepal back in early 2002-2003 on HIV/AIDS.
They then returned to Kathmandu for a public Social Artistry course that was fully taught by the core Kathmandu Social Artistry Napali team. Janet met with the team prior to the training to assist in developing the agenda and teaching plans. Each day there was feedback with the trainers. The session concluded with a celebration and additional next-step planning.
In review, we estimate over 500 people have been in 2 days or more of Social Artistry training and have received a certificate of completion. An additional 1,500-2,000 have received an informal introduction to Social Artistry through it’s having been included in other training programs are short introduction sessions All participants in the 2008 training reported using the innovative leadership tools taught in the Social Artistry program
Janet gave an update to the Rotary club in Kathmandu. They were interested in a possible partnership. This group partnered with the Social Artistry Kathmandu center with the mini-grant projects.
Atma has been working with the Social Artistry concepts since the introduction of SA to Nepal through the UNDP’s program called Decentralising the Transformative Approaches to HIV/AIDS I 2001. Atma has returned to Western Nepal to conduct Social Artistry workshops with community groups and political leaders.
Donations by The Jean Houston Foundation, ICA Nepal and individual social artists in North America and Nepal made this trip possible. All staff members and trainers volunteered their time and energy.
Reported by Janet Sanders, Jean Houston Foundation International Coordinator and Core Trainer
At March 2010 gathering in Kathmandu, Nepali trainers explored their experiences of being social artists and introducing SA to various audiences in Nepal. Part of the original strategy for SA in Nepal was to have practicing trainers involved in the Jean Houston Foundation's Train the Trainer program. The field of SA could then be built by both stand alone training courses and integrated into other training programs. In addition some of those in the Train the Trainer program were from the ICA Network who has worked at disseminating the approach in its work. Following are the experiences of 9 of the trainers.
He has introduced SA to grade 10 students. These are the students that are just leaving high school. He found it to be a helpful counseling session for the students to face the world; in the midst of the training they realized the world would be in their hands and explored how to make it a better place. He also introduced SA to his workers and encouraged them to become entrepreneurs and more independent workers. They touched their own internal capacities to stand on their own feet. Finally, he uses the approach with his own children so they can better understand their own capacity and develop positive self esteem.
He has done many trainings during the last year. He is part of a team working in three of the far western districts. He has completed 3 district level SA trainings for 27 people each. In addition they have run a series of three training sessions of 5 days each. On the second training they had 3 days on SA leadership. He has also incorporated SA into the content driven courses such as on the environment, agriculture, gender & development. The total through these trainings is over 250 people. In addition to this he did one 4-day training in Eastern Nepal with Santosh focused on junior Jaycee members. Finally, he was responsible for brief informal introductions to several other NGOs throughout the country.
Chandra has written one Nepali book on Appreciative Inquiry. In the book he also identified additional helpful approaches and gave a brief overview of Social Artistry Leadership. He has incorporated the hero’s journey, one minute of joy and the hurling the shoe (hurling negative things) into his training programs.
He incorporates some of the SA tools in his banking training--600 folks this year. He is also a core member of the SA Nepal training team.
Amba assisted one of the micro-grant recipients to conduct two 2-day SA trainings with students. He has also done a 3-day training with women from the far west and local leaders in an HIV project. Over 135 people have participated in these introductions. In addition he has incorporated more imagination work, visualization journeys and meditation.
He has just been appointed the regional coordinator of women’s training for the Far West and Mid West regions. After the training he oriented his own staff with some of the SA tools. His staff (both male and female) reported that they were feeling more positive after the training. They stated that prior to the training they had been depressed . The journey of imagination was a very helpful tool for feeling more positive. He wants to do more ‘pure SA’ and feels he needs more preparation and a team of folks working together. Secondly, he needs some financial support to conduct the training.
He has introduced SA in all of his meetings and gatherings. In his meetings are students, youth leaders, political friends, women workers, family health workers. He uses 1 minute of joy, HP/5 senses/kinesthetic body, visualization, trim tab. These are all powerful tools The folks in his meetings are very happy with the SA approach and are getting much practice. His work is in Central Nepal.
SWI or Red Cross; Each class of his students (23) he has shared the SA approaches through the 7 brothers story. He has found this a very effective way of getting the concepts introduced. At the end of the session he also does a 2- day retreat and does a powerful vision on the students' future. Through SA he has realized the power of story as a teaching tool. He is planning on developing more teaching stories for his students to use in the field. Finally, through the work with the spiritual/unitive level of the SA approach he has been opened to a deeper understanding of spirituality.
Part of Yog Maya’s responsibility is teaching in a college in Kathmandu. She has incorporated SA tools into each of the three classes she teaches daily. These tools are much used in her training practice. She is ready to do more in SA Leadership. She has just signed a contract to do training for the UNDP and the Center for Constructive (constitutional) Dialogue where she is planning on using the tools. She has incorporated the tools into her training for 25-30 NGOs.
The following emerged as key groups where SA leadership has been introduced:
Education/youth, ethnic groups, civil servents, HIV/AIDS, personal development, the family, and rural community development. In addition to these groups the team would like to explore using the approach with prisioners, the army and police.
We could easily say that over 500 people have been formally introduced to Social Artistry in the past 12 months. This means they have participated in a training and received a certificate. There has been another 750 to 1000 who have had a brief introduction, such as a briefing and/or part of another program.
Next Steps as Identified by the Nepali Social Artists
1. Strengthen the network of social artists in Nepal through a clear designation of one person who will animate the network.
2. Continue to develop a core team of trainers.
3. Develop a small fund for the support of training.
4. Offer SA Leadership training to various funding groups.
Soon to follow will be a report on the Jean Houston Foundation's international training team work in Nepal February 17-March 23, 2010. Among the accomplishments to be reported will be the public SA course held March 19-20 in Kathmandu fully taught by the core Kathmandu SA team. The future planning and celebration that followed will be highlighted as well.
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