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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