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.
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