1. The community discovers that it can build a house for Rajamma

Summary of story

"Rajamma, was a HIV positive woman, living in poverty. She had been able to put up a temporary structure covered by some sheets, for living, but her dwelling was very temporary, and could be blown away with wind or rain. .....The other women in the community came to her aid. They fortified the structure with whatever materials they could mobilize within the community. ...After a meeting of the village one person agreed to contribute the cement, another volunteered to plaster the floor. The house was built with whatever resources the community could mobilise."

Principle for action: 
When the community takes ownership of a challenge, they will find the resources to meet that challenge. 

For the full story go to: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-boundless-resources-in-the

See Hanumesh's profile and send him a message or ask a question at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profile/HanumeshGunnal

Hanumesh works for Samrakshah, and Indian NGO. You can find more details at: http://www.samraksha.org/

2. Ramappa finds a new life thanks to his friends

Summary of story

Ramappa was devastated after hearing about his HIV diagnosis. He had always been active socially in the village, but now he shunned all company. Then his friends thought that if he had some useful occupation, he would start to feel better. He expressed an interest in running a paan shop. A relative offered to support him, his friends helped him with the work involved in setting up the shop. Now he is running the shop, and his friends continue to support him. He is gradually getting back to the kind of life he used to enjoy.

Principle for action:
When the community understands their challenge, they will plan a response based on their own strengths and resources. 

For the full story go to: 

See Hanumesh's profile and send him a message or ask a question at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profile/HanumeshGunnal

Hanumesh works for Samrakshah, and Indian NGO. You can find more details at: http://www.samraksha.org/.

3. Suardika places HIV/AIDS on the agenda in Bali

Summary of story

...Wayan Suardika is the one who brought us to the village. Wayan Suardika has become a friend. He is the motor behind the network of people living with AIDS, also in other places in Bali. Thanks to his efforts IDU and HIV/AIDS are on the agenda...

.....To earn his living Wayan has set up a tourist agency and small credit union (cooperation). This allows him to feed his family, but also to spend his free time and some spare dollars with the community and his friends.

Principle for action:
When we commit with the heart, we have a resource that is truly sustainable.


For the full story, go to: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/mobilising-commitment

See Marlou's profile and send her a message or ask a question at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profile/Marlou

4. Les petites actions faisables

Summary of story
I will get a story from Eric to illustrate 'la petite action faisable'
Principle for action:
When a community has come together to deal with an issue (even a small one), it will be easy to mobilise that same community spirit to deal with other issues.

5. The amazing things that a beauty parlour can achieve.

Summary of story
...a 27-year old female sex worker from Alapphuzha says confidently, "Now, I understand the grandeur of my body and life, and feel myself as worthy to the society. I won’t spoil my life in the street. I want to enjoy this one and only life as I can. Now I am not living on the street but in a rented house. I will purchase a house soon from my increased income. Now I am careful about my body and health. I learned to wear dresses neatly and visiting the beauty parlor regularly to maintain my comeliness. I use condom for preventing STI and HIV/AIDS,"

Principle for action: 
When we understand our own value as a human being, we discover a valuable resource.

Best Practices Documentation Unit

Kerala State AIDS Control Society

For the full story go to: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/beauty-meets-quality-the

6. The Passionates find that they can change their community... and themselves.

Summary of story

The Passionate is a group of high school children from St Paul’s High School situated in Luckau village, a rural community in Limpopo province.

The Passionate have inspired many people and organizations in the community and have stood out as true agent of change. The school life orientation teacher shared his learning linked to the process that, “children needed to be encouraged and told that they are powerful beyond their own understanding and that they can direct their future. They too can be agents of change in their own and other’s lives.”

Principle for action:
When we look for resources within ourselves and within our community, we will be surprised by what we find!


For the full story go to: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-passionate-childrens
 See Onesmus' profile and send him a message or ask a question at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profile/OnesmusMutuku

7. Human resources or human beings?

Summary of story

....I postponed this part of the work and decided to have a conversation with each member of staff. I asked them what they were proud of, where they were coming from and what they would like to do and to achieve, both in terms of work and personally. These conversations were very surprising for staff and somewhat uncomfortable at the beginning.

But gradually, I realised that the mood of the team had changed dramatically in a very positive way as they had the feeling that they were considered as a person first and that their personal concerns were, at the very least, listened to.'

Principle for action:
When we listen to members of our community as human beings, they will offer resources to meet the challenges that we face.

For the full story go to: Luc's story

See Luc's profile, send him a message or ask him a question at: Luc's profile

8. With HUMAN resources, we are much richer

We drew on our own resources in the Constellation to address our challenge. We asked Constellation members what they wanted to contribute to the dream. Many raised their hands...

Our work plan for 2012 was based on that. We were stimulating and connecting local responses. By that time the work was being done not by a small team, but by over 40 people spread across the globe. Each of us contributes our time and talents from within our possibilities.

Principle for action
When we make sure that members of the community relate to the dream and are given opportunities to contribute, the response will come.


Principle for action
When we define 'us' too closely, we can exclude resources that are willing and able to help us.

For the full story, go to:https://sites.google.com/a/communitylifecompetence.org/the-global-learning-festival/home/the-stories/with-human-resources-we-are-much-richer

See Marlou's profile and send her a message or ask a question at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profile/Marlou

10. How the community stopped complaining and did something

Summary of story

The first time that we did the Self Assessment, there were a lot of complaints that the Community Leaders were not interested in HIV/AIDS work and they weren’t supporting any of our projects.

So we asked ourselves how do we get the Community Leaders involved and we decided that the best way was for us to become Community Leaders ourselves. So that is what we have done.

Principle for action:
When we recognise that we too can seek election within our political system, we open the door to having a voice in our wider community.

This story is told by members of the community of Ta Wang Tan in northern Thailand

The full story is on this page: Becoming community leaders and it contains a video clip of the community describing their experience (in Thai) with a translation into English.

11. ...money enables them to have power.

Summary of story

I learned so much from this exchange. I learned that saving is very important for communities that are vulnerable because that money enables them to have power. And that was very clear in the village.

I also learned that because the community was working together they were able to build houses and roads. Collectivisation helped them to feel that they had enough power to ask for their rights from the local government. One of the members of their community has been elected as a councillor. That election has helped the community to build water tanks and new roads and to have a housing scheme.

Principle for action:
When we recognise that our community has the right to a role in local politics, we begin to have a voice.


You can read Gunavathi's full story at: https://sites.google.com/a/communitylifecompetence.org/the-global-learning-festival/home/the-stories/the-use-of-money

The story contains a video of Gunavathi telling the story in her own language. There is also an English translation. 

12. "Political exercise" is a basic human right of every human being

Summary of story

Mobilization Resources is the umbrella of all forms of resources whether social, financial, human, knowledge and physical resources all of which are found in the community. Mobilizing these resources involves personal and political advocacy. Before, I am often reminded that NGOs should remain apolitical in order for the organization to keep away from dirty politics and influence of traditional politicians who might corrupt community workers and facilitators.

Later I realized that "political exercise" is a basic human right of every every human being. It is the only way they are involved in democratic processes in each of their spheres of decision-making whether peer-group, family, community, society and Nation. Its the only way they are engaged in creating an enabling environment and as watchdog for good governance where people are empowered to take action positioned to bring about positive change in their lives.

Principle for action:
When we understand that we have a right to be involved in the local democratic process, we have another opportunity to bring about a positive change in people's lives. 


You will find John Pierre's full contribution at:http://aidscompetence.ning.com/forum/topics/share-your-experience-on-1

You will also find it on the page: Political exercise

13. A fishing village in Uganda makes sure that there is funding for its school

Summary of story

The village,in Uganda, was on the shores of a large lake.The population was transient. Men came to live in the village for many months to make enough money to support their family.

In the village, there were many children, some orphaned through AIDS. The community had a sense of responsibility towards these children and had built a school.

The fishermen got together and bought an extra boat and set of nets. Each day one fisherman would take the boat out. Whatever was caught by that boat went directly to funding the school. Hence they had a sustainable source of funding to ensure there was always money to pay the teacher and run the school.

Principle for action:
When we find a sustainable resource, we will always be able to take action.


You will find Geoff Parcell's full contribution at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/fishing-for-an-education-in-uganda

14. From dependence to partnership

Summary of story

After the community gained some notoriety for their successes in implementing these and many other projects, more donor and NGO support was offered. However Sumalee contends that the short-term contracts offered by these organisations and donors leads to discontinuity. She points out that this structure makes it hard to gather a body of knowledge based in the community and that funding can steer a community or group towards mandates that are not internally determined by the community itself.

To move towards self-funding, the community began doing their own fundraising. This was due to wanting to be independent and be able to create sustainable changes in the community. “It’s also so much easier to see the capacity much better within the community without donor or NGO involvement,” says Sumalee.

Principle for action:
When we work without NGO involvement, we can see our own strengths more clearly.


You will find Sumalee's full contribution at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/people-know-best-how-to-solve

15. Catering to the welfare of the community

Summary of story

The Catering unit has now become a major source of income to the CBO. From the profits of the services, they have purchased own gas stoves, necessary utensils, a refrigerator, etc. to the Unit. They have also started a beauty parlor in their Drop-in-Centre using income from the catering unit. Plans are on to purchase a vehicle for transporting food from the kitchen to the catering venues.

The Catering unit run by female sex workers at Swantham is a proven practice to reduce the stigma associated to sex work, from the sides of both the stigmatized and the stigmatizers. It is also helpful in enhancing the self-esteem of the actors and their peers, which in turn will improve their relationship with the society. It will also improve interest in their own life, encouraging them to pursue safe sex practices.

Principle for action:
When we use our resources in the 'outside' world, we enhance our status  and our self-esteem.


You will find BPDU'S full contribution at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/catering-to-the-welfare-of-the#comments

16. Freedom and the village chief

Summary of story

We were a small team that had come from Bamako to support the local faciliators in the region called Sikasso in Mali. A woman welcomed us and invited us to dance!

The time for the meeting came and we made our way to house of the village head. We greeted him, one by one and then took our place in a circle around him. For a good 2 hours, young and old, men and women discussed how they could deal with HIV/AIDS with their own resources. They did not want subsidies from the state and they did not want money from this or that partner. The villagers wanted first of all wanted information so that they could take action on the basis of facts. Of course they had heard of AIDS, but what they had heard sounded to them more like propaganda rather than fact. Finally, they decided to invite an NGO to train them at the expense of the village. The discussion was rich! The village chief listened, attentive. It appeared that he had been sleeping but when a facilitator departed from his role and made negative comments on a proposal from a villager, he came to life and asked, “In that case, what would you do!”

The meeting came to an end and a young man respectfully handed the plan of action to the chief. The chief smiled and handed back the document. The young man would need the document to implement the plan!

I am reminded of the book by Amartya Sen ‘Development as Freedom. In this book, the Nobel Prize winner in economics argues that the essence of democracy lies not in the vote, but rather in the public debate by a community that leads to action. I had just received a beautiful lesson in democracy and I wondered how I could transfer it to my village in Brabant Wallon.

Principle for action:
When we discuss our challenges openly, we demonstrate our most precious resource, FREEDOM


The story is told by Jean-Louis Lamboray. You will find Jean-Louis Lamboray's full contribution at: http://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/le-chef-de-monpiela

The story on Ning is in French and the text on the left is a translation of the story.