7-28 PHAST Day 4, or Creating the Program

Day four is very concrete. The goal is that we will have a program for building whatever facilities they have decided on over the course of the next year.

Pinning the program up for all to see.

The first activity asks them to tell the story of how to build a toilet (or water supply, or whatever they’ve decided to build). They put the pictures in order with each step in the construction stages including steps like “have a meeting,” and “write a grant.” Then the small groups present to the big group. Once all the small groups have presented, they have to agree on a single way of building a toilet.

The plan they create goes up on the string and stays there for the rest of the day. Once they have a plan, I ask who will do each of the steps. Most of the work is the community, which is fine, but some things need to be specifically assigned like ordering supplies or joining pipes. Once we know who is doing the step, I ask who is in charge of making sure that step gets done. In some cases, this prompts a toilet committee to form, in other cases they just say the chief. Once we know who will do the work and who will be in charge of the work, I ask how long it will take.

Filling in the chart

The timeline is a rough step. Time here is different. Deadlines happen, though they are often treated as starting points, not ending points. The idea that something might happen to interrupt the work being done and be need to plan for extra time is new. Even for things like Christmas holidays which is taem blo spel and no one does any work, I have to prompted them to think about putting extra time in those months.

Finally, we have a functional schedule for the facility improvements. None of the schedules we’ve made have held true yet, but you know, at least we made them.

This man likes his questions! 
He put in like seven, including, “Where is the kava bar?”

The next activity is a question basket again. This time, instead of asking anything about the workshop, I ask them to focus on problems that might happen in the schedule they just built. I give an example of the ship sinking with all the supplies, which is usually copied or answered by several people. The question game is hard and requires a different kind of thought process. It requires critical thinking skills which are in short supply here, but usually people ask about what happens if the community doesn’t follow through or if we can’t get funding. Then they answer those questions, like the first question basket.

While they are asking and answering questions, I draw a chart. On the left side is each step they’ve agreed needs to be accomplished. On the top is how much?, how?, and who?. The hope is that this gets them thinking about the work in a different way. They really like filling in the chart, so I guess that’s a step.

That’s where the workshop ends for the day. We always close with a prayer and often closing kava or food. In two communities, I was told to go home and they would tell me a different day for closing kava and food because it had gotten too late in the evening. That was fine with me, it was too late in the evening.

That’s my village!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *