Finding things you didn’t even look for

One thing that is great about wordpress’ function of tracking down from where people clicked on my blog, is that it leads me to websites or blogs of other people that I wouldn’t have gone looking for by myself because I didn’t even realize that something of that kind was out there. Today I discovered the “Indonesia Facilitator’s Network” this way and their mission statement (plus their list of activities) sounds interesting:

“IFN envisions a better Indonesia through the development of participatory culture in various fields including, health, education, business, politics, social as well as religious life. Striving to arrive at such vision, members across the country determine to facilitate the process of self-empowerment among Indonesia’s facilitators and the process of constructive dialog and participatory learning among Indonesians which would lead to consensus building and powerful collective action.”

Working as a facilitator in the development context, I often doubt our methods as Euro- or US-centric impositions that very poorly link to the cultures we work in. On the other hand, the argument that “traditionally people didn’t do things this way” is more often than not used by those in a society who fear that change will take away their elite status and give more power to women, young people, lower casts, pastoralists, whoever was disempowered before.

This is why I am very curious about a network that is explicitly grounded in the local culture of a developing country and the energized pictures on the website, of women with and without head-scarf interacting with each other and with the participating men, look very convincing that this is not about some development-paradigm forced upon people by outsiders. Check it out!

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