Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Vanuatu - Kastom Practices

I've just returned from 10 days in Vanuatu working with the local chiefs and community leaders on a project about Kastom Practices and strengthening relationships across villages and islands and families. Vanuatu is an island state in a process of change. The partnership project brings Australian facilitators and local Vanuatu facilitators together to learn from each other. It's a long term project and this past visit was my second but the first where I was in the role of watching and supporting the locals to deliver a 5 day workshop ("Storian") to 35 leaders from the Island of Santo.

It was great. We three Australians were largely irrelevant - a mark of success for us. The most exciting and challenging aspect of the 10 days was the intentional use of local tribal languages and practices where appropriate. At one stage I had tears in my eyes as I watched a powerful reconciliation process unfold while not understanding a single word uttered over about a fifteen minute period.

We return next week to help facilitate a Community Development (Komunity Akshun) 10 day program. This will be on the island of Tanna.


Jinksy said...

Actions speak louder than words, eh?

Anonymous said...

Fascinating island - I envy you!