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Reading for Module 5

Module 5: What are we going to do?
Constellation Tool: Action Planning

1. Learning from the experience of Beho: Taking action

This story comes from a reception center for asylum seekers in Beho, Belgium. Life in this center presented many difficulties and problems. Residents certainly felt not welcome in the community. But they thought they could do something to improve their situation.

The relationship between the residents and their neighbors have so much improved.

The experience of this Visitor Centre in Beho demonstrates once again the power of Local Response.

Beho is an asylum center of the Red Cross located in the Belgian province of Luxembourg in the Commune of Vielsalm. Like other such centres, Beho is faced with various problems in its daily life such as asylum procedures, integration, HIV, alcoholism, conflict management.

After they had taken in the Knowledge Fair organized by Belcompetence in April 2009, the asylum seekers in Beho realized that they could change their lives by themselves; they could bring together their strengths and so be able to meet the challenges in their lives. During the SALT visit organized by Belcompetence in Beho, residents raised the problem of integration into their neighborhood where they face insults and people who judge them to be worthless and even criminals.

The residents captured their dream with the phrase: Beho united! They chose to achieve their dream with a “Meal of the World Day”. Several activities were planned for that day: reception of guests, exchanges between them and residents over a drink, dinner prepared by the Congolese, Guinea and Afghan communities, and music at the end.

And so the residents of the centre have had the opportunity to express themselves, to demonstrate their ability to contribute to society because among them there are qualified people as doctors, singers, electricians, mechanics, etc.

When doing their Self Assessment, residents found that their dream had produced something very positive. Relationships between residents and neighbours have improved. Here are some examples. They have received donation of clothes and furniture, local resident have mobilised their cars to help residents do diverse errands, they have received invitations to different places of worship, they have worked to improve the cleanliness of the city, they have arranged summer vacation activities for the children, and they have even organised hair braiding for local children by African Beho residents.

Inside the centre itself, during the preparation period, residents have become more united, and they strengthened relations between each other. There were no more conflicts, no more fights that often ended with damage to property. To resolve these conflicts, CRB merely transferred the persons to blame in other centers without resolving the cause of conflict.

In conclusion, asylum seekers are able to meet the challenges of everyday life; they will only need support consisting in stimulating them or releasing one’s speech.

Having participated in this approach as an asylum seeker in Beho, and convinced of its relevance, I joined Belcompetence when I left Beho

2. Learning from the experience of the Constellation

If there is a lesson to be learned from the experience of The Constellation and its members, it is that communities are very different in how they wish to plan their activities. Some groups wish to plan their activities in minute detail, while others are content to make very basic plans with little detail.

elements of action plan
The one thing to remember is that we use a plan to help us to take action. It is the action that is important, not the plan.

3. Examples of Action Plans from the Constellation

In this section you will find some examples of action plans from The Constellation. If you do not have a lot of experience in making action plans, then we hope that you find these examples useful.

The first example comes from the community of Genoka in Papua New Guinea. It gives an idea of a plan that has been written down in quite some detail. You will find it in in the file “triad module 5 Action Plan for Genoka.pdf” in the File Storage section of the programme. 

The second example comes from Guyana and is the one that we have been using in the programme. You will find it in the file “triad module 5 Action Plan for Guyana CLC.pdf “ in the File Storage section of the programme. 

4. Learning from experience outside the Constellation

Many of the people who take this programme have very wide experience of action plans and you must bring that experience to the work that you do with CLCP and the Constellation.

For those who have less experience, the internet is a very valuable resource for ideas on action plans. Google or any other search engine will provide a wealth of material.

You will find a small selection of the material that is available in a file called “triad module 5 learning about action plans from the internet.pdf' in the File Storage section of the programme.

You can download the additional reading for module 5 from the File Storage section of the programme:
'triad module 5 Action Plan for Genoka.pdf'
'triad module 5 Action Plan for Guyana CLC.pdf'
'triad module 5 learning about action plans from the internet.pdf'