Leadership and social workers?
End of Novembre, I had the opportunity to go back to the Centre Anuarite in Kinshasa. The shelter is providing services and assistance to girls living in the street, most of whom are involved in commercial sex. The goal of the association is to get the girls off that trade and the streets. Anuarite is supported by War Child UK and DFID.
I have been working with them since july, coordinating a research on the reintegration of the girls, and how to improve it.
During the past months we have gathered informations, send thousands of questionnaires on the cash-flow and economy of prostitution, the "écuries" (street gangs), the lover relations, the experience of the street, values, thejob market for girls and women in Kinshasa etc.
That was on the girls side.
In a relation there are always two parties, and either reintegration if not working because the girls are too stubborn, or it might be because the social workers and the project are not responding well enough. And in that case, I rather think that people do what they are asked to, and can do in the system they are working in. So to adress the challenge of the social workers, we have to work on the organisation, the liberty people have, the sense of support, the openness of discussions, the type of leadership existing etc.
That was my aim during the small week I had the joy to spend there. And it really hit the spot. Social workers spoke about their difficulties, learned positive inquiery, management and leadership etc. After three days they were leading a full discussion leading to actions (sort of strategic planning) with partners from DFID, Medecin du Monde, OSEPER, REEJER etc. First time the social workers were asked to plan, and they led "important" people, among which their financial donor... It was beautifull.
I really love using tools from the Theory of change, Art of Hosting and info-doodling, and feel that in few days, the energy and strenght people have on their projects and actions just explode (positively).