During December 12th to 16th, 2016, six community-based organizations (CBOs) that cooperate with the Badi Foundation to implement Environmental Action Program (EAP) in North China gathered in Dingbian, Shaanxi to hold the regional seminar. It was already the fourth regional seminar for this group since the “regional group” strategy was introduced in 2014.
Apart from the Badi Foundation, the other five CBOs that attended the seminar include the following: Qingyuan Harmonious Community Service Center and Aixin Environmental Action Service Center from Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yujun Service Center from Dingbian, Shaanxi, Harmonious Country Service Center and Xinyuan Harmonious Community Service Center from Gansu. This time, not only the initiators of CBOs came to attend the seminar, but also the local facilitators that they had identified. The experiences shared by the facilitators were very valuable.
Along with progress in terms of capacity building, CBOs were no longer just participants in the seminar, but also active planners and implementers of the agenda. The seminar they had organized also became the platform for them to share experiences and accompany each other. Yujun Service Center from Dingbian, Shaanxi was the main facilitator of the seminar this time while other CBOs assisted. Through collective consultation, studying of relevant materials and site visits to Sanyou Village (one of the target villages of Yujunfor the year 2016) were decided as two main parts of the seminar.
During the seminar, CBOs studied materials covering different themes together in the mornings, such as the framework underlying the textbook Building a Prosperous and Harmonious Community or how to participate in consultations or accompaniment. After lunch, CBOs went to Sanyou Village to facilitate the EAP training sessions and also reflected upon how to engage the participants through increasing their facilitating skills. On the last day, the women participants directed a performance, invited CBOs to learn the local intangible cultural heritage and even treated them to a home-made feast. Immersed in the harmonious atmosphere, CBOs recognized the great passion and potential latent within the women. The village Party leader spoke highly of the EAP which also contributed a lot to the smooth implementation of the program. All in all, the experience in Sanyou Village helped CBOs to understand more about the importance of participation of every individual, of every institution within a community.
Differing from previous seminars that emphasized on materials study, this seminar put more focus on the interactions with women participants in Sanyou Village. CBOs learnt and summarized experiences from practice, contributing to the generation of knowledge in the field.