Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Why is it so important to follow up with the characters of your success story?

Think twice before lionising a success.
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I wrote a success story. It donned the list of top 10 popular posts of IFAD social reporting blog for a considerable time.

Everybody was happy with it and I was showered with lots of appreciation.  

The women in the story were inspirational. I thought they could have a snowball effect on similar farmers. So, I didn’t leave any stone unturned to share the story in my social media networks.

Read: Women unlock chains of development in rural Nepal

And then came the most important part of the story.

For better or worse, I like following up with the characters of my story. So, I went to the Nari Ekata (Women United) cooperative to find out how they were doing.

Seeing their good work, Shanta Oli, a member of the cooperative had been invited to the Learning Routes programme organised by IFAD and Procasur.

In addition, they had been awarded with an innovation plan grant to start mushroom farming for income generation which would benefit 40 households.

I was really happy to hear about these. However, my happiness turned sour when I saw the dwindling patches of vegetables. The land which was laden with vegetables during my first visit had turned into small patches of vegetables here and there – as if they were demonstration plots!

When I enquired, I came to know that they had been continuing with the vegetable farming, however, the quantity had declined. And so has their motivation.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

At least the cultivation was being continued and whatever I had written earlier about them had not turned 100 per cent wrong. I noticed that they needed a follow-up from the organisations that had motivated them to start the vegetable farming.

This taught me few important lessons:

Check the facts well before publishing a success story.

Make sure you ask the futuristic question at the end of the interview – “What are your future plans?”

I am sure you got my point. Don’t hurry to write success stories. Write the stories only after you are convinced with what the interviewees say and what others say about them.

And don’t forget to follow up with the characters in your story after a certain interval.

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