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The FAMA self­-reliance training model

You may be wondering what FAMA is and how it is implemented in your teachings. Have you tried this technique with your group yet?

FAMA= (Facts, Association, Meaning and Action) and it is a methodology to facilitate a participatory group learning/action dialogue. It is a way for your self-­reliance MBS group to come together to solve your own problems.

The process draws on the experiences and aspirations of participants to stimulate critical thinking, united understanding and solutions based on local action. Interweave has applied and advanced this approach throughout the world.

This approach is simple and easily transferable. FAMA discussions begin with observing and analyzing a “code”­ this can be a drawing such as the samples above, a photo, illustration, role play, skit, video, etc.­ something that represents a reality or situation in the lives of the participants. The facilitator asks a sequence of four types of questions as follows:

1. Facts:

What do you see in this picture? (Or What did you see in the video? What happened in the skit?) How do people in the picture feel? (These questions establish the physical and emotional “facts” of the code).

2. Association:

Have your ever had an experience where you felt like the people in this picture (skit or video)? How does this picture make you feel? (As participants share their stories, these questions make an “association” between the emotions of the code and the participants’ experiences and emotions) Participants share increasing trust as they share their experiences.

3. Meaning:

These questions help participants flesh out and analyze shared principles, ideas and practices represented in the code and derived from experiences, stories and perspectives shared by the participants. Examples of “meaning” questions that might emerge from the picture above might be “How does working with others help us solve problems?”

“What are the advantages of working in a group instead of by ourselves?”

4. Action:

Based on our discussion so far, what will you (or we) do? List two new things you (or we) will do or new attitudes or behaviors you will you adopt as a result of this conversation? (This question inspires “action” steps to solve problems or improve conditions.) 

Using your MBS Interweave materials and this training will help you maintain the delicate balance between learner-­guided discussion and teacher­-guided instruction as a facilitator. Using this approach, you too can help move people from poverty to prosperity through your neighborhood self­-reliance groups. We encourage you to try it!

To share your own experience of using FAMA with your peer Success Ambassadors email us at or post your message directly through our Facebook Success Ambassador group by clicking HERE.