International NVC Workshop
“First call for children — networking”
Ruhpolding, 2nd – 12th October 2012
The workshop was filmed by Dani Wolf and Tobias Grill. You can watch the film on youtube.
“First call for children — networking” was the title of my 3rd international workshop for people who work with street children or orphans. 47 Participants from 15 different nations met to learn about NVC and its application in their everyday life. They could choose between sessions for beginners and advanced learners.
Many of the participants were from Africa: Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia. The workshop was led by five trainers, in the structure of an IIT, dense and intensive: Elkie Deadman (NL), Miki Kashtan (US), Edelgard Kopp (CH), Verene Nicolas (GB) and me (D).
One of my aims for the workshop was that some of the participants of the workshop in 2010 brought along two companions; so that back home they can now start a group for mutual support.
After I got the information about corporal punishment in many African schools, I had the idea to arrange a visit in the Waldorf School in Prien at least for those of the participants who are teachers. So, a delegation of 20 people visited and took home many observations which they want to implement in their own schools. One of these observations was that the class teacher stays with the same class from grade one to eight. Trust can be developed between teacher and students during this time together. Mumby from Kenia reported that after introducing NVC to her teachers and parents, the students came back to school, and wanted to go on learning. Children are seen and matter. Before her NVC experience the classrooms were almost empty.
A further intention of this workshop was to connect people from different nations who have one thing in common: working with children on streets. I believe this aim was met when I saw all the different cultural people playing, singing and celebrating together, and exchanging the challenges they face at home, even in empathy groups.
In order to support self-employment for some of the poor youth people, we integrated the topic microcredits and talked about those projects which work already in Africa.
For Example: Ken from Nairobi bought together with his companions a donkey and tools to build a little car. Now they transport water to some of the villages. In the same time, he became “infected” by NVC through the workshop in 2010, and now they start to talk with community leaders about their position in the village. They do not want to be seen any longer as the “criminals”, they got self-esteem and know their value, and want to be seen in their desires.
Another intention was to offer this workshop to people who work in organizations and can spread NVC in their own institutions. For example, Lucia from Myanmar works in a monastery with 7000 children. And now she wants to start NVC in this institution.
For me, this workshop was a major highlight after almost two years of preparation. My desire to support children to matter, to spread NVC like a gliding snowball and to do meaningful work is very much fulfilled. I sincerely thank all those who supported me / this cause / the workshop in any way.
On the last day, participants of the workshop wrote their comments onto a big paper roll. Read some of them here:
“I was unclear about my needs. Now I understand the four principles. It will help me to understand more about me and others.” Peter
“I came here facing challenges on how punishment and reward should be abolished in our daily life and wondered what could be a replacement or alternative. Now I plan to change my working system through NVC since I know that NVC can improve the lives of people from myself to others through identifying our needs in our lives.” Joseph
“I came here with a desperate need for enlightment, resources, support and connection to help me implement NVC effectively and affectively in all communities I am volunteering for. Now I feel motivated, and I believe to be taking with me even more than I came here for. So, I am anxious to start spreading at least the NCV basic principles immediately!” Lucia
“I came to the Workshop having work experiences. However, the NVC knowledge was a real wow or AHA moment. I got the knowledge I will carry with and influence people around me for the rest of my life.” Sam
“I came here empty hand. Going back basket full of NVC knowledge.” Roy
“Some things are not easy to share …NVC made it possible. Thank you Gitta. Thank you, my Empathy Buddies.” Patricia
“I have been longing to learn how I could integrate NVC to educating people/children the simplest way possible. Now, I know I could be creative, but I must also admit I could not do it myself at the start and that I need all support and empathy I could get from the people doing NVC from our country and abroad as well.” Nanfe
“I came here with no knowledge on NVC, now I have learn the basics – I’m on fire to spread NVC to myself, family, friends and to the clients I’m working with.. parents/children.” Annie
“Direction and connectedness were the longings of my heart. When the door of consciousness was opened, I found the light leading me where to anchor myself. Thanks to NVC, an instrument used by the Divine to let this presence be felt. Let’s continue the journey.” Fr. Boots
“I had some idea about nonviolence, but I go back with much more clarity and resolve to remain connected within myself and with others. Thank you all!” Nathan