International NVC Workshop
“First call for children — building and sustaining a Community”
Ruhpolding, 7th – 17th October 2018
The two days within the workshop in which we used games as metaphor for NVC were filmed by Dani Wolf and Tobias Grill. You can watch the film on youtube.
Wow, the 6th workshop “First call for children” is over.
39 Participants from 13 countries — India, the Philippines, and many African countries — worked on the topic “Building and sustaining a community”. Primarily, it was referred to the community of Ruhpolding which has grown for the last 11 years.
The team consisted of five certified trainer who all contributed with their knowledge, experiences, structure, creativity and energy: Elkie Deadman (NL), Sabine Geiger (D), Eva-Johanna Rosa (D), Susanna Warren (US) and me (D). Thank you for your smiles and your lifetime spent with me in Ruhpolding.
Modules of the workshop were:
- a shared purpose with the aim, to let children grow in a suitable environment and — at the same time — take care of our own energy
- a feedback system, which will be active after the workshop in our WhatsApp group
- a restorative circle, applied in a live situation in the workshop
- a mentoring system for those of us, who want to dive deeper into NVC
- an empathy system with homegroups
All participants have one common interest: their work with children.
They work with children of the streets in artistic workshops, in an HIV school, a tribal school, with former child soldiers, young prostitutes or children who expose themselves to cyber-sex, children in a hospital without a blanket or a winter sweater, children who live in a tomb or on garbage dumpsites.
My intention is to put these children in our focus and give them a voice.
For this reason, I invited a game trainer, who taught us games (and the learning effect they can provide) and we played them in the sun with a lot of joy. The participants happily picked up the ideas and have already replaced ex-cathedra teaching with classroom management full of fun, joy and ease. NVC can be explored playfully.
We explored the meaning of ´series of games` and stories framing it.
We used garbage material like toilet paper roles and plastic bottles to build several marble rolling tracks, which all led into a community pool. From competition we moved to cooperation with many references to NVC.
We kept in mind that these countries do not have much resources. Garbage is everywhere.
We offered sessions for deeper personal development, the awareness for own boundaries and limits, which is useful for many women and children in these countries as well.
We celebrated Independence Day of Uganda partly in national costumes, and three “professional” Indian dancers from our group presented dances and invited the other participants to join.
In addition, participants were encouraged to share their project in order to learn from each other:
- one organization from Uganda presented its project “If there are no jobs, we create some.”
- one teacher from India build a sustainable banana culture with her pupils based on a donation of 100 Franks. Children can take the suckers home to grow further plants and eat the bananas in school which provide them with the essential vitamins.
These and many other inspiring actions were exchanged and now there is not only an established Ghana NVC network, but a Tanzania NVC network as well with a larger NVC training in September 2019. The giraffes of India are very active with several actions in different child organizations, and support each other in it. A priest from Zimbabwe played the games with reference to NVC with over 100 people from the archdiocesan parish council at home.
At least five of the participants are on their way to certification after many years of experiencing NVC, a sustainable perspective which I am happy about.
I am full of joy after this workshop, and grateful for the warmth I have received. We’re already planning the next workshop with even more focus on children, and probably a theater session to take home for presentations in local organizations. Of course, I am exhausted. Holding this group takes a lot of energy, and at the same time it nurtures me to a great extent. This work gives a lot of meaning and sense to my life.