Irmtraud Kauschat

Language of Report: 
Year of Report: 
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
Volkshochschule Darmstadt and Kaiserslautern, multiple groups in Kenya including Peace and Justice Committee Nairobi, a church congregation after Sunday Mass, a few groups in Iceland, European Intensive Course in France
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
In 2011 I started reconciliation work with members of two warring tribes in Kenya. I started with the elders. The young warriors had been raiding cattle and killing members of the other community for at least two decades. In 2012 I worked with the young warriors of the two tribes (7 of each community) of the age 16-24. They had been selected for being the most violent leaders. Most of them were illiterate. It was an awkward feeling to sit in the same room with your men of whom I know that all of them had killed people, most of them more than 3 people. I met them as young men, curious about life, fed up about killing (as we found out later). I could imagine them fighting with each other and at the time I could not. I was amazed that after 2 days of meeting in a sense of mediation/listeneing to each others needs two of them shared that they would stop killing each other and raiding cattle of the other community.After 4 days all of them had joined in this. We found out that killing people and raiding cattle met their need for acknowledgement and appreciation, because they become famous for being warriors and get praised by the young women who want to marry the bravest young man. We worked out how else they could meet these needs. In the end they decided to become famous for being peace ambassadors. They have met in the meantime for several times and continue to collabotrate with each other. For one evening they had invited a physician. They had just received a call from home that a child of one of the two communities had been killed by a member of the other community. There was a lot of tension. The young men asked the doctor if he would be able to distinguish a blood sample of members of one of the communities from the one of the other community. When he told them this would not be possible they were very surprised. He told them that while he was working in the district hospital he had treated a wellknown memeber of the other community with surgery because he had been seriously injured by a member if the doctor's community. They were in awe about this. This released the tension immidiately.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
I can’t remember any during the trainings. I had some challenging situations being a member oft he CNVC board. I realized I had been thinking that “we as NVC-people should” be able to get along without lawyers. I felt relieved realizing this and how it was disconnecting me from other human beings. I was glad to know that there is not such thing as "we as NVCers" just human beings.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
by sharing that we are all human beings and share the same needs, or as a Kenyan participant expressed: everybody's blood is red. Stressing on interdependence
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
In the Volkshochschule trainings usually about 1/3 of the participants are teachers or Kindergarten teachers. Some of them give feedback that their approach towards pupils and colleagues changed, it is easier for them to see them as human beings in conflict situations. I see especially my trainings in Kenya in harmony with social change goals. Some of the teachers who attended the trainings stopped beating (caning) the children after the training, participants who had attended the trainings last year reported that they didn’t beat their wives any more. The more advanced participants started to spread NVC in their communities and in schools. In the board of the German speaking Network D-A-CH we are working together as a team, to create power-with structures. We have public phone calls, publish our minutes as an approach to create a power-with structure. I realize this takes more time than in usual organizations and at the same time I meet my need for integrity by this. I started to be a member of the CNVC board in January 2012, for a long time supporting change in the NVC world towards power-with structures was my main social change goal. So I was excited to be able to directly contribute by being a board member. However I found it very frustrating that we mainly spent our time around the copyright and trademark contract instead of creating a power-with structure. This did not much meet my need for meaning.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
I am a member of different circles: Locally in Darmstadt, on the German-speaking level with D-A-CH, German speaking network, trying to follow up the former GCC connections, supporting participants in Kenya to create their own network and recently being a member of the CNVC board. I try to support the Kenyan NVC enthusiasts to create a network in Kenya, we created a yahoogroup for certification candidates.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
I realize I get more and more tired of being asked for money in Kenya. At times I really need some time for self-empathy, and quite often I share it with the participants, to share my vulnerability and support my need for connection.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year,┬áplease share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
I very much enjoy working with my colleague Nicole Leipert-Knaup. We offer together the trainings at the Volkshochschule. There is so much trust amongst us, which I deeply enjoy. I also appreciate to work together with Christiane Welk, which started in 2008 in Kenya. She my companion on this journey since then, we lived through a lot of challenges and joy in Kenya. In 2012 Aline Müller accompanied us, someone I know through my courses. I like this cooperation very much. It is also supporting each other after challenging situations with the participants. I started to work together with Frank Gaschler, Klaus Karstädt, Robert Krziszik, Louise Romain and Godfrey Spencer before and during the European Intensive Course, which we held in the South of France with about 40 participants from many different European countries.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
I very much enjoyed bringing NVC to Iceland in November (this was the first NVC training that happened in Iceland). There was a warm welcome and the participants were interested in getting to know NVC.

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