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Irmtraud Kauschat

Language of Report: 
English
Year of Report: 
2009
Share My Report With: 
General Public (Including Certified Trainers and Certification Candidates)
A. Approximately how many training days did you have this year?: 
56
B. Briefly list the groups and organizations you worked with this year as a trainer.: 
different privately organized groups, VHS, Comboni-Missionare,Katholische Frauengemeinschaft Darmstadt, Hospizarbeit im Evang. Johanneswerk, OWL Brighton and London/UK church congregations in Lanet/Nakuru, Kenya, different groups on Rusinga Island and Mfangano, Lake Victoria, Kenya
C. Approximately how many people did you offer NVC training to this year?: 
500
D. What are you celebrating about your training experiences this year? What was significant for you? What touched your heart?: 
I celebrate that together with my colleague Nicole Leipert-Knaup we were able to do another 10-day Inner process training and the 10-day deepening training as well as create a new 15-days NVC training on mediation and coaching. With this I feel satiesfied, meaning that in my opinion we have a curriculum that covers all issues of NVC that are dear to me. I also celebrate having been to Kenya for the third time, seeing how NVC contributes to peoples' lives. We went to a new place this year. We were expeting about 20 participants and ended up with 100! They were members of 15 different church congregations and 5 tribes, who told us that without us coming they would never sat together in one room. We started reconciliation work in a format I developed and I like to call: listening empathecically to her/his-story. That means we asked a representative of each tribe to tell their story of their experience during the post-election violence 2007/2008 and then the othr participants guessed which needs had not been met. So they dicovered that they shared the same unmet needs, which was a step to healing and connection for them. I aso celebrate that we met our NVC friends on Rusinga Island again, whom I first met in 2007. They have developed 10 practice groups of about 100 participants who meet weekly. That was harvesting for me. I feel also grateful for my colleague Jan van Koert who also works with the same commnity, so they get trainings at least twice a year. That helps them to stay connected with NVC. Another experience I enjoyed very much was my first one week-residantial training held in Kenya, I so much wanted to facilitate a residential training for more than 3 days, which is usually the end of our deepening seminar in Germany. Then we received a donation from the NVC group in Berlin and were able to have a residential training in Kenya, which contributed to deep learning an connection.
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
One of the most challenging situtions happens over and over again in Kenya, it is about money: here is one example: We already had observed last year that participants usually are served some lunch during full day training. This time nobody had told us before and anyway we had expected about 20 people. Now there were about 90. This would have cost us 270 €, an amount of money that absolutely was more than we could afford. We already had paid much of the travel out of our own pockets. We were shocked. In the end we agreed on offering 100 KSh per day per participant, and everybody was going to care for their food and travel expenses themselves. That cost us 150 € less and at the same time much more than our budget, and we would have less money for the trainings on Rusinga Island. During the next day we observed people coming just shortly before lunch break hoping to receive also the 100 KSh. Catherine was upset and we decided not to hand money to these people. I offered her to publicly have an empathy session after the break – also using it as a live example how to deal with anger. She agreed and soon it became clear that it was about appreciation for getting a NVC training, that it is important to her that people come for the training, that she needs empathy for the effort she puts in the preparation for the workshop, for which she did not (want to) receive any money. With this she felt relaxed. Then I shared my process I had gone through in the morning. I had been angry when the members of the committee they had formed during the preparation time presented the receipts. I had felt especially triggered when they presented a bill for bed cloths and blankets that would remain with them. It was really painful for me to know that paying these bills would mean that we would have less left for the training on Rusinga. I had had the impression that for them having white skin automatically means lots and lots of money. It did not seem to reach them that we paid a big part of the expense out of our own pockets and that the rest was sponsored by people who mostly could afford to donate small sums and do it from their heart, that at the same time I accept that many of them don’t have the money to have regular meals, that I don’t judge them for asking for the money and at the same time want to be recognized as a human being independent of the color of my skin. We had a very lively exchange about this and a much deeper connection I felt happy to have been honest and having had the courage to share this.
F. How do you teach the spiritual basis of Nonviolent Communication in your workshops and training programs? : 
The spiritual basis for me means that all human beings in the world share the same needs, thus we are connected with each other - across different cultures.
G. Please describe your social change goals...: 
In the Volkshochschule trainings usually about 1/3 of the participants are 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 trainings, 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 communties and in schools. And a last field and very dear to my heart is our own organization. I founded together with other trainers the German speaking network in February 2008. In 2009 we were able to win new members. By the end of 2009 we had about 15 member groups with about 250 individual members. We are offering services like transfering the trainer fee to the CNVC, supporting member groups for example in organizing a NVC-day like in Berlin with different workshops, having an office where people get informations about NVC. In the board we are working together as a team, to create power-with structures. I also try to contribute to our organization by having been a member of the GCC where I co-initiated the trainer-fee- and regional-center-proposal. For me it is really important to include trainers into decision making about their own issues – like trainer fees, how they want to get organized, how they want to relate to the CNVC.
J. Please describe your efforts to create, or join, an NVC circle or organization.: 
I founded together with other trainers the German speaking network in February 2008. (see above) In July 2008 we founded a non-profit organization in my hometown in Darmstadt where I was elected the chairperson. Our board has 8 members, we are working closely together. We organized a day for empathetic listening in the market place in May, offered a workshop on empathy on Oct 2nd ( international day of empathetic action) I am a representative to the Europe Africa Circle where I serve as the coordinator and am a member of the GCC. I held the connections to people of different circles world wide after Glenda stepped back from being the coordinator of the GCC There is much joy in this work, meeting my needs for connection and contribution. I like very much to explore how we can live with NVC consciousness in the structure of a legal organization in a power-over world. I enjoyed very much exploring how we can find ways of decision making for the global community in the trainer renewal fee and regional center proposal. I found it very inspiring to work on it together with Glenda. We also worked on creating worldwide calls with trainers from different continents and countries for connection and further collaboration.
K. Summarize participants’ evaluations, and how their feedback resulted in new learning or growth for you this past year.: 
sometimes I listen to more words than I really enjoy and participants ask me to stop "discussions", I try to be more connected with myself and stop discussion when I realize that I am not connected. One participant left a seminar earlier because she had expected to learn some theory and not going into processes where people share their pain. I was able to connect with her and her need for protection and offered her part of the fee back with which felt satisfied. Otherwise I usually receive thh feedback that participants feel safe in my seminars.
L. What are your current growing edges or challenges as a trainer that you will be working on in the future?: 
Mostly it is living NVC consciousness around our own organization, to stay connected to everybody as a human being independent on the roles people have in the organization. Wearing “giraffe-ears” when I get into contact with people who feel pain around their experiences with CNVC, whatever this term means to them. I try to stop generalizing and refer to real observations and realize it is a challenge at times, when there is more pain. There is pain (for me and others) around the founding of the German speaking network D-A-CH which includes requests from the board of the Munich network which sometimes I need special care to really receive as requests. My desire is to negotiate this within the German speaking network. We had a face-to-face meeting in August 2009 after wich I felt more connected. I am very happy about this. Additionally sometimes it is a challenge to stay connected with abundance, especially when I look at my bank account. I contributed so much work on a volunteer basis to each project I mentioned under social change, and also financially to the Kenya-project, that I really need to care for my needs of financial safety now.
M. If you found opportunities to work with other trainers this year, please share the most meaningful experiences for you.: 
There are so many meaningful experiences: first of all working together with my colleague Nicole Leipert-Knaup, with whom I developed and facilitate the two 10-days trainings and the 15 days mediation and coaching-training. I feel so enriched and inspired working with her. then with Christiane Welk, a certification candidate, who accompanied me to Kenya for the second time. She was of much suport for me, supoorting me in trainings as well as in sharing our experiences, listening to me during our 4-week-adventure I also enjoyed working together with Glenda, Anne Bourrit, Jerry Koch-Gonzales in the GCC, with Bjarte Bjorsvik, Gitte Skjaer-Westerman and Ray Taylor in the Europe-Africa-Circle. Not to forget about our German speaking network D-A-CH and my local network, where I worked with many trainers (certified or not) I celebrate I was able to work togther with so many people, that is dream of mine coming true.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
Yes, it is the great joy I have related to the work I am doing with others in Kenya. Now in 2009 we started to create a Kenyan NVC network, we have a yahoogroup, people organized events to participate in the international day of nonviolence on Oct. 2nd, there are at least 12 practicegroups which meet regularly on Rusinga Island and one is developing in Nairobi. It continues in 2010, there were trainings in 5 different palces this year!!!
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