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, multiple groups in Kenya
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. They had been raiding cattle and killing each other for decades. When asked by a contact person about what I would offer to the warring parties, I told him: I would be willing to listen to them. The contact person was sceptical about this offer, because it did not include e.g. sitting allowances, offerening them money for attending the meeting as they are used to, nor any fixed strategies. I told him to check with the two parties. To his surprise the two parties agreed on meeting for reconciliation. Why? The guess is that this met their needs for recognition and acceptance and probably for autonomy. I do not come with fixed strategies, in contrary I facilitate the process of finding their own strategies. This is why I/we were told “You are different” several times over the years of reconciliation work. I usually concentrate on the needs, starting to collect the causes for the violence. In one case for example this was • Pasture for the cattle -> need for nutrition/food • Wealth -> needs for nutrition/food, recognition, education for their children, availability of health services • Safety • shelter When the participants realized they had the same needs they desperately tried to meet, even by killing each other, they were perplexed. The tension decreased noticeable. This was the changing point to look for other strategies. They came up with an action plan, which at one time led to 50 people from each side restoring an old well.Something they would not have even imagined before the meeting. (To protect the still fragile peace between these two parties I will not disclose the participants.) This year (2012 I worked with the young warriors of the two tribes)
E. Would you share some difficult experiences you had while training this year and how you handled them?: 
It usually is not during the trainings I experience challenges, it more around networking. For example when I witness tension between some members of the Kenyan NVC community about who might exercise power over others and they stop talking it takes me a lot of energy to connect with myself first and then with them, to listen to their judgements, translating them into needs, connecting with them. At the same time am aware of the fact that each and everybody brings themselves into the community with old unresolved pain. It takes so much courage to be willing to connect with the old pain, of not having been recognized and accepted.
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 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. 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 phonecalls, 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.
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 German-speaking level with D-A-CH, German speaking network, trying to follow up the former GCC connections, supporting particpants in Kenya to create their own network. Sadly the Europe-Africa circle is hibernating for the time being, at times there are announcements, but no connections like phone calls any more. I try to support the Kenyan NVC enthusiasts to create a network in Kenya, we created a yhoogroup.
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 pasticipants, 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, I really celebrate this. In 2011 I also offered a training together with Christiane Welk on social change. I enjoyed having developed this training. I also appreciate to work together with Christiane, which started in 2008 in Kenya. She my compagnion on this journey since then, we lived through a lot of challenges and joy in Kenya. In 2011 Aline accompagnied us, someone I know through my courses.
N. Is there anything else you would enjoy sharing with the CNVC network?: 
Aline, who came with us to Kenya in 2011 interviewed people on Rusigna Island where we started sharing NVC in 2007 and will write her Magister thesis about it. So hopefully within some months we will know more about the impact of NVC on Rusinga.


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Thanks for sharing this, Irmtraud, I find it very inspiring. Warmly, Pan

re gratitude

Thank you Pan, Warmly Irmtraud
Irmtraud Kauschat, certified trainer with CNVC

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