- Consultancy for strategic policy, project management, M&E, and staff training.
- Audio-visual materials on peace and development.
- Model Village to demonstrate peace and development.
In the Umucyo Nyanza Women’s Association Project, we support a group of women in the South of Rwanda on their journey to reconciliation and economic sustainability.
Nonviolent Communication Introductions
LISTENING AND SPEAKING TO CONNECT WORKSHOP WITSH PIASS STUDENTS AND NEVER AGAIN RWANDA VOLUNTEERS
Coordinated by our now-graduate Dismas, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Rwanda, two introductions to Nonviolent Communication under the motto and title “Listening to Connect” were conducted: one with volunteers of Never Again Rwanda in Huye, and the other one with PIASS peace students who had requested it. Both introductions were held with support from a group of German Psychologists, coordinated by Wolfgang, who had visited us in 2018 and 2019 through contact with the German NGO KOMERA.
Linda introducing the basic assumptions, history and purpose, as well as the four main elements and three modes of Nonviolent Communication
Nonviolent Communication Practice Groups
As we found it difficult to uphold regular practice sessions for the groups of students at PIASS and at the University of Rwanda who had introductions to NVC (Listening to Connect) since it is challenging to find a date and time fitting for all of them, we invited them to join the ‘old’ practice group that had been created in 2018 after the Speaking Peace at Work seminars. We had some fruitful sessions since newer and long-term members shared experiences and learnt together.
NVC International Intensive Training
As the NVC Africa Network is getting ready for the 9 day International Intensive Training in Nairobi, co-organized by the Kenyan NVC network, Irmtraud in her role as NVC Assessor, and the Center for Nonviolent Communication (https://cnvc.org ), we are glad we found support for some of our NVC practitioners who have now entered the path of NVC learning towards trainer certification: Some of them who are employees of a GIZ Civil Peace Service (CPS) Partner organization will be supported by GiZ CPS and others will be supported by a fund set up by a German NVC network. We are grateful that some of those NVC trainer certification candidates from here get this chance, as it is challenging for NVC practitioners from Africa to get the number of training days with certified NVC trainers that they need if they want to register as certification candidates – most International Intensive TRainings are conducted in the US and Europe, and traveling there and covering the cost for the tuition, accommodation, food and other related expenses is difficult for many here.
Another exciting development we would like to share is that one of the students in the Department for Peace & Conflict Studies decided to write her dissertation on the impact that Nonviolent Communication has on the PIASS student community.
Opening minds and hearts – NVC practice resumed after COVID-related break
The Nonviolent Communication practitioners who had been participating in different workshops and trainings from 2017 to 2019 decided, after a short break, to resume monthly meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss how to live empathically, listen actively and express ourselves honestly, especially when things get heated due to misunderstandings and conflicts. Last time, seven people joined, and we worked on three different situations that one of us had experienced recently or was still facing: one was about an encounter with a police commander who ordered one of the participants to enter a police van where there were already many people crammed inside. When he told the police commander that he did not want to enter the vehicle because he was afraid to contract the coronavirus, the police commander responded, “But others are doing it.” He replied, “Yes, but I am really scared, and I want to be safe,” the commander paused and ordered a policeman to accompany him on the walk to the stadium where others were already gathered to receive the education about the COVID-19 measures. The second situation was about a conflict between siblings, where our participant was a third party. We encouraged her to imagine what her sisters were feeling and needed and supported her to find ways to express her empathy in a way that might help the siblings feel heard. The third was about a superior who was scared about the ‘harsh’ behavior of an employee towards his clients, who, through some empathic listening found out that the feelings and needs of the employee were not met by the work she was doing: She needed an occupation where she would not have to deal with clients coming with their personal burdens, because her own life was already very difficult. She felt overwhelmed and needed ease; after speaking about this situation, the superior asked the employee if she would be willing to do another work that would not confront her with the clients’ problems, and she happily accepted.