Time to put theory into practice – TOTAL trainers in action!

On Friday we had a morning reserved for cultural exploration of Poland, so we took a bus and visited the nearby town of Swidnica.  The weather was just perfect. You know, the sun was shining, birds were singing… One of the Polish participants gave us an interesting tour through the narrow streets, looking at colorful buildings and sights. We visited the main square, Rynek, the Holy Trinity Church of Peace, and St. Stanislaus and Wenceslaus Cathedral. After that everyone did what they liked – some drank coffee at cafés, visited shops, ate tasty food and so on. When the weather became too hot, we came back to Krzyzowa and had a great lunch.

In the afternoon we had three workshops developed and delivered by participants. The first of the three workshops looked at the topic of environment. We began by building a „Web of footprints“ as a group, using string to help us visualise the interconnected nature of the environment. Upon debriefing,helped we realised that this activity also helped us to consider how one action can have wide ranging impact and can contribute to the destruction of the environment. We also discussed possible solutions on both an individual and community level to prevent this destruction.

The second workshop started with a „Bull n‘ eye“ exercise where participants were asked to consider the impact of conflict on three levels: individual, team and organisation. This helped us to think about the next task where we were split into two sides of a debate: employees in an organisation, one for, and the other against, the inclusion of refugee workers. We found this was a good tactic for exploring the wider issues around settling refugees and also that debating helped improve our competency to communicate effectively in a foreign language. We found it challenging but valuable to argue the positions in a convincing way, especially when we may be of a different  opinion.

The third and final workshop of the day was an experiential workshop about „Violence in life“. There was a simulation where 3 active participants shared experiences of violence and the rest of the group were observers; observers were later invited to share and reflect on their experiences. We discovered that, when conducted in a sensitive and controlled way, this type of workshop could be a powerful tool for promoting empathy and understanding.

A fully packed but interesting and enjoyable day for all!

         – Augustė, Lithuania