There is an organization in Winnipeg – Acorn Gardens. They have a project to provide creative arts program for trauma and war-affected children and youth.
Recently, they recruited future volunteers and employees for an upcoming pilot project and organized a training for them. I had to honour to be invited to hold a cross-cultural communication workshop. In a way it was the proverbial “proof of the pudding”: the participants were from very different cultural background, so my little seminar had to do what I was ‘preaching’ – to get the message through across cultural boundaries.
Judging by the immediate feedback we managed to communicate quite well, although I have learned to be careful with such statements. Canadians (and even immigrants living in Canada) tend to be very nice, which means they are extremely polite, so don’t expect they would ever say “your presentation sucks”, even if it does! I know I did my best…
Actually, it doesn’t really matter how the participants evaluated the workshop. What matters is this: if anything they learned there will make their work with refugee children easier, it was worth the effort.
Let’s wish them good luck and success with the upcoming project!