By Theresa Takacs
The Rotary Club of Ashcroft-Cache Creek is grateful for the partnership of the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society, whose one-time donation has helped the planning of a “Building Community with Non-Violent Communication Skills” workshop in the area in mid-October.
The vision of the workshop, with the input of workshop facilitator Leslie Williamson, is “rebuilding community with a common language of compassion for self and others.” Yoriko Susanj, executive director of the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society (SCEFS) in Ashcroft, agrees with Spences Bridge resident Jean Burgess, who feels that non-violent communication skills would be beneficial for community living for seniors, and Rotary Club of Ashcroft-Cache Creek president Theresa Takacs, who wants to develop locally one of Rotary’s six areas of focus, “peace and conflict resolution”.
Burgess and Takacs were thrilled when Health Manager Andrea Elliott of the Hesk’wen’scutxe Health Services Society decided to purchase several seats at the workshop for their group soon after Burgess’s invitation. “This is a whole new community for me to learn about, and I’m excited that the potential to earn trust has a much broader scope than I had imagined initially,” says Takacs.
The workshop is designed to help people learn and practice effective communication skills, using dialogue that emphasizes compassion for self and others. There are local organizations whose purpose is to build community that may have an interest in the workshop, such as Community Futures, which offers help with skills needed to grow businesses, or be an effective board member.
These include the Villages of Ashcroft and Cache Creek, which implement ways to improve the quality of living for all; and Ashcroft Moving Forward, which implements a plan of action to effectively communicate in the event of a potential future emergency.
However, this workshop takes into consideration “our common grief, in the broader community, and a collective realization that we are all feeling a little less resilient due to the losses we or our neighbours endured as a result of fire and floods over the last few years,” says Takacs. “This kind of workshop provides a tool to help speak our truth in a way that we can be heard, and to hear others.”
The workshop—scheduled for October 12–13, with a follow-up day on October 26—is currently full, thanks to the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society and Hesk’wen’scutxe Health Services Society. A waiting list is being created, in hopes of adding another workshop October 10–11, with the same follow-up day (October 26). For more information contact Theresa Takacs at (250) 682-3232.