Compassion in ACTion
Training Course for Youth Workers
September 21-30, 2021
Adamov, Czech Republic
Ahoj everyone! We wanted to share with you today our experience in one of our last training courses, where people from Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece and France, join together to be part of Compassion in ACTion!
Compassion in ACTion is a training course that provided youth workers with an introduction to Social Theatre and Compassionate Listening, for carrying out initiatives and performances that can trigger a change in their local communities. Combining a Compassionate Listening approach and Social Theatre techniques for applying it, this project focused on promoting Social Change through compassion and empathy.
In Compassion in ACTion we explored the specific methodologies of Social Theatre and Compassionate Listening:
Social Theatre is an umbrella term that includes different types of theatre that are done with the specific aim to have an impact in the community. In Social Theatre the objective is not only to have an artistic result but also to provide a process where communities and social groups can address topics, ideas, and debates that are important for them. Therefore, Social Theatre is not done by professional actors, directors or playwrights, but by the communities themselves, providing a space for exchange, creativity, and reflection.
Compassionate Listening is an approach to listening to oneself and others based on the principles of NVC (Nonviolent Communication), which is a process that combines consciousness and communication developed by Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg based on historical principles of nonviolence – the natural state of compassion when violence has subsided from the heart. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—it fosters dialogue, respect, attentiveness, and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to contribute to each other’s wellbeing. The principles of NVC have been used worldwide to mediate disputes and conflicts at all levels including war-torn countries, prisons, schools, organizations, health care institutions and in personal relationships.
Including these techniques and approaches in our everyday work, we created together theatre plays, performances and public interventions that talked about our target groups, their ideas, opinions, and perspectives in life. Through the empathy and presence that Compassionate Listening brings to our life and the practical embodied techniques of Social Theatre, we created, together, a safe space that enables young people to perceive themselves, others and the society they live in in a more compassionate way, questioning stereotypes and prejudices and contributing with their own inputs to the social change.
Overall, we ended up becoming a family and learning from each other in an unforgettable experience. Stay tuned for future opportunities so you don’t miss them! 😊