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2015 March • Discernment workshop in Nepal

Discernment is the human capacity to comprehend the inner character and relationships of things, especially when obscure, that leads to keen insight and judgment. This is the process of making careful decisions in our thinking about truth. This workshop was designed in the format and approach of Alternative to Violence Program (AVP). The AVP is a workshop program enabling participants to deal with violent situations in new and creative ways. The main purpose of this workshop was to provide the knowledge of discernment, reveal how to notice transforming power in easy and difficult times and teach skills on how to practice daily decisions on discerning transforming power.

Group photo of the Discernment workshop in Pokhara, Nepal, March 2015.

TPO Nepal organized three days discernment workshops in two events: From 9th to 11th March, 2015 in Pokhara and from 15th to 17th March, 2015 in Kathmandu. In total thirty six participants (Legal officer/Lawyers-8, psychosocial counselors-6, social mobilizers- 9, project management team- 7 and other project team- 6) from different CTIP implementing partners participated in the workshop. Ms. Jamuna Maharjan, Ms. Sita Lama and Ms. Anuradha Acharya were the facilitators of the workshop.

It was expected that the workshop would help the participants to deal with the difficult and traumatic situation positively, help to provide better service for survivors and care for themselves. This workshop can help the participants to manage strong feelings, build good relationship with others, communicate well in difficult situations and understand the transforming power.

The workshop was focused on five thematic areas: affirmation, communication, co-operation community building and transforming power. Community building, convincement, conviction, transformation, feedback and wrap-up were the sessions of the workshop. During them, interactive exercises, experiential learning, games, role play and mini lecture were used as the main tools. Participants expressed that they felt refreshed and relaxed after the workshops. They added that the tools they learned during the training would help them to minimize stress and violence they face in everyday life. The workshop also helped strengthen bonds among participants.

At the end, an evaluation was conducted to measure the effectiveness of the workshop. 4 different qualitative questions were asked to gauge the different aspects of the workshops. Participants were requested to mark the score for the provided questions from 1 to 5 (1=highly satisfied and 5=less satisfied). In both workshops through the evaluation assessment, participants described ‘overall workshop’, ‘it’s contents’, ‘the methodology’ and ‘facilitation’. According to the evaluation report the participants in Kathmandu were higher satisfied (71%) regarding the overall workshop with respect to workshop in Pokhara (60%).

Jamuna Shrestha (April 2015)