IIT Project with Netherlands sponsored by Erasmus+

This summary is a portion of the final report by our partner organization in the Netherlands, De Kleine Giraf, who received a 2014 Erasmus+ grant to send 12 participants to the Internation Intensive NVC Training that was organized by GSE.

A summary of the success and impact of the IIT project of De Kleine Giraf 2014-2015 funded by Erasmus+

In 2014 foundation De Kleine Giraf (the Netherlands), which focuses on the promotion, introduction and implementation of Nonviolent Communication in education, child care, child welfare and education in general, was awarded funding from Erasmus+. This enabled 12 trainers who volunteer at De Kleine Giraf to the International Intensive Training (IIT) for Nonviolent Communication in Birmingham (UK). They have followed a nine-day training with 80 people from countries like England, Denmark, Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Cyprus.

Impact on the trainers

Besides a huge boost to personal development, partly by pre-writing a personal development plan, each of them has developed professional skills, empathetic leadership, Social Change, mediate in various settings and community involvement.

In addition, the volunteers have gained an enormous expansion of friends, networks and professional cooperation on an international level. In the year after the IIT they have been giving workshops, trainings and lectures of our knowledge to give back to society. This was one of the requirements of Erasmus+ to be able to receive the funding and it gave the volunteers an incentive (read: courage and energy) to reach out to professional organizations active in working with children.

“The focus on the dissemination activities after the IIT made me happy and proud. We have managed to challenge members of the group to transcend themselves. My need to learn in a group setting was fulfilling it. ” — Robert van der Ham

Impact on others

The impact of the IIT was not only on the volunteers. Also the people the trainers reached through the dissemination activities, have been affected:

Student Youth workers after a 6 hour NVC workshop said they have learned: the meaning of Empathic listening, to guess the needs of the child, to wait with giving a solution, not to get angry when a child shows “inconvenient” behavior. They have noticed a clear change in their attitude towards working with children.

Also school teachers gave this reply and added to have more awareness now when trying to use reward and punishment and to have more conscious choices. They are more open to look for what is alive in a child.

“I have worked for many years in youth care now, and notice regularly that professionals have embarrassment when dealing with parents who are involved in complex divorce issues. My colleagues indicated that with our Nonviolent Communication workshop, to have more “tools” on hands to handle these situations better and to help parents effectively. ” — Karmin Schaap

International contacts

De Kleine Giraf has been involved in several European projects since 2011 and an informal cooperation has developed with the Danish NVC organization LivKom. They are inspired by our IIT project and are supported by our project manager to submitted a request for funding themselves. Furthermore, we were approached by six different organizations during the European NVC festival in 2015 in Denmark for more information about the IIT and the Erasmus+ program.

Furthermore we are so proud that our IIT project has led to the organizing of 2 3-day trainings, one in the Netherlands and one Belgium, by Robert Gonzales, the lead trainer who we met at the IIT in Birmingham. In September and October 2015,  65 more people could learn, practice and enjoy his insights, and teachings.

“The workshop of Robert Gonzales “Core beliefs and sharing NVC” helped me to face my negative beliefs more openly, that frightened part of me that would like to do as well …. and for the completeness of my being: both open and empathetic as scared and uncertain times. The shame for the uncertain part begins to give way to embrace the reality of our human duality, even mine! ” — Antowi Wibbelink

Awesome news:

The IIT will be held in the Netherlands for the first time, in March 2016!

Dionne Verbeet, one of our volunteers was so inspired by the possibilities that an IIT can have for participants that she and another trainer have taken the task to organize this event in the Netherlands with advice from the warm organizers from Giraffe Social Enterprises, Gayano Shaw and Jason Stewart.


For any questions around the funding of Erasmus+ on trainings in Europe like the IIT, you may email Maruschka Boomsma, project leader of Foundation De Kleine Giraf in the Netherlands. Email address: mother.of.trees@gmail.com