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CNVC International Intensive Training on Nonviolent Communication in Tanzania 2022

On June 24, 2022, 79 people from 14 different countries (including Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, USA, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, India, Austria, the Philippines, Hungary, and Italy) arrived at our chosen venue, the convent of St. Carolus, located at the foot of Mount Meru in Arusha, Tanzania We were welcomed with warmth and received care throughout our training by the nuns and the local NVC team. Interactive Nonviolent Communication sessions were offered by trainers from morning to evening for the 9 days at the venue, as well as under a tent and in winter temperatures in Arusha, Tanzania.  The Masai people wrapped themselves in their colourful blankets and others shared blankets and coats. The ratio of the participants was two-thirds women and one-third men.


A group of NVC students from Asia and Africa had been training for some years in Ruhpolding, Germany, invited by Gitta Zimmermann. The idea for this 9-day IIT event arose there in 2018 and a 3-day NVC training was first offered in Tanzania. The newly founded Tanzanian NVC team then invited trainers to come to offer the longer IIT training.


In 2022 we invited participants from a variety of organizations working with empowering women, children and families in diverse communities such as Montessori teachers, NGOs working in the field of family planning and women’s health, women’s councils working with Masai communities, microcredit programs for sustainability, shelters and programs for orphans, a program supporting failing secondary students, a girl’s home and empowerment programs, an educational program promoting partnerships, the African Wildlife Conservation, the Rift Valley programs welcome and educate orphans, establish a community clinic for school children and their communities, and supporting entrepreneurship, and more. This training was attended by teachers, social workers, priests, nuns, technicians, activists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers. Participants were engaged and brought their authentic life experiences to the training. Two evenings were dedicated to 18 participants’ presentations of their work with the intent to support learning and networking between the different organizations. One example of project networking was regarding the topic of family planning and contraception presented by an NGO. The microcredit women’s group from Kenya was interested in collaborating with them on exploring how to reach out to and include men in their projects.


Some of the important topics brought forth by participants were:

  • To irradicate corporal punishment in schools and at home
  • To denounce the realities of rape, forced early childhood marriages, and domestic violence and to implement change
  • To create a safe space for girls (and women) to grow up and to trust that they are free to express themselves
  • To be included in decision-making
  • To choose their own way of life without the consequence of oppression
  • To be able to own property
  • To have agency over their own earnings.


Some expressions we heard from participants:

  • After having attended the 3-day training in 2019, I love this continuity that sustains us.
  • This particular training has been life
  • I enjoyed the diversity of the trainers and their unique facilitation styles because I love to experience creativity and people being themselves
  • I feel rejuvenated and energized when I hear the stories of what each is doing, and I see a connected world in the near
  • The trainers and organizers made the sessions fun, engaging and practical. They managed to make us one big
  • I learned how to say” no” to the things that don´t meet my
  • We felt accompanied at every
  • I now have a deep connection with myself and can identify my I believe my marriage will never be the same after this training.
  • It gave me time to interact with other participants who are doing similar projects and the networking was I wish to attend more NVC training so that I can practice this way of life.
  • NVC has connected me with my children, now am not just a mother to them, but a mother and friend.


We have now completed this training with a deep sense of learning and gratitude for all the sharing from the participants whose daily challenges are even hard for us to imagine. Living in communities where women and children are “seen and not heard”, where they are considered a man’s property rather than the full human beings that they are. Participants of this training are now taking with their new tools and an awareness of the power of communication that they will share with their organizations and communities to affect the change they want to implement. We will continue to support the local Tanzanian NVC team and participants as well as their organizations in ways where they can continue training those who wish to further their studies of NVC and practice together this body of work. The team organizers and members were Martha Dello, Chris Kawishe and Lusi Chuonyo from Tanzania, Mubarak Alhassan from Ghana, Stephen Maina from Kenya - the trainers were: Gabriele Grunt( Austria), Jacqueline Muller( USA), Giacomo Poleschi (Italy), Eva Rambala (Hungary), Sudha Shankar( India) and Gitta Zimmermann (Germany).

We want to express our gratitude to all of our donors and supporters who contributed in a variety of ways to make this training happen by providing medicine and supplies, books, and training materials. We are also grateful for the financial contributions from private donors, foundations, the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) and Puddle Dancer Press.

We leave you with one more feedback from the director of a  “girl’s empowerment” NGO who participated in the International Intensive Training Tanzania 2022 :

I have frustrated my daughter and my husband, my employees just tolerated me, I have been treating people like robots. But now I have started connecting with them, understanding their needs, and requesting instead of commanding or demanding. It is beautiful, I am less stressed, and happier, and I feel healthier. I sleep better and people love being around me. Thank you, these have been the best days of my adult life.



Gitta, Gabriele and Jacqueline for the Tanzania IIT team


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