Written by Thuy Duong
Simple but strong messages
Marc Stenfert Kroese from Netherlands was the first trainer for Knowmads Hanoi’s students. He’s now running a social enterprise named Donkey Bakery in Vietnam which 60% of his employees are disabled. He strongly believes that his staff shouldn’t be called PwD (people with disabilities) but PwGA (people with great abilities). He told us their very personal stories and how hard they tried altogether to change the prejudices of society about themselves. During his sharing, we’ve learned how to create a culture environment as a family. We are also very touched by his kindness and human business mindset.
As another trainer also from Netherlands, Henrik Looij of Eyepeoner Works Organization guided us how to control the wheel of life by balancing the needs to be who we are and the desire to achieve what we wish to do. He also gave us a pratical exercise, after that each of us got a buddy to help us fulfill our commitments. Some promised to get enough sleep to reach a more healthy life, some made sure that he would start his project by creating the first draft, and some was determined to do a research on finding her new job. By that we realized how small steps can lead us big changes.
Marc and Henrik under different circumstances both sent us simple but strong messages about Trust and being trusted of people and yourselves.
Outside and inner worlds
Abel Polese who is a PhD in Social Sciences from Italy challenged us a bit by Global Development session. At first, we talked about local or international specific events which we attended then explained how they were impossible 20 years ago. On reflecting history, we found out that some social issues have been growing globally such as civil society organizations, e- socialization, recognition of non-formal education, culture of volunteerism… Able encouraged us to take actions to solve these problems after confirming how they affected our lives.
On the contrary, Phan Y Ly conducted a workshop at the Blackbox of Personal Development. She is a local recognized social activist, entrerpreneur and artist of Life Art. We received from her a very meaningful lesson of touching, breathing and moving body. It left a deep impression on us when we practiced in pairs, when we gave others bear hugs and tried to take the best care of our partners. It helped us not only relax but also relieve. And somehow it connected us magically. Some boys were over the moon, they said they never hugged so many girls at a short period of time like that, while some girl confessed that warm hugs were all she needed from others. Phan Y Ly kept smiling and potentially would return in next two weeks with more surprises for us.
Stepping into the outside and inner worlds with the instructions of Abel and Phan Y Ly, we could gain more understanding the problems personally and globally. It’s a significant way for us to act as change makers.
The first week of Knowmads Hanoi program has passed so fast. We had a great time, the trainers motivated us in different ways so that we enjoyed our happy learning. There will be a lot more to happen, fears and hope will never disappear, but we believe that we started a journey when dreams do come true.