Leadership in Disaster Intervention - Facilitation
A Workshop on Respectful Support in Crisis Situations
October 1999, Taipei
Report | Vision | Dr. Gil Brenson
CLOSE TO 100 CHINESE PROFESSIONALS
ATTEND IAF-SPONSORED TRAINING
The newly-created IAF Community Outreach Task Force got off to a dramatic start with close to 100 people participating in Taipei training sessions on disaster intervention, October 17-22. The interest and enthusiasm comes on the wake of a devastating earthquake in Central Taiwan and required a division of the originally planned session in two separate, two-day sessions. The event was masterly coordinated by Dick and Gail West and their team of volunteers.
From the very start of the first session, the emotion and energy were obvious. Professionals from many different disciplines and areas of the country, formed efficient work groups to review and apply facilitation strategies of intervention with different population groups. Co-Facilitators Gil Brenson, IAF Vice Chair International, and his colleague-wife Mercedes Sarmiento, used multiple language interpreters (English, Spanish, Mandarin and Taiwanese) to optimize the participation of those in attendance. Several media representatives were also present for stories and photographs of the events and much new interest in facilitation and in the IAF was generated.
A series of important decisions were made by the two groups and are now in process of development, including plans for important interventions with the professionals working in the disaster zone, the continuation of training, the formation of a Facilitators' Network, a series of educational strategies and the translation into English and Mandarin and publication of the three training manuals, earlier published by the Fundación Neo-Humanista with the support of the IAF members present at the Williamsburg Conference. These efforts are being coordinated by volunteer personnel Eagle Cheng and Jorie Wu, through the ICA-Taiwan office and the IAF Regional Coordinator Mark Pixley. Additionally, several facilitators from the group will be participating more actively in the IAF and attending the Toronto Conference.
A similar one-day training session was held in Hong Kong on Saturday, Oct. 23, with another enthusiastic group of professionals. Additionally, the Taipei and Hong Kong Facilitators' Forums, also coordinated by Mark Pixley, met during this time to hear presentations by Gil Brenson on the "state of the art" of facilitation in the world today, as well as information on the recent activities and professional role of the IAF and on the upcoming Toronto and Malaysia Conferences. There is also considerable interest in organizing a China Conference for next year.
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