Training for Transformation
Talash has evolved a set of modules on Personal Safety which aims at personal transformation from powerlessness to empowerment by supporting individuals to connect with their own inner & physical power. Talash’s articulation of Personal Safety goes beyond ‘physical safety’. We believe that Personal Safety resides in, and emerges from, the inner agency that is intrinsic to every individual. We define Personal Safety as a combination of inner life force, attitudes, traits, skills and real acts of leadership through which individuals can keep themselves and others emotionally and physically safe. Talash understands and defines Personal Safety as inter-sections of gender, sexuality, mental health and human rights, women’s rights & child rights. These issues form the basic framework of our curriculum.
Thus, the domain of Personal Safety is relevant and important for individuals at any age, in any culture, and of any ability.
Core Guiding Principles that shape the curriculum are as follows:
Retake control over situations
Empowering girls for recognizing various strategies to assert themselves, thereby they can retake control over a situation. This is opposed to the traditional victim-control approach, where restrictions are being imposed upon girls’ responses, mobility, choice and life as a whole.
Connection with inner power
Enabling girls for recognizing thoughts and feelings alive moment by moment and become mindful in tapping their inner power and inner guiding mechanisms and respond in alligned with life values.
Fighting back (as opposed to struggling)
The key factor in fighting back – Instead of being controlled and overpowered, developing ability to use skills and strategies to effectively regain control.
In all the modules, we have collaborated with cutting-edge theories, practices/methodologies that are globally recognized and employed for personal transformation processes. Thus, Talash’s modules on Personal Safety have been informed by Nonviolent Communication, (frameworks created by Marshall Rosenberg in US during 80’s) Wenlido, (women’s self defense techniques developed in Canada in 70’s) Aikido, (form of Japanese martial arts developed by Morihei Ueshiba, which focuses on principles of non-violence) and Mindfulness Practices (developed by Thich Nhat Hanh in the 60s).
Talash’s Approach to Personal Safety Trainings: Fun, Not Fear
Our vision is to work together in creating cultures of caring, respect, & safety for everyone, everywhere. Talash aims to teach girls and women of all ages and abilities how to use their own power to stay safe, act with awareness of choices and believe in themselves. Personal Safety skills of Talash prepare individuals to stay emotionally and physically safe.
With as much joy and empowerment as possible we:
- Lead age-appropriate role-plays with skill, empathy, and humour
- Create opportunities to “learn by doing” while having fun and lightness
- Teach people how to be both respectful and powerful in asking for what they want
- Focus on positive, practical solutions that people can use to stop or get away from trouble as quickly as possible
- Use positive language that is skill based, not fear-based. To give example, we teach “stranger safety,” not “stranger danger”
Talash’s training methodology is based on two principles – participatory and learning by doing. Our focus is on raising the concerns of participants. We use various tools, like role plays, ‘Eleven-step Safer Decision Making’ and ‘Seven-step preparing for Negotiation’ tools developed by Talash, to address issues of concern. Teaching technique of Talash creates an opportunity for participants to discover their own strategies and rehearse safety skills in situations relevant to their lives. Whether it is a child throwing negative comments into an imaginary trash can or practicing physical self-defense skills, Talash offers a wide range of internal, verbal and physical tools to deal with all levels of challenges. The process helps them to observe a ‘way out’ in situations where they may have felt powerless and failed to recognize any choice.
Talash adapts methodologies to cater to the special needs of persons with different abilities. The methodology is activity-based, with cognitive inputs being provided in bits and pieces, depending on receptive capacity of participants.