Our Programs

Salish Sea Empathy Society is currently working to provide opportunities for NVC practitioners to support empathy-based community dialogue, to provide one-on-one and group support, and to offer training and skills-building.

Annual Summer Camp

The NVC Summer Camp has been hosted each year on Gabriola Island since 2013. It is an all ages camp, welcomes families and a great diversity of interests and perspectives.

The Camp is a gathering place for NVC Trainers (and Trainer Candidates) to offer their innovative workshop offerings in a location of great beauty and inspiration. The camp provides a combination of learning experiences, an experiment in community building, and a gathering by the ocean on the Salish Sea.

Campers with or without NVC experience spend four days together exploring themes of self compassion, relationships, parenting, social change, conflict resolution, shifting patterns of blame, accessing forgiveness and responding to dynamics of power and privilege.

For more information about the camp and how to register, click below.

2018 NVC Summer Camp 02

Empathy for Community

We offer our skills and expertise in the local communities where we live, such as:

    • Compassionate Day Celebration
    • Compassionate Parenting: We provide a workshop series that supports parents with practical tools that can be applied in immediate ways. It also aspires to address parents' yearning for deeper connection with themselves, their partners, and their children. Key to this workshop series is the development of community connections between parents to provide them with an ongoing network of support.
    • Collaboration with Restorative Justice organizations
    • Compassionate Masculinity
    • WHEEL: Mental Health Week Project 2019
    • Health and Wellness Collaborative (e.g. Gabriola Opioid Dialogues)

Empathy in Education

Compassionate Communication, or Nonviolent Communication (NVC), is a way to help people of all ages understand themselves and each other, and develop skills to resolve conflicts peacefully. Some of our Board members have been offering a series of workshops in the classroom at Gabriola Elementary School since 2017. Skills are taught to students, teachers and parents to:

  • help students understand and respect each other, even when someone is doing something they don't like
  • help students understand the harm of blame, labelling, and judgment
  • give students different ways to express their feelings and needs
  • help students find ways to make requests of each other instead of ignoring or excluding
  • support teachers, administration and parents by giving them a reference point for talking about relationships and emotions, and
  • give the whole school community a common experience to talk about

Building Capacity Throughout The Americas

The Salish Sea Empathy Society supports NVC ambassadors in Latin America to be agents of conflict resolution and peace building in their home countries.

Bringing Training to Latin America

SSES is undertaking an ambitious project to support interested individuals in as many Latin American countries as possible to access training in peace building and conflict resolution.

In Latin America many continue to deal with the fall-out of unrest and political tension in their countries. There are few opportunities to access peace-building- and conflict resolution training in Latin American countries. As an example, in one country still struggling to recover from civil war, there are zero opportunities to access mediation training.

We are working to turn this around by creating access to training in Nonviolent Communication, including training in mediation and restorative processes. We are supporting interested community leaders from these regions to certify as trainers in these fields themselves. 

Community leaders come to Canada

Over the last four years, we have supported four NVC ambassadors from Nicaragua, Colombia and Brazil who are passionate about building more peace in their communities to participate in further training and experiential learning in Nonviolent Communication at our training centre in Canada. They, in turn, have brought their skills and experience home to focus on projects and trainings that reach their local populations in a wide variety of circumstances: residents of slums wanting to change community dynamics, families of missing victims of Colombia’s civil war, citizens facing political repression, and families, neighbours and co-workers seeking healthier relationships.

Three of the NVC ambassadors are well on their way to obtaining the NVC Trainer Designation, a process that requires 3-5 years of training and experience.

What can you do?

We need your help to support these Latin American peace-builders. As political unrest increases, their economic situation becomes more challenging, making access to training extremely difficult.

Please support these dynamic individuals to access training that will make a difference in their countries. Please visit our Support Our Work page.