“Human Diversity in One Culture of Heart” – a “We Care!” project (Switzerland)

On Saturday 19th of June 2021, IAYSP-Switzerland organized an online event to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development under the topic of human diversity in one culture of heart.

The speakers were: Barbara Yurkina-Zingg, a migration specialist, and Hilde Wiemann, a family and relationship coach. (https://www.un.org/en/observances/cultural-diversity-day).

After Mélanie Komagata introduced IAYSP and the event, the MC Michael Yurkin introduced the first speaker Barbara Yurkina-Zingg.
Ms. Yurkina-Zingg explained her meaning of the expression one culture of heart and then proceeded to share her experience of her 16-year career in a refugee asylum in Switzerland.
Refugees come from all over the world, from various backgrounds and cultures. The way they interact with each other is different; their language, their parenting style, … These differences often create misunderstandings and conflict. Therefore, social activities are organized to gather refugees to overcome these challenges, for example, through sport, cooking, or cleaning.

Screenshot of the Q&A session with speakers B. Yurkina-Zingg and H. Wiemann

After all these years, Barbara shared that tension can be solved by changing ourselves first. Change should not be expected from others first. Change should be done starting from small things, for the result to become better and to create a culture of heart in a world of diversity.

Then, Hilde Wiemann shared her experience as a family and relationship coach and how the family, more precisely the parents, their parenting style, and the birth order, can impact children.
Indeed, the different parenting styles, like dominant/authoritarian or loving and firm, could have negative/positive effects on a child. Moreover, family culture can nourish an individual.

One family can have various openness and depth in its relationships and unsaid rules and routines. All these parameters may vary from one family to another and from one family culture to another.
Eventually, self-awareness allows people to overcome barriers created during their childhood, and this is essential to build a healthy relationship between the couple and family.

About 35 participants were present at the online event. They were very curious about the presentations and asked a dozen of questions to the speakers. For example :
● How were problems solved (in the refugee camps) after some different groups fought with each other?
● The parenting style we got and the family culture we conduct is very much influenced by our family. If we feel tension and have unhealthy relationships within the family, how can we overcome those and create healthy relationships and harmony within the family?
● You mentioned how the wounds of our childhood could harm a marriage. How can we get to realize what are these traumas we have, and how to overcome them?

At the end of the meeting, the participants could share the key points they learned and their impressions in small breakout rooms.
The event was an excellent opportunity to learn about the reality of human diversity in a refugee asylum in Switzerland and understand how to create a culture of heart in such a tense environment.

Moreover, the participants were taught about how one’s family has an enormous impact on an individual. Human beings are indeed very diverse, even within the cellular family. But a culture of the heart can be built, starting in families to be spread to humans and eventually, create a more peaceful world.

Special thanks to the speakers, Ms. Yurkina-Zingg and Ms. Wiemann, and Chantal Chételat Komagata, for translating from English to French.

Screenshot of the participants and Final Picture