Dialogue in the Dark, a worldwide phenomenon which provides exciting team building activities in complete darkness, arrived in Rwanda in 2014 to establish the first Dialogue in the Dark centre in Africa.
What is it?
In the experiential learning workshops, participants spend two hours going through a series of team challenges with the assistance of visually impaired/blind facilitators. They provide security while transmitting a world without pictures. As the workshop unfolds, more challenges surface, testing and stimulating the participant to be increasingly innovative and imaginative. In the process, participants must move out of their comfort zones and begin to explore their undiscovered leadership, communication, organizational and crisis-management skills.
The workshop concludes with time for debrieﬁng, reﬂection and consolidation of learning. After returning to a lit environment, participants share their experiences, observations, surprises, and frustrations. Working together and co-developing strategies in the dark strengthens a team’s ability to work well together, communication and effectiveness. The loss – even though temporary – of the key sense of sight, has an intense and long-lasting emotional impact on individuals and groups. The workshops aim at provoking a change of perspective for the participants, raising awareness for the potentials of people with disabilities.
People with disabilities in Rwanda are still mostly excluded in society and discriminated against when it comes to employment. Potential and abilities are widely still not recognized, which makes it difficult for most to live an independent and autonomous life. Dialogue in the Dark wants to turn deficits into potentials and offer persons with disabilities a job while raising awareness in society to make people understand that disability does not equate inability.
Disability and inclusion are cross-cutting issues of the Rwanda Economic Development and Poverty Reduction strategy and focus areas of the work of the National Union of Disabilities’ Organizations of Rwanda and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities. In cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM) and Dialogue Social Enterprise, these five organizations set up the Dialogue in the Dark to protect and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.
Who can participate?
Dialogue in the Dark experiential learning workshops have a high educational value for groups and teams operating in different contexts such as business, education and leisure. The workshops offer a challenging experience, fostering essential social skills such as team work, communication and leadership skills. Participants have to activate unused resources and develop creative solutions in order to cope with the unknown. The workshops are cognitively challenging and have a lasting effect on their participants. Worldwide, they are successfully used for training, coaching and team building events.
The Dialogue in the Dark team is available for workshops upon request. They are not offered on a regular basis yet. For more information about prices and availability, send us an email.
The workshops can take place anywhere where there is a room that can be darkened. To date, the experiential learning workshops take place at temporarily darkened workshop spaces, such as conference rooms. Soon, a permanently darkened space composed of exhibition and workshop rooms will be built in Kigali.