Chab Dai Learning Week


Chab Dai recently held their annual Learning Week.  Learning week is a time for all of Chab Dai to come together and celebrate victories for every department and project. It is also a time for improvements to be made, for thoughts to be expressed, and ideas to be discussed. Like iron sharpening iron, we had the chance to sharpen each other this week!

It all began Friday morning at 8am as we came together, seated at round tables to discuss media’s new policies. Our new logo was launched, new branding discussed and an open forum allowed for staff to share their concern on the media’s role in client care. It was a long day, but a good one. We got to the heart of an issue that is as old as the organization itself- managing media’s unwelcomed involvement.

Monday brought with it an amazing recap of Chab Dai and its history, but more importantly- where we are headed! Each major project, like the Butterfly Research Team, Ethnic Community Project, and Case Support, evaluated their project-specific vision statements. They shared how they’ve grown in the past year, the new services they now offer, and told stories of the people they’ve reached.

It was a time of reflection on the complexity that is the issue of human trafficking and exploitation but more so, it was a time to reflect on what a complex approach we have to combatting it. On every level, our local staff is working tirelessly to prevent, protect, and improve the lives of at risk peoples. This week gave us all a moment to reflect on the good work done inside these office walls, and so much more being done outside of them.

‘The World Café’ exercise on Tuesday was a fantastic study in collaboration! Each project leader journeyed from table to table, massive sheet of paper in hand as staff from different departments asked questions. This helped to further conceptualize projects and give insight to what kinds of questions others may ask of them in the future. It also mixed up the staff, allowing us to spend time with coworkers we may not have bonded with otherwise.

This week was also a time for practicality. Improving our internal structure is the first step in stream lining our projects so that our staff can focus on the important aspects of their work. One great change is adding to our internal communications regimen. With newly implemented monthly reports, we will be able to track the progress of each project. This will hopefully help to relieve some of the stress associated with the annual reports due every year by breaking down data collection into smaller parts.

And stress is found in abundance here! Helen Sworn gave a great presentation about time management and the best way to deal with stress when our expectations do not meet reality. We followed it up with an exercise in which each group identified some of their biggest stressors and brainstormed ways to manage them.

Adjusting our internal structure, managing problems, discussing improvements, and supporting each other- that’s what this week was all about. It was a week to celebrate one another and refocus our attention on the goals set before us. Learning week acts as a reminder that this seemingly unattainable vision is one we are working towards together.