Another constructive, wonderful and inspirational @CaringSociety3 #CASO project staff meeting came to an end. Despite some(times) personal and professional obstacles, definitely a positively challenging joint venture with partners from, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Karel de Grote University College, University of Cape Town, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Avans University of Applied Sciences, University of the Western Cape and Western Cape College of Nursing.

After having had 5 staff meetings so far, we recognize and acknowledge the emerging pattern in the dynamics of the week. We start-off very positively on Monday, feeling very happy to see each other again and to share the proceedings of the past half year. Then we challenge each other, complicate matters, experience confusion, share frustrations and understand the difficulty and necessity of effective and transparent communication. This takes a good day and some bilateral and/or small-team hotel room meetings, after which we start constructively building up again. Further realizing our goals for the week on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, when the various working teams provide updates on the proceedings of that week, we realize a lot has happened and we mostly feel happy again about our achievements of the entire week. Oh, do we love our welcome and goodbye dinners…!

The wonderful thing is the agility we strive for to deal with all our different personal and professional perspectives, the realization of our own pitfalls related to intercultural and international collaboration and how this affects us in how we perceive each other and this project. All agreeing that this capacity building project cannot be successful without capacitating oneself, or even better, empower ourselves. Since empowerment is the magic word in our project (empower yourself, empower others, empower society) aiming at improving healthcare and wellbeing education for the benefit of professionals in the field and civilians benefitting from these well-educated professionals.

In our last year, we will be connecting the dots, finetune and finalize our output and work on the constructive alignment of educational content. Content which we will embed in our curricular programmes and offer through online educational resources. This 3-year project will then culminate in a final project staff meeting and a large scale end-symposium where the CASO family (yes, that is what we have become as well!) will present 3 years of hard work to a wider audience including stakeholders in the field of healthcare and wellbeing. Please, keep an eye on www.caringsociety.eu  and our social media platforms for more details!

By: Rene Teunissen

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