Lessons to be learned at the Tatamagouche Centre

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TRURO- The Tatamagouche Centre is seeing success when it comes to bettering the world one person at a time through its various programs.

Michelle Ferris, left, and Ishbel Munro are pleased to be involved in what the Tatamagouche Centre has to offer. The facility has had numerous renovations during the past few years and more programs are encouraging people to reach out and take on unique projects. Gwydion Morris – Special to the Truro Daily News

Founded in 1956 as a training centre for United Church leaders, the centre has evolved and now offers three different streams of teaching: faith and spirit; social justice; and building a creative, body, mind and soul through the various classes and workshops.

“We’re building world skills through our programs,” said Ishbel Munro, program director at the centre.

People attending the workshops aren’t sitting and listening the whole time, they’re involved, said Munro.

“They’re sharing and learning from each other.”

Companies can come to the centre for weekend workshops, and their employees have much stronger bonds in the office on Monday, said Michelle Ferris, organization and outreach director at the centre.

People who worked together for years are now spending the weekend together in a house and talking like they’ve never communicated before, she added.

“They’re living and socializing with each other.”

The centre has had a major facelift in recent years, mainly to make it more inclusive. The driveway used to be gravel, making it hard for wheelchairs to enter. At one time, people with disabilities had to go outside and through the basement door to access lower levels while others could walk downstairs. Now, there’s an elevator.

“It wasn’t welcoming and inclusive,” Ferris said. “It’s so much easier with the elevator.”

“No bunk beds here anymore, either,” Munro added about the sleeping situation before the renovations.

People who have made use of the centre have also had major personal achievements. One woman used the skills she learned at the centre to teach women in Sierra Leone how to can fruits to preserve their food longer. Her organization is now in the top 10 in Sierra Leone, said Munro.

“The work of the centre is out there in the world.”

For the future, Munro said she’d like to see the Tatamagouche Centre utilized by more Maritimers. 

Organizations: Tatamagouche Centre, United Church

Geographic location: Sierra Leone

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