IAYSP-Switzerland organized an online event on the topic of human diversity in one culture of heart, in order to celebrate “the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”.

On Saturday 19th of June 2021, IAYSP-Switzerland organized an online event with speakers Barbara Yurkina-Zingg, a migration specialist, and Hilde Wiemann, a family and relationship coach, on the topic of human diversity in one culture of heart, in order to celebrate “the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” ( After Mélanie Komagata’s introduction of IAYSP and the event, the MC Michael Yurkin introduced the first speaker Barbara Yurkina-Zingg.

Ms. Yurkina-Zingg explained her personal meaning of “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 in order to gather refugees to overcome these challenges, for example through sport, cooking, or cleaning.

After all these years, Barbara shared that tension can be solved through changing ourselves first. Change should not be expected from others first. Change should be done from small things, in order for the result to become greater, 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, different types of parenting styles, like dominant/authoritarian, or loving and firm, can have negative, or 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 one to overcome barriers created during one’s childhood, and is essential to create a healthy relationship in one’s 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 had a fight with each other ?”,
  • “We are very much influenced by our family, the parenting style we got, and the family culture. 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've mentioned the wounds of our childhood that can harm a marriage. How can we get to realize what are these traumas we have, and how can we overcome these?”

At the end of the meeting, the participants could share the key points they learnt and their impressions in small breakout rooms.

To conclude, the event was a great opportunity to learn about the reality of human diversity in refugee asylum in Switzerland and how to create a culture of heart in this tense environment. Moreover, the participants were taught about how one’s family has a huge impact on an individual. Human beings are indeed very diverse even within the cellular family, but a culture of heart can be built, starting in families to be spread to humanity, to eventually create a more peaceful world.

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


Report by Anya-Aurore Mauron


Picture 1: screenshot of the participants

Picture 2: screenshot of the Q&A session

Picture 3: final picture of the event


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