• World Radio Switzerland
  • Cirieco Design
  • Alzheimer's Association

rachelandbaby

If you are a new parent and are struggling to find how to fit into this new position in your life, then maybe Rachel Colin-Jones can help you. Rachel has started a new company, Our Parenting Journeys, and tells knowitall.ch, "My goal is to combine an evidence-based approach to parenting support that one can trust, with individualised compassion and care. Whether parents are looking for someone to help guide and prepare them as they transition to parenthood, just need reassurance and support in their role as a parent or are facing a specific parenting challenge; my qualifications, professional and personal experience mean that I have a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips that I am able to use to equip and empower them, wherever they are on their individual parenting journey."

We asked her to let us know about her and the idea behind this venture.

What has been the inspiration?
When I arrived in Geneva 2 years ago, I personally realised how difficult it was raising children away from family support networks. For me, this was compounded by not being able to speak French and therefore finding it hard to navigate the system and access services. As I was here longer, I realised that this is in fact many peoples experience and story. I also discovered that there seemed to be a real service gap in parenting support accessible in English. Given my professional background I felt that I had skills and experience that could be used to close this gap.

In August 2021 I conducted a survey with approximately 100 expat families, with the aim of understanding parenting support needs in Geneva and the surrounding areas. The results of the survey were clear – parents felt a lack of accessible parenting support and wanted this service. This was the start of the year long process of creating ‘Our Parenting Journeys’. The services we now offer are based on what parents said they wanted in the survey and what I know from my professional experience to be useful for young families.

Ashley Oncolexic

Ashley showing the Oncolexic English-French phrasebook

What is World Cancer Day?
World Cancer Day is marked every year on 4th February. This global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control aims to raise awareness of cancer and to promote its prevention, detection and treatment. With its “Close The Care Gap” theme, the 2022 World Cancer Day is focused on the need for equitable access to diagnosis, treatments, and care.

What is ESCA CS doing to #CloseTheCareGap?
At ESCA CancerSupport (ESCA CS) they believe that cancer care should not be restricted in any way, including by language, gender, age, available finances, ethnic background or culture. We are fortunate in having access to excellent healthcare in the Geneva region, however a cancer diagnosis and treatment can be difficult to cope with, and even more so in a foreign setting. ESCA CS was born out of the need for an English-language support group for those having difficulty expressing themselves in French. They offer emotional support, practical help, information resources, well-being activities and a welcoming community in English to anyone affected directly or indirectly by cancer.

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Did you know that Webster University has expanded their Counseling Center to the public? We spoke with Catherine Butterly and Milena Claudius, two professors in the Counseling Department, about how the local community can benefit from currently enrolled students in the Master of Arts in Counseling degree fulfilling their internship hours. The Webster University Counseling Center invites English-speaking individuals who might have the need for these services but could not otherwise afford them to get in touch.

Who are the Trainee Counselors?
The profile of these student interns is mainly women; mostly in their 30’s, 40’s and older who are transitioning into a second career. Many are parents themselves. These students come from a variety of professional backgrounds such as lawyers, teachers, journalists, human resources, UN employees, NGOs, the corporate world and more. They have very valuable life experience, and this can be so important in understanding the challenges that their clients face. They are realistic, dedicated, and resourceful with a wide range of life skills.

Some have grown up in international, multilingual contexts, knowing first-hand the difficulties faced by individuals and families adjusting to a new country. All the counselors are passionate about supporting people in navigating difficult life transitions and creating meaningful change.

How it works
The Counselor's role is to listen and to respond with empathy and explore options to assist the client in making their lives more meaningful and manageable. Clients may present with a variety of issues:

  • life adjustments
  • social issues
  • loneliness
  • home sickness
  • relationships
  • exams
  • work stress
  • procrastination
  • sleep problems
  • low mood
  • grief and bereavement
  • identity issues
  • other

Clients from beyond the University will now have access to low budget support. A respectful and private exchange with another human being is one of the best ways to begin understanding oneself. Listening with respect and without judgement is rewarding to both parties. Sessions are offered on a weekly basis for an agreed-upon period of time.

UNEO

Isn't it great when you can honestly refer an insurance broker? This is the case with M. Gerard Fossati that I've worked with since 1996. He is now an associate of the company UNEO which is based in Carouge. M. Fossati has followed our family through pregnancy, births, moves, house purchases, car and scooter insurance, business insurances and more. What is lovely with UNEO is that you have one broker who deals with everything and is always willing to respond to queries and needs immediately. M. Fossati always ensures face-to-face or phone calls to explain in layman's terms all the details to help you understand.

I asked M. Fossati how a brokerage works and why it is beneficial to the expat community and beyond. The client does not pay insurance brokers like those at UNEO as they are remunerated directly by insurance companies. When we had water damage in the shower, M. Fossati dealt with contacting the insurance company and pleading my case. He was fantastic.

What is it about insurance that attracted you in the first place?
Proximity, trust, referral: Being a people person and solution-oriented, I found in insurance a form of proximity and trust with my clients.

What was the inspiration or the path?
At ease with customer contact, I began my professional life in the hotel industry as a maître d' in renowned establishments.

Being able to listen and use my skills to advise my clients and help them achieve their goals has been the driving force of my career.

Why branch out to be an independent broker now?
I started my career in a large insurance company. After 20 years invested in the development and management of insurance solutions, I decided to take flight in order to offer my clients an even wider range of solutions for a more personalized follow-up.

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Shiatsu is a Japanese massage technique founded on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a form of therapy using thumbs and palms to apply pressure to the human body in order to correct internal malfunctions and to improve health. The gentle touch and pressure helps regulate the body’s natural flow of energy. Shiatsu is received on a futon on the floor wearing comfortable clothes. Headaches, back problems, sleeping disorders, stress, anxiety are some of the areas where shiatsu therapy is beneficial.

We tried it out for you and interviewed Maria Larsson Greppin (see video link below).

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?
I started my journey in the field of shiatsu about 7 years ago when I was at a turning point in my life. At this time I strongly felt the need to develop a professional activity with a deeper sense of humanity. An activity which made a difference and really helped others. My inspiration goes back to when I experienced shiatsu myself for the first time. I was surprised how powerful this art of touch was in the way that it made me feel completely connected to my inner source. It made me feel “at home” again. To me, shiatsu is true physical and emotional well-being. It leads to deeper self-understanding as it helps us to connect to our inner strength and who we are.