Rosanna Hille and Bachtiar Lorot at Vivir Ensemble in Vancouver Canada in June
The Subud Americas Gathering was an eight-day whirl of 400 members from around the world engaged in everything from business meetings at the local, national, zonal and international levels to exploratory workshops on a wide range of topics, personal sharing of experiences, latihan and testing, creating music and art together, socializing and going on tours of the university and the beautiful city of Vancouver. It was delightful, relaxed and filled with good feelings.
The Susila Dharma events were integrated into the overall program and many new voices and views were heard. Dianteza Dimpiokia and Virginia Thomas presented the complex context of the projects being developed in the DR Congo and the partnership between SD DR Congo, SD Canada, SDIA and others in the Network.
A lively networking meeting included many people who are not currently part of the SD Network and generated discussion on how to integrate new skilled people into our work.
There was a great deal of interest in how we might run our organizations more effectively through three workshops that focused on non-profit management and working together. In other Susila Dharma sessions, people learned about the Human Force Camp and SDIA volunteering program, Puppeteers Without Borders, the Bright Futures scholarship initiative, the YUM (Yayasan Usaha Mulia), YTS (Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta) and BCU (Bina Cita Utama) projects from Indonesia, the Usaha Mulia Abadi project from Mexico and the SD Canada Annual General Meeting.
Another innovation at this meeting was the joint World Subud Council presentation on Creativity and Caring by Latifah Taormina of Subud International Cultural Association (SICA) and Kumari Beck of SDIA. Dissolving the boundaries between these two fundamental human abilities was inspiring and essential for our future collaborations.
Women meet over lunch at Vivir Ensemble in Vancouver, Canada in June 2012
One SDIA highlight was the meeting held with MSF and the signing of a two-year agreement for a $50,000 grant from MSF that will support delivery of two SDIA services to its members and the Subud community: the volunteer program and the members network meetings that contribute to our ability to work together more effectively. Part of this grant, which will be administered by SDIA, is an MSF granting fund for social and humanitarian projects that meet MSF’s criteria.
SDIA board member Rasjidah Flores adds:
The most important thing for me was the opportunity to charge my batteries by seeing projects and actions presented and learning from them, and also creating links that can be useful for developing our activities. It is always motivating to see everything that is happening inside the SDIA network; it is so dynamic and beneficial that it can only generate smiles and a feeling of wanting to continue to build a better world. Thank you all for the hard work and for sharing it with us!
News from the Network
Another success for the Budesti English Language Summer School
Mark two of the English Language Summer School in Moldova came to an end in mid-July and by all accounts was a great success.
Here’s what project leader Anna Hiora says:
This year’s project was a valuable and interesting experience for me. We learned from our past experience and introduced improvements. Better planning and coordination allowed us to work more cohesively, while a less intense program meant less stress.
English Language Summer School in Budesti, Moldova, July 2012
Again, I met new wonderful people from both abroad and within Moldova, people with open minds, generous hearts and gentle souls, who I will never forget and who, I hope, will stay in my life. I've seen lots of joy, smiles, happiness and enthusiasm during these two weeks. These emotions were shared not only by project participants, but by everyone who was part of the project. We had a lot of fun and splendid moments together. I was sad to go home after the project was over and even more so when I had to say goodbye to the international volunteers.
I believe that the project was a success this year and I would like quite sincerely to thank everyone who contributed their time and energy to it ... [including] SD national teams from Great Britain, France and Germany. The project wouldn't have become a reality without your trust, care, involvement, enthusiasm, day-to-day hard work and moral support. Thank you!
This year the international volunteers, two of whom were Subud members, were María Clara Camps Martinez from Spain, Elijah Eilert from Germany and Robert and Karolina Möller from Sweden. You can read Elijah’s report on the Subud World news website and visit the project's Facebook page to see lots of great photos.
A new standard for artisanal gold mining
Kalimantan’s gold mining community is involved in ongoing development of retort technology that recovers toxic mercury that would otherwise escape into the local environment.
SD network member, Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS), is tackling the problem of the release of large volumes of toxic mercury into the environment by small-scale gold miners and gold shops in Kalimantan by introducing low-cost technologies to capture and recycle mercury. These measures will protect thousands of people from the harmful effects of mercury exposure.
YTS has been involved in the production of a short video by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). This fascinating film about the use of mercury in artisanal gold mining features, among other people, Sumali Agrawal of YTS who talks about the dangers of mercury and what the project is doing to combat it.
SD Nationals help save Roda Viva programme
At the SD members networking meeting in Greece last year, Daniela Dinis, leader of Roda Viva in Portugal, made an appeal to those present to help save one of the project’s programmes.
The Roda Viva Community Project in Alfragide, Lisbon, began in 1981 as a kindergarten for refugee children from East Timor. It has had close links with the International Child Development Progamme (ICDP) and has served children and their families from many African countries as well.
Children at Roda Viva in Portugal
In 2011 the project realised that there was going to be a €9,000 shortfall in revenue due to government cuts to their work with children and families. Local government had up till then funded the successful Saturday morning ICDP programme which works with 168 children from 90 families, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds. Trusting that government funding would be paid towards the end of the year as usual, Roda Viva ran its ICDP programme throughout the year, and held its traditional Easter camp. Unfortunately, by the time the bad news came through that the money would not be granted after all, much had already been spent, leaving the project with a budget deficit. Daniela immediately cancelled the planned summer camp.
Following Daniela’s presentation in Greece, a number of SD Nationals plus SDIA pulled together and came up with the necessary funds (over €8,000) to keep the programme going. The money donated covered ICDP training for parents and staff and the Saturday morning activities as well as the Easter camp attended by 30 children. Many thanks to SD Austria, SD Germany, SD Netherlands, SD Norway, and SD USA for their help!
For more information about Roda Viva, visit their web page.
Cameras roll at Anisha
“After only a week of workshops, the turmeric planting happened. Anisha’s staff and I were all called down to the field to document it and, almost instantaneously, the staff had their cameras set up and were intently filming. I had just barely taken my camera out!”
Many thanks to Susila Dharma Germany for a grant of €500 for Myra Margolin to use towards her project at Anisha in India where she is making videos for, with and about small-scale farmers. Visit Myra’s blog — there are some wonderful photographs and insights into life in the village of Martalli where Anisha is located.
Myra will be film-making and training local people and Anisha staff in documentary making until December. SDIA is helping her raise funds to finance her work. If you would like to contribute towards this worthwhile project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to make an earmarked donation.
New SD National Chairpersons
Please note that two of our SD Nationals now have new chairs and contact details.
SD USA’s new chair, taking over from Liza Ramey, is Evan Padilla from the state of Washington: email@example.com. And in Portugal, Denise Andrade, firstname.lastname@example.org, has replaced Francisca Pedroso as SD chair.
Many thanks to Liza and Francisca for all their work, and a big welcome on board to Evan and Denise!
United Nations and Global Networking
Reporting from the Earth Summit
Illène Pevec with a representative of an indegenous tribe at the Rio+20 conference.
SDIA delegate Illène Pevec writes:
Sustainability, the capacity to live healthily in the present while preserving, building and not depleting the earth’s resources for the future, rests on a three-legged stool: environment, economics and social equity.
All three wove in and out of the discussions at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Representing SDIA (along with Sharifin Gardiner from the UK and Janine Twyman from Australia) gave me the opportunity to listen to and have dialogues with people from all over the world; from government representatives to Civil Society leaders to farmers from around Latin America who were there to speak out for agro-ecology and working together for healthy food for all. As for myself, I was seeking information for several of our SDIA projects involved in sustainable agriculture.
A poster opposing fossil fuel mining at the Rio+20 conference.
Many other environmental topics such as potable water, reforestation, biodiversity, renewable energy, and social justice for women, children and the poor were also themes for presentations that went on from early morning till late at night. The lack of full participation by the world’s leading economic powers disappointed me. What gave hope were the many young people I met from all over the world involved in leading sustainability projects in their own communities.
I came away convinced that just as Margaret Mead said, we must be the change we wish to see and act in our own local communities to create environmental and economic health and social justice for all.
For more news from our delegates about the Rio +20 Earth Summit, you can read reports by Sharifin Gardiner, Illène Pevec and Jae Twyman. The SDIA and delegates team are also working on practical follow-up to the survey of projects that was begun before the Conference (see eNews issue 75).
Millennium Development Goals can be reached
“There is now an expectation around the world that sooner, rather than later, the Goals can and must be achieved.”
These are the words of Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General of UN DESA’s (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs).
Susila Dharma network members around the world are doing valuable work to help meet the MDGs. Read an update from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on how the world is doing to achieve these global targets.
Human Force hits India
The Human Force is beaming after another successful volunteer camp in collaboration with Anisha in southern India. Twelve people from five different countries came together to assist in Anisha's efforts to support rural farmers, whose livelihoods and stability have been compromised by the widespread use of genetically modified seeds and chemical soil fertilizers and pesticides, including DDT.
Volunteers, including both Subud and non-Subud members, were involved in three different tasks. First, led by Myra Margolin, they helped take film footage for a video on the project. Myra will be staying on until December. Secondly, the volunteers conducted research interviews with local farmers and their families for a study on the area's changing patterns of cultivation and their effects on income, health, and food security. The third task was teaching English — volunteers taught fun daily classes at a local school. This is an important service since the lack of English language skills in India is a barrier to upward socioeconomic mobility.
In their time off, volunteers explored South Indian culture, visiting Indian palaces, temples and local sites. Highlights were: Bollywood dancing around campfires, water balloon fights, midnight sari shopping and active discussions and reflections on the cultural and economic issues in the community.
The Human Force team would like to say a special thank you to the Guerrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace for its support, to generous individuals for their donations, and to everyone at the Americas Gathering who chipped in at the last minute to enable Indian youth to be able to attend the camp. A full report on the camp is coming soon.
Have you seen our Facebook page? "Like" our page and check out photos and individual volunteer bios. For more information on the program or to register your interest for next year, please contact the team at email@example.com.
Human Force Camp volunteers at Anisha in July 2012
Teach English at Anisha
A local student of English at Anisha.
Do you want to volunteer at Anisha?
Following the Human Force camp in July, staff at Anisha became aware of the need for an English teacher because so many children showed up wanting English lessons when the volunteers arrived. Anisha is therefore looking for a volunteer to teach English.
As it is a new program, some teaching/lesson planning experience would be useful. If you come, you can help extend the work that that was started at the camp. The kids are very enthusiastic and excited to learn and are showing up in droves.
For more information or with any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
YUM and voluntourism
A group of volunteers at YUM's Cipanas project, 2012.
As part of YUM's long-term sustainability and revenue-generating efforts, the Indonesian project has started to offer “voluntourism” camps to various organisations and schools, mainly in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. Having experienced the success of 2011's Human Force Camp at the Cipanas Village, YUM now has regular visits from schools who wish to learn about organic farming and/or do community service activities among our projects.
CERES Global, a division of the Centre for Education & Research in Environmental Education (CERES), Australia, recently sent 12 volunteers and 2 facilitators to the Cipanas YUM Village to spend 10 days helping projects there.
CERES Global offers the opportunity for people interested in areas of environment, sustainability, community development, global equity, health and education to contribute to local village societies by sharing skills in a range of community engagement areas. In this specific trip, the volunteers contributed by organising teacher training, building water filters for the organic farm, teaching English at the Vocational Training Centre and organising games and activities, especially around the theme of environmental education.
On the SDIA Facebook page you can enjoy 45 lovely photos taken during the visit of the volunteers and facilitators to the Cipanas Village.
If you are interested in organising a similar camp with YUM, please contact email@example.com
From the Office
Cassidy at a carp hatchery in India
The office team at SDIA will be changing in the next few months as Cassidy Sterling has resigned as our Web Manager and Publications designer. After 6 years working for SDIA Cassidy wishes to move on and so we will be looking for an office administrator, technical troubleshooter and web site and publications manager.
Cassidy has given a lot of time and skill to maintaining and improving the SDIA web presence and our publications standards and we thank him so much for his contributions.
Please contact the office firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about this vacancy.
Another way to Contribute to SDIA
Help increase SDIA’s visibility on Google™ and other search engines by including a link to SDIA’s website (http://susiladharma.org) on your web site.
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