50% Match on Donations to Approved Village Earth Global Affiliates Until April 7th!

Now until April 7th (or until matching funds run out) Globalgiving.org will be matching 50% all donations up to $50! Don’t miss-out on this amazing opportunity to maximize your impact on Village Earth’s Global Affiliates around the globe! Below is a list (and links to) eligible VE Affiliates. For complete terms of this opportunity go to https://www.globalgiving.org/leaderboards/little-by-little-2017/

 

Village Earth Affiliate ICA-Nepal educates school girls on menstrual hygiene.

  1. During menstruation we should not use old clothes rags
  2. We should use sanitary napkins during menstruation
  3. We should safely discard the used napkins
  4. We are left behind others when we use cloth napkins
  5. Napkins should be changed every 4 hours.
  6. Napkins shouldn’t be thrown away haphazardly
  7. We should bath every day during menstruation
  8. We should pack the napkin with papers and throw in dustbin
  9. We must change time and again otherwise there will be infection

These were some of the points presented by school girls when they were provided with case stories regarding menstruation problem during an awareness program conducted at Dolagiri School of Changunaryan.

Menstruation is a biological process among women which plays a major role in reproduction. Yet this process is considered socially impure which is why women don’t talk or discuss about it in public. The superstition of being negatively affected if a girl on menstruation touches something has been so deeply injected in people’s mind that still in rural parts of Nepal, girls are bound to stay outside home or separetely during periods. The girls in rural areas still use cloth pieces which make them vulnerable to many diseases and infections.

Considering the need to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene and practices, Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) Nepal has started the awareness raising programs on menstrual hygiene and use of sanitary napkins among school students. As the part of this program, the first awareness program was conducted in Dolagiri School of Changunarayan. The program is supported by ICA Japan. Total 30 students aged between 13 to 16 participated in the program which was facilitated by Ms. Sarala Timsina, Ms. Pritha Khanal and Ms. Devaka Shrestha.

During the program the students were provided with case stories out of which they presented the points which they felt were significant regarding menstrual hygiene. After the presentation of 4 groups, the facilitators explained more about the menstruation and how one should feel pure and holy during the period. Also, facilitators focused more on use of sanitary napkins rather than cloth pieces as they produce stains and can be prone to infections.

At the end, ICA Nepal provided packets of “Surakhshya” sanitary pads to school. The napkins are produced by the local women of Changunarayan which is an example of micro entrepreneurship for women empowerment as well.

 

 

 

2016 Holiday Fundraising Campaign to Support Village Earth’s Global Affiliates

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Olimometer 2.52

 Global Affiliate NameGeographic FocusAbout 
Facebook-Vert-LogoVillage Earth Area of Most NeedGlobalLet Village Earth decide how best to allocate your donation.
AmahoroAmahoro ProjectBurundiAmahoro project is a collaboration betweeen Colorado State University and Ngozi University in Burundi (UNG) to establish UNG as a ongoing site and dissemination center for research in sustainable peace and development.
CRDTCambodia Rural Development Team Northeast CambodiaWorks to sustainably improve food security, incomes, and living standards of subsistence rural communities in support of environmental conservation throughout Cambodia.
Earth TipiEarth TipiPine Ridge Reservation, SDWorks to sustainably improve food security, incomes, and living standards of subsistence rural communities in support of environmental conservation throughout Cambodia.
Eco_VEco-Friendly VolunteersSri LankaECO-V is a voluntary organization engaged in environmental conservation in Sri Lanka. ECO-V has a network of 400 volunteers throughout Sri Lanka who contribute to research and community work to support conservation of the environment.
EYCEmpowering Youth CambodiaPnom Penh, CambodiaEYC is a organization working to improve the lives of young people and their families. Our vision is to see youth empowered with skills & confidence to be leaders who actively develop themselves, their families and community.
FOFCODForum for Community Change and DevelopmentSouth SudanFOFCOD envisions a new generation of productive and self-reliant south Sudanese who can ably participate in community development programs to meet their needs and those of other disadvantaged groups.
GOLDGrowing Liberia Democracy (GOLD)LiberiaGOLD promotes poverty reduction as well as democratic & high quality governance by empowering local communities to effectively engage their law makers as to make policy decisions favorable for Liberians and to be fully transparent.
ICA_NEPAlInstitute of Cultural Affairs (Nepal)NepalICA’s mission is to promote social innovation through participation and community building. We do this throughout the country through training, facilitation & development activities.  
Human-and-Hope-Association-500x500Human and Hope AssociationSiem Reap, CambodiaHuman and Hope Association works to empower Cambodians to create sustainable futures for themselves through projects focused on education, vocational training and community support.
JalambaJalamba Nursery School ProjectThe GambiaThe goal of the of the Association is to empower youths, children and vulnerable families through education. The project has government support as a new school  which will serve ages of one through six. 
JenzeraJenzeraColombiaSupports community processes so that people can freely decide on their social, political and economic lives by defending their territories, empowering their own governments and developing a self-managed economies.
KnifeChiefKnife Chief Buffalo NationPine Ridge Reservation, SDThe Knife Chief Buffalo Nation, a grassroots project on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, works to reclaim 1800 acres of ancestral lands for restoring buffalo, and Lakota culture and lifeways.
LBCCLakota Buffalo Caretakers CooperativePine Ridge Reservation, SDThe Lakota Buffalo Caretakers Cooperative (LBCC) is a 100% Native American owned and operated cooperative association on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Its membership is made up of small family buffalo caretakers who respect the buffalo and the land. Members of the LBCC are committed to the restoration of the northern plains ecology, self-sufficiency and strengthening the sovereignty and self-determination of the Oglala Lakota Nation and all indigenous peoples.
LLRPLakota Lands Recovery ProjectSouth Dakota ReservationsThe LLRP works to reclaim and consolidate tribal lands and access the resources needed for the Lakota people to live on, protect, and utilize it — promoting self-determination and sovereignty.
MalocaMalocaAmazon BasinWorks with Indigenous Peoples living in the Amazon Basin. It works directly with Indigenous leaders to raise awareness about the needs of their communities and find means to establish self-sustaining strategies to address their needs.
TasunkeWakanTasunke WakanPine Ridge Reservation, SDOur primary goal is to develop and implement Lakol Wicohan (Lakota life ways and laws, which includes language, values, beliefs, ceremonies and laws of the Lakota people) within the Oyate (Community).
TRCDATitukuke RCDAPetuake, ZambiaTRCDA is devoted to to uplifting livelihoods, reducing illiteracy, poverty and HIV/AIDS Health problems among the communities in Petauke, Zambia

VE Affiliate, ICA Nepal Promotes Hygienic and Taboo-free Menstruation

 
As normal as menstruation cycle is among women, hiding the issue in the name of shame or sin is equally normal in Nepalese rural community. Considered as a major taboo, women are forbidden to discuss about it publicly especially among the presence of male and undergo various restrictions in touching different places. The sense of impurity and shamefulness is so deeply subsisted in people that have kept women away from basic awareness about menstrual hygiene. Women are still using cloth pieces during the menstrual period being prone to infections and not being able to put their views about menstruation openly. This has not only subordinated rural women in present time but has bounded them from not enjoying their reproductive rights properly.
 
ICA Nepal in the realization of the high time for menstrual awareness, has taken a step forward by training the local women to produce sanitary napkins on their own. Total 10 women were trained on producing the local cost sanitary napkins on August 2016. The training led ahead to start their own micro enterprise where women will be handling the production and sales of the napkins. This is a highly remarkable steps of ICA Nepal towards addressing one of the major women health issue and promoting menstrual hygiene as well as empowering women economically and encouraging local entrepreneurship.
 
Following the training of production of sanitary napkins, the five days long promotion, sales and marketing training was also provided for 25 more women from this 17th-21st November, 2016. The training focused on teaching various aspects of marketing to the women group, on developing marketing strategies and promoting their products to local area. The training resulted being very effective which enhanced the participant’s confidence and knowledge on their product.
 
The major point we want to highlight here is that this small initiation is not only focused on providing the income generation platform to the women but on bringing the bigger change in society. The proper promotion of sanitary napkins will ensure the change in practice of using hygienic products, increased awareness on local and individual level about menstrual hygiene and reduce the tendency of oppressing menstruation talks. The training period showed itself how women can open her mind if the male members help to create a comfortable environment to discuss these issues. Women can come out of their boundaries and take the lead to create better change in the society.
 
ICA Nepal thus hopes to empower women to bring the healthy change in this traditionally misleading practice. We vision for the day where women will free themselves from the tag of impurities during menstruation and be responsible towards her menstrual and reproductive health. ICA Nepal will be expanding its approaches in other innovative ways to reach more rural communities for promotion of menstrual hygiene in coming future as well in which we hope we will have all of your support.
 
Follow ICA Nepal on: 
 
Blog: www,icanepal.blogspot,com 

VE Affiliate, Human and Hope Association: Providing Education to Cambodian Kids

The marginalized Cambodian kids in rural area have less opportunities to start school at the age of six, which is the standard in Cambodia. Due to lateness at school, some kids are not ready to start yet and learn very slowly. Another thing, with the carelessness of teachers at public school, most kids copy bad behavior from their surrounding environment which affects their future learning and behavior.

To get them to start school early is the best way to solve the above issues. Human and Hope Association located in Siem Reap, Cambodia has started this program since 2013 with 10 students graduating each year.  It is one of their most successful programs.

The five years old marginalized kids will be attended this program for a year, then they are enrolled in grade one at public school. According to the curriculum: Monday – Thursday, they study Khmer alphabet, do coloring, do arts and crafts, play with toys, do some fun activities in our study area and brush their teeth daily. On Friday, they learn living values, watch movie, and pick up trash inside HHA.

Here is one of a successful story of our kid after attended our program:

“Tola came with his mother to enroll in our preschool class, while we were recruiting our new preschool class for 2015-2016. A shy and like crying boy, who was five-year old and came from a very poor family.  At first, he was very naughty and hot-tempered and he rarely play with others. However, after joining with us for nearly one year, he remarkably grew into confident, sociable, and very eager to learn. He is now has enrolled in grade one at public school and continue studying Khmer and English with us.

Tola’s mother once said, “My son has learned many hours at home. When he got sick, he didn’t want to miss the class until I strongly encouraged him. Moreover, his behavior has changed a lot as he respects me, his father, and his classmates.”

It costs $120USD to place one marginalised kid in a year-long preschool program at Human and Hope Association.

Human and Hope Association needs your support to fund 10 kids for 2017, so please make a tax deductible donation today! https://www.villageearth.org/global-affiliates/human-and-hope-association

Best,
San Thai

Director

Human and Hope Association

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Donate: https://www.humanandhopeassociation.org/donate/

Purchase our handicrafts: http://hopehandicrafts.com

50% Match #GivingTuesday on Donations to Village Earth and Global Affiliates

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November 29th is #GivingTuesday and it will be the best day of the year to support Village Earth and our Global Affiliates. Globalgiving.org will be matching all donations 50% up to $1000! That means If you donate $1000 Globalgiving.org will add another $500!!! BUT, funds will run out fast so to ensure your donation is matched you need to donate as early as possible Tuesday (starting at midnight).

Use the link below automatically add this event to your calendar

View Eligible Projects

https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/9388/village-earth/

Amahoro Project: Infuse Peace Building Content with an Emphasis on Critical and Creative Thinking for the University of Ngozi, local communities and schools in Burundi, East Africa and Beyond

 

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“Amahoro” is the Kirundi word for peace. Founded in 1999 with a commitment to peace and reconciliation, its University of Ngozi (UNG) is uniquely situated to be a laboratory for peace-building and sustainable development and the Amahoro Project hopes to help lead the way. We recognize that economic development will suffer if violence continues and that peace will be a casualty if communities remain mired in poverty. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, emerging from colonization and forty years of violence. Recent conflicts currently threaten the last eight years of stability but conditions in the region of Ngozi have remained peaceful for many years and that is one of the principle reasons why we are working there. Those committed to this project believe that sustainable development must wed with restorative educational innovations to prepare new leaders to heal and foster civil society as basic infrastructure needs are addressed. In all our endeavors, we propose to use locally generated and regionally applicable case- and project-based learning along with ideas and skills for peace building (i.e.,  improved communication, cooperation, conflict resolution and more) to transform surface or memorized learning into a greater emphasis on critical and creative thinking. Over the course of this project, the UNG will be established as a viable center for research and development in sustainable peace and development. With this grant, those at the UNG can help Burundi forge (1) a recovery and rebirth of spirit, (2) reconcile wounds, differences, rivalries, prejudices, and hatreds, (3) resolve to understand the truth of the past, fix the present, and prepare for a better future; and (4) reinforce the resilience needed to rebuild an impoverished, post-colonial nation.

 

Benefits

There are currently some 1,700 students at the University of Ngozi. Our peace-building efforts will impact each of these students in every class they take throughout their college careers. Each new class of 400+ will enjoy a similar duel training in disciplinary case-based, problem-based, and project-based learning infused with peace building skills of improved communication, cooperation, conflict resolution, mediation and more. When they graduate, these students will move into various communities across this nation of approximately eleven million as well as into neighboring nations of Rwanda and Uganda. Once available on various websites and translated from English into French and Kirundi, these materials will also be accessible to other colleges and universities in Burundi as well as school systems nationally. Eventually, these materials should prove useful to faculty and school leaders around the world, especially those in areas emerging from conflict.

 

Responsibilities

Staff members and instructors at the University of Ngozi will draw from the four years of interviews, surveys, research and development that created a foundation for this work on sustainable peace and development, e.g., Timpson, Ndura, &. Bangayimbaga (2015) Conflict, reconciliation, and peace education: Moving Burundi toward a sustainable future. (New York, NY: Routledge). Testing will follow the principles laid out in ongoing research and development for case study learning as described in several published sources, e.g., Timpson, W. and D. K. Holman, Eds. (2014) Controversial Case studies for teaching on sustainability, conflict, and diversity. (Madison, WI: Atwood); Timpson, W., E. Brantmeier, N. Kees, T. Cavanagh, C. McGlynn and E. Ndura-Ouédraogo (2009) 147 practical tips for teaching peace and reconciliation. (Madison, WI: Atwood).

 

Goals

The project’s goals of supporting sustainable peace and development recognizes that without peace there will not be the foundation needed for community, economic and environmental health as reflected in the most popular definitions of sustainability. Likewise, without healthy communities, a healthy economy and a healthy land base, both cultivated and natural, the potential for peace will be uncertain. Our emphasis on training university instructors and teachers in the skills of peace-building—i.e., effective communication, cooperation, critical and creative thinking—will then be spread throughout the curriculum and across levels and disciplines as we link these to an emphasis on case-based, problem-based, and project-based learning, e.g., Timpson & Holman, Eds. (2011), Case Studies of Classrooms and Communication: Integrating Diversity, Sustainability, Peace and Reconciliation (Madison, WI: Atwood) as well as Timpson’s (2002) book, Teaching and Learning Peace (Madison, WI: Atwood). Once these materials are trialed at the University of Ngozi, they will be mounted on the University’s website for others to access in Burundi, both in higher education and local schools, as well as in neighboring countries and others world-wide who are also emerging out of conflict.

 

Evaluation

Instructors from the University of Ngozi (UNG) will be trained in case-based, problem-based, and project-based learning that emphasizes critical and creative thinking, cooperation and communication, i.e., the skills of peace-building infused into subject matter content studies. These instructors, in turn, will evaluate the impact of these reforms on their own students. These instructors will then lead efforts to train colleagues on campuses and in schools across Burundi as well as in surrounding region who come to the conferences that are hosted by this project at UNG. Instructors in the area of computer sciences will take the lead in facilitating communication about access to project materials at a distance via the University’s website.

 

January, 2017: Organize professional development conferences for instructors at all levels and across all disciplines, beginning with those at the University of Ngozi.

  • A conference on case-based learning infused with peace-building content and skills will be organized at UNG and lead by Professor Timpson.
  • Feb.-May: Subsequent conferences on case-based learning infused with peace-building content and skills will be organized and lead by instructors from UNG for instructors at other campuses as well as teachers in the region and beyond.
  • Jan.-May: Recruit instructors at the University of Ngozi in the various disciplines who would complete a second graduate online offering in the communication skills needed to support effective instruction.

Maloca Working with Kamaiura of Brazil to Mitigate Impacts of Deforestation and Climate Change

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Maloca is working with the Kamaiura to enable them to build a new village. The existing Kamaiurávillage that counts almost 300 people will split and a few families will move a new village as a measure to reduce the stress on the environment around the current Kamaiurá village, thus ensuring maintenance of livelihoods for all Kamaiurá people.
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Extreme deforestation in Mato Grosso state produced changes in the Xingu’s micro climate in the past few years: the raining season changed; rains come very late or do not come at all, affecting manioc crops, water levels (fish numbers decrease) and drying the forest (which create fierce wild fires). Manioc crops that the Kamaiura planted died three times this year leaving the Kamaiurá people on the verge of famine, with little more than water to eat for days at a time. Because of extreme dryness of the air and vegetation, wild fires burned out of control this year, engulfing swaths of forest and savannah, killing animals, destroying their habitat for years to come and reducing even more the chance of future rains. All these factors put enormous stress on the environment where the Kamaiura live and are placing at risk the Kamaiura livelihoods.
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The Kamaiurá solution
The chief of the Kamaiurá, Kotok, is very concerned about the future of his people and he decided to act: he will split his Kamaiurá village in two and open a new village where he and a few families will move. The new village will be still on  Kamaiurá  territory, where his ancestors used to live a few generations ago.
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The proceeds of the fundraiser will help but tools that the Kamaiurá have asked for in order to speed up the process of building their village and ease the hard physical work they need to put. The new village will be built according to traditional Kamaiurá architecture.
Fundraiser link (also see attached photos):
Thank you,
Luminita

Empowering Youth Cambodia: Using Sports to Develop Future Leaders in Cambodia

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Using Sports to Develop Future Leaders in Cambodia:

Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) has had great success in developing young leaders from marginalized backgrounds that are now helping to build their country back and help others overcome barriers. To nurture and develop young people requires a holistic approach, and so one of EYC’s many unique offerings is a sports programs for their students. EYC’s sports include cycling, football (soccer), yoga, ultimate frisbee, swimming and dancing; each activity providing opportunities for teamwork, physical development, and fun. EYC has plans to focus on greater numbers of girls participating. Please consider making a donation to support these amazing young people and have your impact grow. https://www.villageearth.org/global-affiliates/empowering-youth-cambodia

EYC works in four slum areas in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and together with the community, we empower vulnerable young people through education, mentoring and direct support.  www.eycambodia.org

Annual Report from Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization)

 

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This report is for the period of July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.    Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) continues to provide a home/pasture for members of the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) and the community continues to reap the benefits in its of spiritual and physical nourishment from them.

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Our relatives standing with a little one.  8/01/15

 

July 2015

The Wakanyeja Woapiye Wicoti  (Children’s Healing Camp) was held in Porcupine, SD on July 1 – 5.   Enrollment was set for twenty-five (25) children between the ages of 0 – 11 years but this number was quickly surpassed after an overwhelming response by parents, grandparents and guardians.  A total of fifty-one (51) children participated in the camp activities with thirty-eight (38) camping in the tipis during the camp period.  Children received a Wopakinte (spiritual purification) with some receiving a Lakota spiritual name.  Other activities included horseback riding, trips to Evans Plunge, a large, in-door swimming pool in Hot Springs, SD and to Mato Paha (Bear Butte), Sturgis, SD to walk to the top of the sacred butte to offer prayers.

We offer our deep appreciation and gratitude to all those who volunteered and offered their services, including the Students Shoulder to Shoulder participants whose organization is based in Denver, CO, and the Wisconsin based group Gunderson-Lutheran Medical Center.  We also acknowledge the tunkasila (grandfather) and unci (grandmother) spirits and the two wakan iyeska (interpreters of the sacred) for their teachings and for the healings received by the participants and the volunteers.

 

August 2015

The Lakota Wikoskalaka Yuwitapi  (Lakota Gathering of Young Women) was held in Porcupine, SD on August 10 – 15.  The camp offered traditional teachings related to becoming a young woman.  A number of them received their Lakota spiritual name and participated in the womanhood ceremony with the help of the Wakan Iyeska (Interpreter of the Sacred) Hmuya Mani and other women volunteers.  Other activities included horseback riding, talking circles,  setting up tipis, and a walk to the top of Mato Paha (Bear Butte), Sturgis, SD to take spiritual offerings.

 

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Journey to Mato Paha (Bear Butte) Sturgis,

 

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Young women  resting on way to top of Bear Butte

 

 

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Communicating with relative, the horse, and preparing to ride

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  Volunteers and some of young women participants

Awards received in various categories for their work in making the Young Women’s Gathering a success.  National Indian Health Board conference, Washington, DC, September, 2015.

 

September 2015

The caretaker continued to make weekly checks on the buffalo to ensure their well-being.

The suicides on the Pine Ridge Reservation have increased since January.  We continue to make our spiritual offerings and will work to assist the young people and their families by continuing to offer the healing camps for the children, the young women and the young boys and young men.

 

October 2015

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation co- sponsored a conference “Ending Trans-generational Grief in Native Families” on October 8, 9, 10 in Rapid City, SD with approximately 35 participants.

The conference was in partnership with the Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center.  This Center is comprised of four groups – Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) promotes Lakota lifeways with emphasis on Lakota language revitalization and healing; Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society promotes re-establishing and strengthening relationship with the buffalo nation; Oaye Luta Okolakiciye (Healing Journey Society) promotes healing from substance abuse/chemical dependency; and Sung Nagi Okolakiciye (Horse Spirit promotes strengthening relationship with the horse nation.  These four organizations work together for the healing of the Lakota people.

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November 2015

We co-sponsored the Koskalaka Wica Yuwita Pi Wicoti (Young Boys/Men) Gathering Camp on November 6, 8, 9, held in Porcupine, SD.  Details of the event can be found on the website (same name).  This Camp is the second of two held in 2015 due to the great need of healing for our young males.  The first Camp was held in June.   We are so thankful and appreciative of all who volunteer their time, energy and resources so that the young people have this great opportunity.

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We worked on securing an agreement and partnership with the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority for the lease of pasture for the buffalo.

 

December 2015

Knief Chief Buffalo Nation received a gift of 17 buffalo from the Devyn Strong Estate in California.  The buffalo were transported back and transitioned into the pasture.

We co-sponsored a conference on December 16, 17, 18 entitled “Utilization of Culture, Language and Lifeways to Impact our Children’s Education” as part of the Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center.  Conference was held in Rapid City, SD with approximately 30 participants.

The Conference was intended for service providers and those in the helping field, education, school staff, mental health, counseling, social services, social workers, youth program staff, and juvenile detention staff.

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation hosted a planning meeting after the Conference to plan for events and strategies to continue the work.

Will co-facilitate cultural learning sessions for the community on the sacred ceremony of the Wi Wanyang Wacipi (Sundance) and the Inipi (purification/renewal ceremony) .
Will begin the planning and preparation for the Manhood Ceremony to be held in the spring.
Planning and preparation is in  process for the following camps:
Young Men’s Camp – May 28 – 30

Children’s Camp – July 6 – 10

Young Women’s Camp – July 28 – 31

We are in the process of developing a partnership to help establish a Girls Preparatory School in Porcupine, SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The caretaker continues to check on our relatives, the buffalo, two times per week depending on the weather and road accessibility.

 

January 2016

The Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center partnering societies met on January 24 and January 31 to collaborate on planning and scheduling upcoming activities.  A description of the societies within the Tiospaye was given in the October 2015 report.

The Knife Chief Tiospaye began the one-year mourning period following the loss of a beloved family member.   Sister Ardis Iron Cloud began her journey to the spirit world on January 11, 2016.  She was a co-founder of the Knife Chief Buffalo Project which began the development process in collaboration with the American Friends Service Committee to return buffalo to the land.  The first buffalo were placed in the pasture in 2001.

The Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center support the establishment of a Girls Preparatory School in Porcupine, SD.  Plans are underway to open the school in August, 2016 and to begin with sixth and seventh grades.

 

February 2016

Caretaker continued to make checks on the buffalo, pasture, and food and water supply twice during the week with weather permitting.

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March  2016

During this month two activities were held.  A Lakota traditional teaching was held on March 14 by Hmuya Mani, Interpreter for the Sacred.

A sacred site visit was made to Hinhan Kaga Paha (Imitates Owl Mountain) aka Harney Peak in the Blacks Hills of South Dakota.  A successful initiative was undertaken and led by two Lakota men to change the name from Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak.  Harney Peak was named after Army General William S. Harney.  Black Elk is a famous “holy man” as referred to by historians.  It is known that he climbed and stood on top of the Peak to do a vision quest, one of the seven sacred Lakota ceremonies.  (Note:  the Rapid City Journal reported on August 12, 2016, that the Federal Board of Geographic Names voted 12 to 0 in favor of the name change.)

Every year Native Americans from across South Dakota climb to the top of the mountain in March to take offerings of prayers and food to the grandmother and grandfather spirits.

 

April 2016

Knife Chief Board members attended the Oglala Sioux Parks & Recreation Authority (OSPRA) Board meeting on April 12 to negotiate an amendment to the pasture lease which was approved.

 

May 2016

On May 14 an annual visit was made to Pe Sla, one of seven sacred sites located in the Black Hills.  Offerings of food and prayers were taken to the site.

On May 18, a young man completed the manhood ceremony by making offerings of prayer and killing a buffalo.  The meat is used for sacred ceremonies and shared with people who receive blessings from this.

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Grandfather, father and brother support their relative (center) in the manhood ceremony.

In collaboration with other societies within Tiospaye Sakowin Education & Healing Center, Knife Chief Buffalo Nation supported the “Koskalaka WicaYuwita Pi” (Gathering of Young Women) on May 26 -29, 2016.

 

June 2016

On June 4 a trip was made with girls and young women to dig and gather timpsila (wild turnip) used in preparing sacred foods for ceremonies.

A sacred site visit was made to Pte He Hota (aka Devil’s Tower) on June 18.  Offerings of food and prayers were made.

 

Plans for Future Events

Final plans were made and work was done in preparation for the arrival of the Students Shoulder -to -Shoulder (SSS) group on July 04.  The SSS, the international school of global citizenship partners with the following NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations): Bolivia, Cambodia, Detroit, Kenya, Nepal, New Orleans, Nicaragua, Tibet and Pine Ridge  Knife Chief Buffalo Nation).   The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation collaborated with SSS staff during the year to provide a variety of experiences for high school age students from across the U.S.  One experience will be for the group to assist with the Children’s Healing Camp scheduled from July 6 – 10, 2016.

Preparations were made for the Young Women’s Camp which is scheduled for July 28 – 31, 2016.  The Young Men’s Camp will be held in October or November, 2016.

 

Conclusion 

This has been a year of challenges.  The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization has experienced the loss of family members – two brother/cousins in October and November, and a sister in January. On the Pine Ridge Reservation, many families, extended relatives and friends have been impacted by the many suicide attempts, and by the completed suicides.

As of this writing, the Pine Ridge Reservation has also seen five deaths of young people since August 2016 due to violence, two were shot and killed by non-Indians; another two shot and allegedly killed by tribal member(s); and another person died as a result of being beaten.   The loss of a life due to violence is so sad but also so heartbreaking when young ones are the victims.  In July, 2016 a two-year old child was beaten and died as a result of injuries. The tribal council terminated three judges due to the situation which led to his death.  In a more recent case, two young children ages 4 and 5 years old were found in extreme conditions – described as “nearly starved to death.”  They were airlifted out and remain in a hospital off the Reservation.  Tribal official and various program personnel have met and are attempting to address these situations.

With all this in mind, it is evident that so much more must be done now to help with healing the people so that we will not continue to carry the burden of trauma and place this trauma on the tawacin (mind), tacan (body) and nagi (spirit) of the young and on the generations to come.

The sacred teachings received from our relatives, the buffalo nation, can help us to live in harmony and in a healthy lifestyle if we follow the teachings.  The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization (KCBNO) will continue to participate in the reciprocal relationship with the buffalo nation, and will continue to work in partnership with other societies and organizations to host the children’s camp, the young men’s camp and the young women’s camp.  The relationships made with them continue thorough out the year and not just during the camp days,

We extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people who support our efforts whether it be financially, physically or spiritually.  Your support is truly appreciated and we especially appreciate the Tunkasila (spiritual entities) for their continued support and guidance.  We also acknowledge the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) for what they inspire in us and for their teachings, i.e., protection of the young, conservation of the land and the strength and fortitude to endure whatever is placed in our path.  Lila wopila tanka! (We thank you all very much).

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone:  605-441-2914, 605-407-0091

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

or www.villageearth.org look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliate.

 

 

Help VE Affiliate “Maloca” Support the Indigenous Kamaiura of Brazil Relocate Their Village To Mitigate Impacts of Climate Change

readytowork-2Village Earth Affiliate “Maloca” is seeking funds on the Crowdrise fundraising platform to “Help an indigenous Kamaiurá village move in order to combat climate change effects and survive“.
Please consider supporting this cause. 
The soil around the Kamaiura village suffer because of change in microclimate (dur to deforestation around Xingu Park) and a rather big Kamaiura population. The waters of the lake that feeds the Kamaiura are low and do not give enough fish (also due to changes in climate). The Kamaiura suffered from hunger this year – their manioc crops, their staple food, died three times this year. 
crowdrisedonate
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The Kamaiurá have a solution
The chief of the Kamaiurá, Kotok, is very concerned about the future of his people and he decided to act: he will move from his Kamaiurá village and open a new village on a piece of land where his ancestors used o live a few generations ago. This move will reduce the stress on the environment around the current Kamaiurá village and will ensure maintenance of livelihoods for all Kamaiurá people. Splitting from the main village and creating a new one is a big deal (like splitting a country in two), but this is their own solution to ensuring the whole population will have access to enough food for the years to come.
If we get enough funds, the money will get to the Kamaiura in mid-November and they can start working on opening the new village. Spread the word, spread the love and … support the cause!
Thank you so much!
Luminita

Village Earth Global Affiliate, ICA Nepal, in headway of Social Entrepreneurship

Team ICA Nepal and Ecobling in Bocha community

Team ICA Nepal and Ecobling in Bocha community

Chasing the recent trend in Nepal, the society is gradually shifting its focus towards Social entrepreneurship development. By definition, social entrepreneurship is an attempt to find solutions to social, cultural or environmental problems through several business or private sector techniques. With several social, cultural and environmental problems arising in Nepal, the concept of social entrepreneurship developed. Over the years there have been several individuals and organizations who have contributed in the development of social entrepreneurship in Nepal. Be it industries, corporate, education or Non-governmental sectors, the idea and concept of social entrepreneurship is being promoted with the sense that it is the highest need of present time. Following the same ideology, ICA Nepal has started making efforts on developing and promoting social entrepreneurship as well.

The very recent effort of ICA Nepal toward this venture of promoting local entrepreneurship is in one of the earthquake affected area, Bocha VDC, Dolakha. Bocha is village that was largely destroyed during the disastrous earthquake of 2015. Many villagers of Bocha lost their house and sources of income, leaving them in a miserable condition. They need help to overcome the problems created by the earthquake. Thus, ICA Nepal in collaboration with EcoBling, an Australian social enterprise dedicated to creating a healthier and happier world, which is based in Australia decided to help the people of Bocha develop social entrepreneurship. This project aims to recycle local materials especially those wasted from earthquake into some amazing products which will be sold in international market. The project solely aims to promote the local entrepreneurship by recycling the waste materials and creating a eco-friendly self sustainable village. In near future, the project envisions building a learning center in village which will provide the platform for necessary social initiatives in the village.

Thus, this is just a beginning of the embracement of social entrepreneurship model by ICA Nepal. With lot more planning and ideas, we are moving forward to bring transformation in society by moving head to head with global trends. Social entrepreneurship one of the great path for local resources and manpower mobilization and has become a high needs in today’s society. With this emerging trend, no wonder educated youths are being inclined to the ideas and utilizing their business and management skills in doing something that benefits not only personal but on the community level. Thus, ICA Nepal hope to bring visible impacts in coming future through the social entrepreneurship path.

Amahoro Project: Linking Sustainable Development With Restorative Educational Innovations to Prepare New Leaders to Heal and Foster Civil Society in Burundi

CSU Professor and Project Coordinator William Timpson

CSU Professor and Project Coordinator William Timpson

“Amahoro” is the Kirundi word for peace. Founded in 1999 with a commitment to peace and reconciliation, its University of Ngozi (UNG) is uniquely situated to be a laboratory for peace-building and sustainable development and the Amahoro Project hopes to help lead the way. We recognize that economic development will suffer if violence continues and that peace will be a casualty if communities remain mired in poverty.

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, emerging from colonization and forty years of violence. Recent conflicts currently threaten the last eight years of stability but conditions in the region of Ngozi have remained peaceful for many years and that is one of the principle reasons why we are working there.

Those committed to this project believe that sustainable development must wed with restorative educational innovations to prepare new leaders to heal and foster civil society as basic infrastructure needs are addressed. In all our endeavors, we propose to use locally generated and regionally applicable case-based, problem-based, and project-based learning along with ideas and skills for peace building (i.e., improved communication, cooperation, conflict resolution and more) to transform surface or memorized learning into a greater emphasis on critical and creative thinking.

Over the course of this project, the UNG will be established as a viable center for research and development in sustainable peace and development. With this grant, those at the UNG can help Burundi forge (1) a recovery and rebirth of spirit, (2) reconcile wounds, differences, rivalries, prejudices, and hatreds, (3) resolve to understand the truth of the past, fix the present, and prepare for a better future; and (4) reinforce the resilience needed to rebuild an impoverished, post-colonial nation.

50% Match on all Donations Made Wednesday, June 15th to These VE Affiliates on Globalgiving.org

Wednesday June 15th will be the best day of 2016 to donate to Village Earth Global Affiliates. Globalgiving.org will match your donation 50% – donate $100 and Globalgiving will add 50! , donate $1000 and they will add $500!!!

On June 15th, GlobalGiving.org will be holding a Bonus Day with $110,000 available in matching funds. There will also be two $1,000 Bonus Prizes that will be awarded to the projects with the highest number of donors and the most funds raised on Bonus Day. With Village Earth’s Superstar Status, Village Earth Affiliates listed on Globalgiving are eligible for the maximum 50% match on online donations made between 9:00:01 EDT and 23:59:59 EDT on June 15th (time in your city).

GlobalGiving.co.uk will be running a simultaneous Bonus Day on June 15th! GlobalGiving.co.uk will have a separate leaderboard, separate matching funds, and separate Bonus Prizes. There will be £10,000 available in matching funds on  GlobalGiving.co.uk.

Eligible Global Affiliates are Listed below. Click on image to be transferred directly to their Globalgiving.org donation page.

Brazil Cambodia Gambia HumanHope KnifeChiefgg LLRP Nepal Nepal2 PineRidge VillageEarth

Village Earth Global Affiliate Cambodian Rural Development Team Enhancing Access to Clean Water

Training

Here is some point about the CRDT activities at the moment. We are working to help the rural communities to develop themselves and have access to new livelihood activities while reducing their impact on the environment and their consumption of natural resources. One of the challenge for rural communities is also to face the climate change, as we are living the driest season ever in Cambodia.

SHG training center

SHG training center

Water supply 2

Community Water Access Point

  • Water Supply: funded by ‪#‎AusAid through Direct Aid Program, CRDT facilitated the construction of 2 small solar powered pumping and water supply systems which were recently built in Pu Cha village, Sre Preah commune, Keo Seima district, Mondulkiri province.

Now the whole village of 78 households are not worried about water access and they are started to think about improving their livelihoods, health and sanitation with home-connected water.

Water Supply

  • Environmental Education: sensitize workshops and training are on-going in the Mondulkiri area to raise the rural communities’ awareness about protecting the environment, reducing uncontrolled hunting, fishing and logging activities, and improving the agricultural productivity by practicing new agricultural techniques. The goal here is also to help the communities face and adapt themselves to the climate change.
  • Enterprises: CRDT is also encouraging the development of small enterprises with skills and capacities training, and loaning through the creation of Self Help Groups.
Self Help Group training

Self Help Group training

Learn more about/Support CRDT https://www.villageearth.org/global-affiliates/cambodian-rural-development-team

Village Earth Global Affiliate: “As We Move Ahead, ICA Nepal for Social Reform”

(Acknowledgement to donors 2) The collected amount being handed to founder of SSDRC, Ms Sabita Upreti(right)by Ms. Ishu Subba, Executive Director (left) of ICA Nepal.

The collected amount being handed to founder of SSDRC, Ms Sabita Upreti(right)by Ms. Ishu Subba, Executive Director (left) of ICA Nepal.

Acknowledgment to Donors!

With the collaboration with Village Earth ICA Nepal was able to support 40 autistic children residing in Special School for Disabled Rehabilitation Center (SSDRC) with hygienic food for two months. SSDRC, which is situated in Bhaktapur District of Nepal admits and provides facilities free of charge for the students receiving education from there.The students there belong to various marginalized communities like indigenous and so-called low caste groups of Nepal. The school gives priority to more needy and vulnerable children who cannot afford to get the better schooling for their children. On the basis of poor economic condition, rural origin and severity of autism, children are admitted in the school.All of the children are autistic and receive special education including various physio-therapies in the school. The school provides them day care facilities with various vocational trainings, therapies and education.

(Acknowledgement to donors 1 )Happy faces of students at (Special School for Disabled Rehabilitation Center) SSDRC

Happy faces of students at (Special School for Disabled Rehabilitation Center) SSDRC

With an aim to improve physical hygiene of the children and support the organization for managing food items for 2 months for 40 children with Autism from age 3-13, ICA Nepal uploaded the project in the website of Village Earth. The amount which was collected after the effort was handed over to founder of SSDRC, Ms Sabita Upreti. The therapy sessions and education as well as vocational trainings are expensive affair and lack of financial support compromises the proper care of the needy children. SSDRC is dedicated to provide optimum support for the development of the children there. ICA Nepal along with SSDRC is very thankful for the generous support of the donors for the noble cause.

In brief: Training and Facilitation for Capacity Building

ICA Nepal is currently working with diverse groups of the society ranging from people living with disabilities, school teachers, development workers, young people, women and Rotarians through social artistry initiatives. International Trainers, Ms. Janet Sanders from USA and Ms. Evelyn Philbrook from Taiwan have been facilitating series of Social Artistry Leadership Trainings this month. Social Artistry Leadership training facilitates the development of skills and potentials in both individuals and groups in ways that enhance their societal awareness, liberate their inventiveness, increase their ability to work cooperatively with others, and raise their levels of self-esteem.

The training aims to tap inherent human capacities for greater imagination, compassion and resolve. This training aims to use multiple styles of thinking and expand the contemporary leadership challenges to manage the complex social and organizational issues.

(In brief training and facilitation) two participants engaging in an activity to enhance deep listening skills at Social Artistry Leadership Training organised for differently abled people

Two participants engaging in an activity to enhance deep listening skills at Social Artistry Leadership Training organised for differently abled people

Community Development Initiatives

In order to empower civil societies and local community, ICA Nepal has initiated community development activities in remote and rural locations of far and mid-western region of Nepal. With the series of intervention, ICA Nepal aims to improve the living standard, social and economic status of the marginalized community of the region and thereby preservation of human rights, actions against discrimination, implementation of rights and laws, restoration of peace and justice.

 

Call for support: Rural Women Struggling with Unsanitary Way of Dish Washing

(call for support) Local woman in Parbat washing dishes outside her house without any sanitary approach

Local woman in Parbat washing dishes outside her house without any sanitary approach

The problematic topography of our country has constrained development. Parbat is one such example of the case. The topography hinders development in many ways but as the fate of most of the hilly districts Parbat faces proper hygiene, water crunch and sanitation issues. The unsanitary way of washing dishes makes the area prone to water borne epidemics and infections, water pollution and promotes unhygienic practices. The people here have no basic awareness about the impact of such unsanitary way of life and moreover they don’t have enough capital to spend for the construction of the basin which would prevent them from many diseases and also make the surrounding beautiful.

The latest project uploaded in Village Earth aims to curb this situation by constructing sanitary dish washing pits in 100 households of the area where proper facility of dish washing is not accessible. The water collected in the pits can also be reused for farming purpose. This project, ‘construction of proper dish washing basin and reuse of grey water in a remote village of Parbat’ is designed to provide the villagers of Parbat district with sanitized dish washing pits with the purpose of maintaining healthy and sanitary practice. Once the fund is collected, project will be implemented within 6 months by ‘Kali lamaya laghu udhyami mahila sahakari’, the women-cooperatives based in Parbat. Therefore, with this project we aim to induce reusing culture in the area, promote hygiene and proper dishwashing system. Therefore through this, ICA Nepal likes to take an opportunity to request support to help the local rural women of Parbat.

Learn more about/Contribute to ICA Nepal https://www.villageearth.org/global-affiliates/institute-of-cultural-affairs-ica-nepal

Village Earth Global Affiliate Human and Hope Association Providing Cambodians with ‘Sew Many Opportunities’

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Recruiting villagers to study in the sewing program at Human and Hope Association (HHA) is no easy feat. The staff at this grassroots organisation based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, have to spend weeks on end driving around dozens of villages, promoting the benefits of training and conducting assessments. Well, usually, that is. Over the past few weeks TEN villagers have approached Human and Hope Association to be part of their seventh generation of sewing students due to the increasing popularity of the program. People are seeing the advantages of the ten-month sewing program at HHA, and they want to be a part of it.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

The sewing program at HHA has developed substantially over the past three years, and now they retain 100% of their students who study with them. These students learn for three hours a day, five days a week. They take care of a garden at HHA and receive rice and vegetables as a stipend for studying to ensure their families are well-fed. On Fridays they study life skills and learn about topics such as domestic violence, marriage laws, anger management, job skills and hygiene.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Over the course of ten months they learn everything from how to use a sewing machine, to making school uniforms, to designing their own traditional ceremony tops.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

After studying in the program for three months the students have the opportunity to take out a microfinance loan with HHA. They purchase a machine to practice their lessons at home and begin fixing and making clothes for their neighbours. They begin repayments six months after first receiving the machine so that they are confident in their ability and are not pressured to pay back their loans straight away. This microfinance program has maintained a 100% repayment rate over the past three years.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Upon graduating, armed with a diverse set of skills, HHA’s students seek employment in sewing shops, run sewing businesses from their homes or are hired by HHA to make products for a fair wage. Just last week HHA introduced refresher workshops, with students participating in monthly workshops for five months after they graduate, to ensure they continue to develop their skills in Cambodia.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Around 95% of the students in HHA’s sewing program are female. Women in Cambodia face many issues, particularly with gender equality and roles. This program is incredibly empowering for the women who study as they learn that they have the ability to stand on their own two feet, and a voice to stand up for their rights. This program not only allows women to learn a skill and earn a wage, but it also gives the students confidence, and promotes independence.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Take for example, Chomrong, a third generation sewing student. A mother of three children, Chomrong was only able to study until grade seven because of poverty in her family. She began working as a builder, earning just 88 cents a day. She eventually got married and moved to Siem Reap. Her husband was also a builder, but they didn’t earn enough money to feed their family properly. As a result, their children would fall sick often and they would be pushed further into poverty because of the hospital fees.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

In 2014 Chomrong began studying sewing at HHA. Not only did she learn how to sew, she also studied life skills and was more confident to stand up to her husband. Her son began studying in HHA’s preschool program and he learnt Khmer, hygiene and good habits while her daughter studied English.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Chomrong took a loan to buy a sewing machine through HHA’s microfinance program and set up her own business at her home. She began to be well-known in her village for her high quality work. For that reason, HHA also hired Chomrong to be their seamstress, giving her an extra source of income.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

In 2015 Chomrong graduated from HHA’s sewing program. She paid off her first loan and took out a second loan to buy a hemming machine. Business is going so well that Chomrong and her husband are currently building a new house, replacing the wooden/bamboo structure they have lived in for so long.

Sewing project siem riep cambodia

Chomrong regularly speaks at HHA’s events to promote their programs to the community and show them how her life was transformed with commitment and hard work.

IMG_0567

 

“My future is brighter than before, and I am so happy that now I can provide for my kids.”

It costs $800USD to place one marginalised villager in the ten-month sewing program at Human and Hope Association and the subsequent workshops.

Human and Hope Association need your support to fund 12 villagers in the seventh and eighth generations of their sewing program, so please make a tax deductible donation today! https://www.villageearth.org/global-affiliates/human-and-hope-association

 

 

Tiyospaye Sakowin Education Center to host three native youth healing camps on Pine Ridge this summer.

Youth Camp 10

In recent years there has been an epidemic of youth suicides across Indian Country and especially on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In response to this crisis, a coalition of community-based youth programs on the Pine Ridge called Tiospaye Sakowin is planning three youth healing camps during the spring and summer 2016. We need your help to make sure they have the resources needed to make these camps a success! Please considering making a donation today.
Hoksila/Koskala(Boys/Young Men) Camp: May 26-30, 2016

Wakanyeja (Children) Healing Camp: July 6-10, 2016

Wikoskala (Girls/Young Women) Healing Camp: July 28-31, 2016
The camps will be held at the Tiospaye Sakowin Ceremonial Grounds, next to former Oblaye Store, approximately 2.5 miles south of Sharp’s Corner on the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota. The Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) care for and protect their young by putting them in the center of the herd. Our Young Relatives, ages 0-17, who have experienced trauma, loss and /or grief are invited to come to the “center” and participate in healing camps. They will be provided with education and healing opportunities, with emphasis on nurturing their Nagi (spirit) toward a strong, mind and body. Young women, up to age 18, who are pregnant and have experienced trauma are welcome to attend either the children’s camp or Young Women’s camp.

Wicoti Wokiglega (Camp Goals)

To give life to the values, gifts and teachings provided by Tunkasila and Unci (Grandfather and Grandmother) ancestors for the well-being and healing of our people, which include:

  • Wacante Ognaka– To have a warm and compassionate environment for youth who have experienced trauma, grief and loss and their parent/guardian and siblings. All youth are treated
  • Woapiye – To offer an opportunity for the youth (and their family if they wish) to receive a spiritual purification or “wiping off” of the spiritual residue left by the trauma they have experienced.
  • Wopakinte -To offer an opportunity for the youth to begin or strengthen their healing through
  • Woyuskin– to provide a happy, fun and accepting environment
  • Lakol Caswicatun Pi – To provide an opportunity for those youth who do not have a spirit name to receive one through ceremony and to have a public acknowledgement of their spirit name to reinforce their Lakota cultural identity
  • Wicozani – To provide an opportunity for wellness screenings health and mental health
  • Wowasake – To provide an opportunity to strengthen the mind, body and spirit
Click image above to download PDF flyer and registration form.

Click image above to download PDF flyer and registration form.

Camp Directors/Advisors – Rick and Ethleen Two Dogs, [email protected] and Gene and Cindy
Giago, [email protected] For registration, contact Camp Coordinators as listed below. Once registration is confirmed, additional information will be provided for preparation and participation in the camp. There is a limit of 20 participants per camp due to limited resources and space. See registration deadlines on registration form.

Koskalaka (Young Men, age 11-17) Wicoti – Joe Giago, [email protected], 605-441-2794
Wakanyeja (Children, age 0-11) Wicoti – Saige Pourier, [email protected], 605-454-3150
Wikoskalala (Young Women, age 11-17)Wicoti– Randilynn Giago, [email protected],605-454-5178

Camp Coordinators

Sponsored by: Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center

Donate Now to Support the 2016 Youth Healing Camps

 

Images from Village Earth Global Affiliate Amahoro’s Peacbuilding Project in Burundi.

Club members #3

The leaders of our new club which is dedicated to promoting sustainable peace and development strike a pose

While the international press continues to report high levels of violence in the capitol city of Bujumbura, those who are leading our project up north in Ngozi insist that everything is peaceful. Is this more of that journalistic mantra, “if it bleeds, it leads?”

Class on Conflict Resolution #4 with glasses #1

A group of students model the sunglasses they use to “see the world differently” as peacebuilders, to see former enemies as allies.

Women with load on head passes soccer game

A woman carries a load on her head as she passes a soccer field

Update on the Kamayura project in Brazil from Village Earth Global Affiliate “Maloca”

huka-huka fight closes the kuarup festivities

In 2014, at the request of the Kamayura chief, Maloca organized a successful fundraiser to buy a large fishing net. The fishing net arrived in the Kamayura village in late 2014. In the summer of 2015 I spent 2 weeks in the Kamayura village where I was able to see the fishing net being put to use.

The Kamayura were preparing for their most important ritual, kuarup, which honors the people who had passed away in the previous year. 2015 was special because the kuarup was honouring Takuman Kamayura, the chief’s father and former Kamayura chief, also the most powerful paje (healer) in Xingu. During the festivities which lasted 3 days, people from 7 neighboring villages arrived in the Kamayura village. Hundreds of guests had to be fed. For this, the Kamayura had gone fishing for one week on a lake far away in the forest. This is where they used the fishing net for the first time. This was not just any kind of fishing, but a ritual fishing, for which many preparations were made. Before setting the net into the lake, the net was blessed by the pajes. The men then fed it with manioc paste to ensure the net would catch many fish and that it would not get damaged. Everybody pushing the net was also blessed and prayed upon by the pajes; this gives them protection from injuries (by stingrays, piranha, crocodiles). The spirits of the water were appeased, the stingrays were symbolically buried (a stingray poke inflicts days of horrendous pain, fever and suffering).

Until I arrived in Xingu this small project was an administrative and awareness raising effort conducted in New York City. Only when I saw the fishing net stretched on the grass and blessed by the pajes, then stretched in the waters of  the beautiful lake with the village men lined up behind it ready to push, only then I fully felt that all the efforts of Maloca’s friends and supporters were paid off. It was an exquisite feeling of fulfilment and content of a job well done and I wished all the people who donated for this project could be there. I asked permission to take pictures so I can share that moment with all the generous supporters. And here it is – the fishing net being used in the middle of Xingu.

The Kamayura were very happy with their new net. It was not only pretty, but it had the right twine. At the end of the day, the fishermen were even happier: the net proved perfect to catch the favorite fish for the festa, the piau.

Fun fact: a couple of weeks after the Kamayura festivities, another neighbouring tribe, the Kuikuro, had their kuarup ritual. They did not have a fishing net. When they participated in the Kamayura festivities they saw the new Kamayura fishing net and borrowed it for their ritual fishing. They liked it so much they almost did not want to return it!

The net was quite successful. Now it is back into the Kamayura village, awaiting the next festival, after the rains will stop, probably late spring of this year.