Partnership between the Pocket Project and the Global Ecovillage Network
The partnership agreement between the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and the Pocket Project was officially signed in November 2017. The cooperation has been successfully under way since the beginning of 2017, as GEN and the Pocket Projected joined efforts in a crowd-funding campaign which raised a total of 19.979€ and enabled seven candidates to join the Pocket Training, who otherwise could not have participated for financial reasons. The candidates have leadership roles in their homeland communities in the DR Congo, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Columbia and Palestine.
Further endeavors of the cooperation are:
- GEN and PP will collaborate on developing a training for ‘Trauma-informed Community Regeneration’ in order to support community resilience. GEN and PP will also collaborate on developing a ‘First Aid Trauma Relief’ training, empowering people to act in acute situations in crisis
- GEN and PP will collaborate on coordinating electronic devices gifting and distribution to community leaders in vulnerable regions from the GEN network areas
- GEN will advise and support the PP in the process of reaching UN Consultative Status
- PP and GEN will host events together in order to raise awareness and to deepen the understanding of the nature of collective and intergenerational trauma, and its multiple effects in our culture
Interview with Neema on the Pocket Training
My name is Neema. I was born in a remote mountainous region of Eastern DRC. I contracted polio at the age of two, but with my Mom’s support, I became the first handicapped woman from my tribe to graduate from university. Later, I worked as chief advisor to the Minister of Gender and Family. It is my passion to work alongside my Congolese sisters at the grassroots level, to lift them into a different future. I founded the Maman Shujaa (Hero Women) movement, which has spawned a number of transformative programs for women, girls, and their communities. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in the Pocket Project training through a scholarship where many people interested in the Pocket Project donated for me. If you want to know more about our work in Congo, you can visit our website at www.HeroWomenRising.org.
How was the first part of the training for you?
In the beginning I really didn’t understand that we were talking about spiritual things. The discussion was about the impact of such things as the holocaust in Germany, their work with Israel and Palestine. I was able to relate to the type of suffering and trauma being discussed, because we are still living these things today. Our country was colonized in such a way that by using Christianity, women were and still are considered weak, obliged to serve men. We are wives and mothers ending up as servants to the young sons in our own homes.
The real impact of my work through the years has been to use our various programs as vehicles to bring women from all tribes and backgrounds together in an effort to reshape the current and future realities for women and our communities. Thomas was great to always answer my questions, to help me get on track with the historic trauma that has been suffered, and which contributes to our present reality. I began to consider and actually felt myself being equipped to introduce the topic of spiritual and psychological healing into the discussion of our gatherings in order to change the cultural paradigm in our communities.
What has changed for you since that time? What is the deepest impact that you notice in your life through the training?
I have learned that a lot of what has shaped who I am has developed through the various traumatic situations I have experienced in my life. Now, I understand myself clearer: for instance my unquenchable passion, energy, and desire to change the realities for other women in Congo. On the negative side, I am sometimes too forceful. I sometimes forget that others don’t perceive things how I do.
So what has changed is that now I understand why I am different and how I am different. This understanding allows me now to go into a situation considering whether or not I can have some positive impact. If I think I do not, I just become quiet for the time.
Are there any concrete projects or attempts that you are involved in?
I haven’t created “projects” in this regard; it is just the nature of my work: 24/7 with my Congolese community. All are traumatized. It is our day to day intention to lift ourselves out of the mire of wrong thinking and into the light of who we really are in essence.
Is there a message that you have for our Pocket Project Community?
First of all, I want to thank all of you who gave a donation that enabled me to participate in this powerful training. It has been so insightful and illuminating for me, supporting me as well as my community on its way to healing.
I invite those who are interested to come to Congo to work with us and to experience my work with my Congolese community. If you like, please contact me at Neema@HeroWomenRising.org.
Amman, October 12th-14th 2017
6th Annual Conference on Transgenerational Trauma hosted by Common Bond Institute (CBI)
Nicholas Janni, core team member of the Pocket Project, attended the 6th Annual Conference on Transgenerational Trauma in Amman on 12- 14 October 2017. About 80 people attended the conference, 16 being presenters. One of the presenters was the impressive Myron Eshowksy. Born mostly deaf into an Orthodox Jewish family, Myron ran away aged 12 and has forged a deep connection with indigenous and shamanic healers, bringing that wisdom into all the areas he works in. For bios of presenters, please see: www.cbiworld.org/conferences/tt/bios/
The 75-minute presentation that Nicholas gave on The Pocket Project, attended by about 40 people, was well received. The Pocket Project brings a special depth in perspective and practice to the table, and the conference was an opportunity for people to get a taste of this. Nicholas was also able to make some strong contributions from a mystical perspective to group circle and discussion sessions.
Many engaging and engaged conversations were had with the other participants, including inspiring accounts of really excellent, often courageous work being done ‘on the ground’ in challenging circumstances. Nicholas was particularly touched by the eagerness for new perspectives from the young Muslim women in attendance. There is a good possibility that Nicholas will assist with, if not lead, a local Pocket Training group with some of the young Muslim social workers and medical students.
Jordan itself has 2,000,000 Syrian refugees, and CBI, the conference organisers, are involved with a number of initiatives in the region. In the week following the conference they ran several two-day trainings for local people, as well as working in one of the women’s refugee centres.