Political Journey to the US 2019

For one month during fall 2019 Tamera’s youth group will undertake what we call a “political journey” to the US. These learning journeys are an essential part of the work that we do in Tamera and are intended to support the children and young people in developing their political and global consciousness. For them the political journeys are part of an initiation into adolescence and help them to set directions for their engagement in the world.
                  
The idea is to travel to countries where they can gain insights into the current environmental, socio-political and economic crises and to visit local projects which create hope in their surroundings by providing intelligent answers and practical help. Our students will explore, together with their local counterparts, how to help in ways that are meaningful and sustainable and what the transition to a peaceful world could look like.

How did it come about?

Political journeys have a long history in our project. In 1995 we created a Youth School in the community of Tamera which has accompanied several generations of young people to various countries:

- India, 1998
- Croatia, 2000
- Grace Pilgrimage in Israel/Palestine, 2007
- Grace Pilgrimage in Portugal, 2009
- Grace Pilgrimage in Colombia, 2010
- Political journey to São Paulo (Brazil), 2016
- Hosting the youth group from “Projeto Âncora”, São Paulo, in Tamera, 2017

During the most recent journey, to São Paulo, our students organized an exchange with an alternative school called Projeto Âncora. They then visited one of our partners, “Favela da Paz” - a socio-cultural project providing education in areas that include music, media production and self-sufficiency, which also aims to turn their neighborhood into an urban model of sustainability and nonviolence. This exchange was a life-changing experience, not only for our students, but also for the children and families that hosted us (report here). Our visit inspired them to initiate their own political journey to Tamera in Portugal which they organized as a project within their school and carried out in 2017 (report here). The connections made are still active today.

Over the past years we observed the immense learning impact these kind of journeys have on the development of the young students and their learning path in school. They come back with a high motivation to learn and to engage in discussions held in the classrooms and questions the teachers provide during class to dive into the subjects. The experiences they make are a perfect addition to the school curriculum and are designed to support the overall learning aims of the student’s education.

Why do we want to go to North America?

In Tamera we followed closely events at the Standing Rock protest camp and were fascinated by the connection between spirituality and political activism that we saw there. We too believe that in this combination there lies an important key for the change that our world needs today.
Tokata Iron Eyes, a young indigenous women from Standing Rock, participated in the last three youth camps that we held in Tamera. She spoke very strongly about her cultural background, how life is in the Standing Rock Reservation where she lived, what she does with other indigenous young people and her activism for the protection of water from oil industry pollution.
All of this increased our curiosity about the US and especially its indigenous culture.

What do we want to do?

10/24: Start of the journey

10/26-10/31: Preparation days in Los Angeles together with Lori Woodley. We will spend these first days together with other interesting young activists. Getting to know each other, asking each other in which kind of world we would like to live in and what are next steps towards a possible manifestation. Getting ready for All it Takes Legacy Leadership Summit.

11/01-11/04: Participation at All it Takes Legacy Leadership Summit in southern California. All It Takes is a non-profit organization that equips youth with essential emotional intelligence skills to successfully navigate their lives and support their communities. (...) All It Takes signature Legacy program provides opportunities for students 12-15 years old (7th to 9th grade) from across the globe to embrace their individual greatness and see the same in others.”

11/06-11/11: Road trip to Standing Rock, North Dakota. Exploring the amazing natural beauty of turtle island, the power of creation.

11/12-11/18: Being in Standing Rock Reservation. Participation in various events in the reservation and around: Visiting sacred sites, hands on help in the local area, coming in contact with local youth organizations and elder councils.

11/19-11/21: Road trip to Three Creeks, California

11/22-11/26: Harvest and digestion time in Three Creeks. Having time with council trainer Gigi Coyle for a common reflection and contemplation time.

11/28: Travel back home.

Our Intention is that the students will hold different events in their communities to share their experiences, as well as presenting it to their schools in order to make their insights accessible for others.