GCJ-Maher Partners facilitated the first ever Maher Youth Camp late last spring, 2017. Coordinators, Gaus Sayad and Mangesh Pol, supervised five senior youths at Maher to run this incredible, intense, fun-filled entire month-long residential leadership development camp for 85 youths from dozens of Maher homes from around the widespread, outlying areas of rural Pune. The curriculum integrated so many things that they learned on our GCJ delegation, including compassionate listening, gender dialogue, and dialogue practices as well as several skills and processes that they had learned from other Maher supporters over the years. But above all, they were led by the ‘secret sauce’ of the magic of Maher’s collaborative ways of being led by unconditional love.

According to 18-year-old camper Mayuri Katkar, “Nowadays we really forget to listen to each other. There is so much love and kindness in just listening to each other. Compassionate listening helps us to listen to each other.”

Camp sessions covered many life skills such as value-based positive thinking, career guidance, anger management, time management, communication skills, compassionate listening, and gender equality, etc., and a range of activities, including dance, drama, meditation, sports, yoga, cooking, craft, youth parliament, and debates. They also planned panels with various professionals and field trips to businesses and NGOs. By the end of the month, the youth felt tremendously bonded and empowered. These youths, who come from families living in impoverished conditions, were groomed to be the next generation of leaders for Maher. They will bring their deepened capacity for listening and building trust and vision to each of their homes in Maher.

Global Citizen Journey (GCJ) returns to India in October 2018 with ambitious and adventurous plans to visit one of the most beautiful, diverse, and contested areas of India.   Most of us know little about Kashmir beyond a vague awareness that it is embroiled in intractable conflict.  We will be guided by our local sponsor ELFA International (Education and Livelihood for All) who will connect us with local Kashmiri leaders, nonprofits, and organizations so that we can learn, explore, and listen together. Our goal is to foster dialogue and relationship building and find bases of unity, a common purpose, and a creative process as well as a project that will be meaningful to the Kashmiri people.

Learn more here  (NOTE:  For those of you in the Seattle area, join us for a inspiring evening on Thursday, 8 March when we’ll share stories from last January’s delegation to India as well as talk about the situation in Kashmir and plans for this upcoming delegation.)

Who Are We?

Global Citizen Journey (GCJ) joins hearts and hands across continents and boundaries. We are a nonprofit organization with a vision of deep, ongoing connections that build understanding and bridge cultural differences with bonds of peace.

Our Mission

Our mission is to answer the question: “How can we create a culture of peace and world stewardship?” We answer that by creating opportunities for this to happen, especially in places that are little known beyond their borders. Take a journey of discovery:

  • Become a citizen diplomat
  • Be an active peacebuilder
  • Meet your global neighbors
  • Develop your leadership skills
  • Learn what’s really happening in our interconnected world from a grassroots perspective

Philosophy

GCJ fosters journeys of discovery, where people meet heart to heart. We are dedicated to BEING the change – so the way we work together is as important to us as the work we do. We invite and treasure the energy and passion of all who join us. We aspire to work in ways that help us each to learn and grow, generate new ideas, facilitate choice-creating, and transform. Passion, joy, and interconnectedness are our guiding principles.

As a delegate, you will live and work with your host country or community counterparts, sharing your unique cultural gifts, learning from each other, and finding the joy of common human ground. Together, you will complete a community service project and take part in dynamic workshops on compassionate listening, conflict resolution, and other topics to promote cross-cultural communication and leadership development. As a GCJ sponsor or volunteer, you will be actively involved in the planning, the learning, and the stories that emerge.

Our next international journey is emerging for Kashmir 2018. Other journeys will emerge as dynamic new volunteer project directors step forward (perhaps you?). As global citizens it is important to “Think globally, act locally.”