So many exciting things are happening this holiday season as we begin to ramp up our recruitment for July's Burundi Journey. Read on to learn about new developments in Burundi as well as how our past two journeys continue to be a platform for hope and development.
Happy Holidays from Global Citizen Journey!
|GCJ goes to Burundi!
$50 -$100 Holiday GIFT
|Gift yourself and/or a friend with a life-changing, transformative journey to Burundi, Africa coming up in 2008. Just imagine: if you sent a letter out for the holidays encouraging your friends and family to support a journey to Africa, it would take only 50 people donating $100 or 100 people donating $50 to send you on your way to Central Africa with a whole community of support as your network!
The deadline to receive applications for the Burundi 2008 Global Citizen Journey has been extended to December 31, 2007, and there are still spaces available. Please alert your friends and family to this holiday opportunity to build community both here and around the world!
*** Interested? See our website
for more info and application ***
Prosper Ndabishuriye, our host in Burundi, has just returned safely home after a 3 month speaking tour of the USA where many had the opportunity to learn about the peace-making work he and his people are engaged in for their beloved Africa. A new Africa, Prosper told audiences, would come about through the support of Africa's international friends; each sharing their lives, their time, and their resources to help rebuild peace and community among peoples challenged by years of political & economic instability. (Read what the Seattle Times had to say about Prosper.)
We were excited to learn that the GCJ Water Station project for the Carama Neighborhood is moving ahead, with total costs being around $11,000. Thanks to your support, this will be the first time water has been piped in to Carama without having to carry it in bottles. Such a simple contribution! Like a stone rippling in the pond, a water station will provide not only clean water to families for cooking and cleaning, but also a place to gather and share dreams and community information, a way for people to come together.
The circle of life continues. Giving thanks.
Deborah L. Adams
Project Director - Burundi 2008 Global Citizen Journey
|The Ghana Experience Continues
And Our Delegation Continues to Grow
|In September seven former delegates (plus Louise and Tom's grandson Bryce) returned to Ghana in order to continue working on the projects that were started during GCJ's 2006 Journey. In a beautiful example of global citizenship, the delegates found their connections growing and strengthening during their experience in working together across boundaries to better our world.
So much has happened! Check out the blog for more info and frequent updates, and read on to see what Bryce had to say.
(P.S., the photo above is of the Western Heritage Home community center and orphanage we built, freshly painted in a coat of "Happy Blue.")
|A Perspective on Ghana
By Bryce Davidson
|Bryce Davidson, 14-year-old grandson of Louise
and Tom, joined the seven former delegates in Ghana this last
September. Here's what he had to say about his experience.
Ghana was the most amazing thing I have ever done, seriously. I never
expected that there was a society of people that could be so friendly
and caring. In the U.S., we don't have people like that. Well - not
nearly as many. But on this trip I met a few of the Americans that were
that way! How amazing seeing the great sides of both cultures.
I went to Ghana because of the orphanage built by the Western Heritage
Home NGO, and the help that's been provided by Global Citizen Journey.
I was there for two weeks. Twelve of the days were spent in Axim, where
the orphanage is, and two of the days were spent in Accra.
I am really glad I went at the age I did. It gave me a better view of
the world and different cultures. If I were any younger, it wouldn't
have meant much to me and I wouldn't have understood it. There still
are many things I don't understand, but hopefully when I get the
opportunity to visit Ghana again, I will make more sense of things.
Read the rest of Bryce's essay.
|Niger Delta Update
Two years later, still seeing progress
This sign which now stands before the Niger Delta Fr
iendship Library in Oporoza says it all: our Journey to Nigeria continues to be a magnet for new resources and support not only for the library, but the entire region and our partner, NIDPRODEV. On October 30, the new computer room was commissioned, complete with a solar power inverter to store energy so computers and air conditioning can run all day, even when the village generators are not operating.
And GCJ alumni continue to explore ways to bring sustainable peace to the delta. Sandy Cioffi, the videographer for our Nov 2005 journey and director of the documentary Sweet Crude
, is in discussion with US politicians and international figures to encourage third party monitored peace talks. Nigeria Project Directors Joel Bisina and Mary Ella Keblusek are exploring possibilities with the international NGO Nonviolent Peaceforce
for bringing in a trained unarmed civilian peace force of internationals who would function as witnesses and intercede in violent situations between the military and the villagers. NVPF would also train locals on the ground in nonviolent methods, and help create a climate of peace. The discussions are very preliminary in nature, but have exciting possibilities. NVPF currently has peacekeepers in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and Philippines, and is preparing to enter Uganda and Colombia.
To learn more about the current situation in the Delta, check out The International Crisis Group report "Nigeria - Ending Unrest in the Niger Delta
|GCJ Goes Green!
Here's how you can help.
|In keeping with our mission to be aware of our global impact, GCJ decided to join the climate change social movement this summer. We're still coming up with ideas on how to concretely change our impact (send us yours!) During the coming months, the Green Team will focus on building internal knowledge about climate change and on measuring the organization's green house gas (GHG) impact.
We know GCJ journeys affect the climate when we travel many thousands of miles by plane, by road and by boat. Yet there is really no other way to get to our host communities. What are we to do?
Well, we've come up with a few strategies to get us started. The first is that we need to make a difference here at home. While we may not have control over the travel required for our Journeys, we can change our own habits. As we each appreciate more deeply our personal relationship with climate change, and the way that it negatively affects communities around the globe, we'll see how to change our most subtle habits and our most profound views of the world. We can also engender change around us. When we explain to our supporters and to our partners what we do, climate change will be part of our shared dialogue. This is our entry point into the broader climate change movement.
Second, we can make up for the climate impacts that we haven't yet figured out how to avoid when we travel abroad. In the jargon, this is called mitigation. We can do something to help negate (mitigate) our climate impacts by investing resources in projects that, for instance, build new electricity-generating wind mills or reduce the need for agricultural land-projects that reduce GHG emissions (sources) or return more green house gasses back into plants and the soil (sinks). We aim to do such investing in the communities where our third world partners live, to further add to their economic development. We will welcome you, our supporters, to add to these investments as you may wish to mitigate your carbon footprint, in addition to mitigating the physical GHG impact our our journeys, which we are learning to measure.
With the Burundi journey coming up to full speed this winter, we have much to do and much to learn about how our ideas will manifest during planning and implementation.
-Morgan Ahouse, Green Team Coordinator
Learn how to reduce your carbon emissions this holiday season.
Learn how communities in Africa are disproportionately affected by climate change.
|Four Years On....
|A note from our Executive Director.
As I read this newsletter, I am amazed: it was just four years ago when dreams of GCJ began to come to fruition, when Mary Ella, Joel Bisina, Prosper Ndabishuriye and I came together on Whidbey Island. It has been two years since our first Journey to Nigeria, and one since Ghana --how alive these years make Margaret Mead's words: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." Look at what our tiny, all volunteer, grassroots community of global citizens accomplished!
To name a few: Ryan, one of our Nigerian delegates, is just back from his 4th return visit to the Delta. He was thrilled to witness the tangible, positive results of the microlending project funded by some of the delegates. Some of the women have even been able to save money, and have trained new women to enter the program! The Niger Delta Friendship Library is flourishing with a new and wired internet lab. In Ghana there are 28 orphans about to find a home in the new orphanage (seven are preschoolers); GCJ has raised school, uniform and book fees for the rest so they can attend school. And now we are thrilled to be planning the next delegation bringing water, hope and healing to the Tutsis and Hutus in the Carama district of Burundi.
We are rising to the challenge of the Earth Charter: "We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. [...] We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world." Learn more about this vital and inspiring document at www.earthcharter.org. Join us in pondering a difficult question: How do we bring the challenge of sustainability to our international partners in developing nations, where they have not reaped the benefits of the past century's exploitation of the earth yet are sure to suffer the consequences most gravely? Join us in finding ways to translate our responsibility as global citizens into our daily lives, from the purchases we make and refrain from making, to the ways we can live a car-less day, to the way we revere each other and all the life around us, neighbors, pets, waterways and skies.
--with appreciation to all who make this work possible,
Susan Partnow, Founder
|Quiz Time Answer
|The answer is B. Washington. Burundi's population is 6,370.609.
|Which US state is closest in population to Burundi?
|A. Michigan - 10,095,643
B. Washington - 6,395,798
C. Minnesota - 5,167,101
D. Colorado - 4,753,377
(answer at the bottom of the page)
|Join us in Burundi in June/July 2008.
|Find out more.
|Want to get to know GCJ? Join us on the second Monday of every month from 5-7 for an informal conversation and video presentation. (email for more directions).
Check out our website for
an updated list of events and locations!
|Do You Have A Story To Share?
|We're in the process of collecting delegate stories to add to our website, and to use in order to help future delegates prepare for a Journey. Are you a former delegate with a story to share? Let us know!
The Journey Continues:
|GHANA - 2007
Maryanne, honored as development Queen of Axim, is carried in on the palanquin
Delegates planning for Appreciative Inquiry
Science class at Manye
Orphans in front of their new home
Kundum celebration includes Chief Maryanne
Veronica Buckets in place
Niger Delta - 2007
Microlending project's burgeoning engineers.