Editorial Newsletter September 2015
Ecovillages Responding to Disasters and Crises
Dear Friends and Members of GEN,
Dear change-makers throughout the world,
With thousands of refugees and migrants arriving on the shores of Europe on a daily basis, the pain and crises in the world are becoming increasingly impossible to ignore, even in those regions which have felt relatively sheltered for a long time.
It is a precious moment in history: the connectedness between all people of the world is becoming palpable in a new and urgent way. In many places all over Europe, people like you and me are opening their hearts, neighbourhoods and, in some cases ecovillages, to those who have lost so much that was dear to them. The sheer magnitude of the streams of people traveling and fleeing, often risking their lives in the hope of a possible future, are forcing politicians and civil society to face the consequences of man-made wars, natural disasters and extreme poverty.
More than ever, we are called to take responsibility for our choices and to explore how peace, justice and prosperity may become a reality for all. The support of ecovillage strategies offers a holistic way of participation in such an exploration. Ecovillages in the Global South are helping to solve some of the problems that drive people to leaving their country. And ecovillages in the Global North are attempting to transition lifestyles that lie at the cause of injustice and wars in the first place. Both are living and learning centers for solutions in all dimensions of sustainability.
In this newsletter, we share some of the inspirations from the GEN+20 Summit, which took place in July in Findhorn, Scotland, to celebrate 20 years of GEN and 10 years of Gaia Education. More than 330 people from 65 countries and all continents came together to celebrate, reflect and co-create future strategies for GEN. In timely synchronicity, Gaia Trust, which has been supporting GEN’s work since the onset, decided to increase core funding to both Gaia Education and GEN in the coming years in order to lift activities and impacts to a next level. These are exciting times in more than one way.
One of the strands at the Summit focussed on EmerGENcy Protocols, elaborating how ecovillages have responded and can respond to humanitarian crises and natural disasters. Many ecovillages have dedicated their work, expertise and experience to disaster relief or prevention - and in the future, we imagine that this will become one of the core areas of engagement of our movement. You will find many examples in this newsletter.
As always, we ask you to read and share the newsletter widely with all those interested as well as media representatives in your region. Please take a moment to invite them to sign up here so that we can send the newsletter directly to them in the future. We welcome comments and feedback!
May our network come alive with meaning-making and information-sharing! May we realize more and more that we are one global movement, in community with other global movements.
Kosha Joubert, Leila Dregger, Jenefer Marquis (editor)