The Power of Healing in Communities
The benefits of learning reach far beyond the individual. Every doctor trained, every woodworking course completed, every mechanic that passes their training goes on to provide a positive benefit to the society in which they live and work. Champions of our community are often the unsung individuals that simply do what they are trained to do, what gives them joy, and a sense of achievement.
With a little thought and a sense of determination, any learning can lead to positive change on any scale. Once you have a skill, knowledge, or expertise, you can share this with your community to benefit others. Let me give you an example of how one small act of love and sharing can create positive change and bring joy to the life of others.
There is an amazing lady in South Africa who is sharing her creative abilities with those in some of the poorest communities in the country. She goes into squatter camps and poverty hit villages and teaches the women in these villages to products that other people want. These women are immediately offered a sense of community and belonging that based on a collective way forward.
The items that they make are sold in shops that mainly attract tourists. Those that buy the items gain something beautiful that has been made with love and care. They can feel good about their purchase. The women that make the products make a modest, but important, income that enables them to afford many of the basics that they and their families would otherwise struggle to afford.
But the project does not stop there. As well as making items for sale, these communities of women make teddy bears and other items that are used to support children who experience trauma. By sharing their stories and their expertise with other communities, through working with trauma support groups and others who support victims of crime, the initial benefit they received is paid forward to help others, who in turn can help a new community of individuals using the learning, support, and positivity that they have experienced.
Paying it forward by using your skills, knowledge, and learning does not have to be a big undertaking. Even the smallest act can have a great impact where it is needed the most. We all know of a similar community where help is needed. Often, we feel so overwhelmed by the problems that we see in our community that we do not know where to start and feel helpless to do anything.
Our programmes and retreats aim to help you overcome that overwhelming feeling, to guide you to see where you can make a small but important change that may make all the different.
There is one young lady, who after a difficult family time found that she was overwhelmed by the loneliness she saw in the disconnected people in her community. Her small thing was to write positive notes and leave them in different places in her local area. It was a small thing, but it meant a lot to those that found them and were able to read something positive, possible for the first time that day, week, or even that month.
For one student it was as simple as painting the wall of her garden. The painting expresses her journey through anxiety and depression and her learning through arts therapy. It is painted on the outside so that it is visible to her local community. It is a small thing, but it allows others to know that they are not alone, that their feelings are valid and shared by others. The effect of the wall was so great that the student was invited onto their local radio to talk about the wall and her journey.
How can our programmes and online retreats help you to achieve the same small change? Only you can answer how you will pay forward the support, community, and learning that you experience, but we’re all here to inspire one another so make sure you share all the wonderful ways you’ve been able to pay it forward and helped your community.