Foundations for Freedom Newsletter 24 Greencoat Place, London., SW1P 1RD, UK tel: 020-7798 6000, www.f-4-f.org, F4F@london.iofc.org Issue 31 December 2003 In this issue... Latest course in Ukraine And another one in Novosibirsk Developing the ELW
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Minna Palsio on 2004 Miles and Janet paine: 10 years of F4F News from the Treasurer
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Life is exciting! Year 2003 has been a great year for Foundations for Freedom five courses, the Regional Meeting, five follow-up visits, development of Moral (Ethical) Leadership Workshop and many other things (formal and informal) have all been part of this year, but its time to move on. With possible courses in Crimea, Estonia and Russia on the way, the debut of Moral Leadership Workshop and another Regional Meeting, 2004 looks more than promising. And be sure theres more to come! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Three courses – three steps ahead
here we are! Chernigov course participants 2001, 2002, 2003, … for the third time we have organised a visiting course for young people, who are involved in socio-political activities in Ukraine, and for the third time we had to go through this amazing way. As Anna Borzakovska says, it was the way, which led us to questioning each other: Do you believe in love? Do you believe that love pierces through our life and makes it a rich, full and interesting one? And what is absolute honesty, which is an absolute standard, and do we need to strive towards it? Pure motives – are they possible? During these last three years I have been working on different (continued on page 4) ... 1
And another one ... in Novosibirsk! F4F course 32 was the tenth course in Novosibirsk. Once again this one was invited by Rector Komarov from the Siberian University of Railway Transport. Natalia Emelyanova, Head of the large Department of Foreign Languages, together with members of the Youth Faculty preparation...
Humanitarian Initiatives (YHI), co-ordinated all preparations. Changing Course went quite well, but that did not happen automatically. There were some difficulties to overcome. The first one concerned the visa Procedure, which unexpectedly took much longer than anticipated. A miracle was needed and happened just in time. Then there was the money problem. There was no financial support whatsoever. This meant that participants had to pay for the costs of accommodation all by themselves. This caused 40 students to withdraw their application, which is a great pity. So, unlike the previous Novosibirsk courses there were 21 participants 30. This alsoideas...” meant “Nothinginstead is clear yetofbut I have some that sometimes we had to share the accommodation in the “Blue lake” resort with other guests. One of the participants, Irina Danina, came all the way from the city of Tiumen (400 km from Novosibirsk). She learned about the course during the summer in Caux and decided to apply and experience if this was something to be invited to her city as well. The majority of Faculty was Russian! Of course there was Natalia Emelyanova as well as YHI members (Lola Sokolova, Katya Zirianova, Dan Koucherjavenka and Vitaly 2
Yusupof). Minna Palsio, Marina and Kees Scheijgrond were the only ones from abroad. The weather was beautiful throughout, birch leaves turning golden. We even had one outdoor session on the second day. Immediately after the course 20 teachers came for a 27 hrs. F4F Teachers Refresher Course. It was a bit of an effort to switch from saying farewell to participants of CC and be fully available again 5 minutes later for the teachers. But that went well. We could use much of the flipchart papers still wallpapering the entrance hall. It gave the teachers a good impression of the past course while at the same time refreshing their souls with what they had experienced 3 years ago. The rest of the programme included a session on teamwork, IC in context, the new IC Power Point presentation. We also showed Howard Grace’s home video “Vision and values” about his school seminar in Sri Lanka last April. Kees and Marina Scheijgrond And here’s what some of the participants have to say about the course... Life is like a river - sometimes stormy, sometimes calm. To drift is the most acceptable and easy concept of life, but you can face on your way mountains transforming a smooth stream into a waterfall, or gorges making a current of the river quiet and harmonious. But all the rivers must have a beginning, a source. Looking back, I find myself as a spring stream, which didn’t know where it was and how it was to find the place on the Earth, where a little spring stream could find a source and become a part of the river, that may one day run into the sea!!! The search for a source lasted quite
long. Starting from the year 2000, when I was a first year student, I wished to take part in this course, but it didn’t seem to be a part of my destiny. Now I realise that maybe it was better for me, because if you really want something to happen and wait for it for long enough, then when you get it, you really enjoy it and do your best to take all from it. And so it happened! The course was like a sunrise in the cloudy sky, which helped me to open my eyes to realise all the things that could be obvious, but which I never thought about. It gave me confidence, helped me to find belief in myself, and made me sure that I can do something for the people around me, helped me
Sometimes I remember some moments from our course and I feel I am going to cry. Really! I am sure nobody (from the participants) realised the idea of the course, while being there, and only now it is possible. I thought I have understood what we’ve been talking about, but now I understand that I did not understand. Now I see some other sides of the knowledge we got. First of all, this is a feeling of nearness with people who were there. I knew some of them before, but now I see them through different eyes. This is very strange, unusual and charming. I don’t know what it can give me, but sure something good. Then, I know that in the world there are people who are really kind,
Teachers seminar participants
to find something good in other people, and respect others. The important achievement for me is that I’m trying to listen to people, and it really helps! But most importantly, I realise that words are only words, they should be followed by actions, and not only just by actions, but by strict and determined actions, as an aspiration to reach a certain goal. I’m very grateful to all the participants and especially to the faculty. I feel them as a part of my family and myself. Tanja Minbaeva
but do not show it. That touches me a lot. And I hope to completely purify myself, with nobody’s help, but through understanding and awareness. Maria Kuzmina
This program was devoted to making the world better, but it’s not like changing the political structure or economic situation in the country and in the world itself, but it was about changing ourselves: our feelings, emotions and attitude towards people from 3
all over the world. “Change the world, but start with yourself”. We discussed a lot - The basics of being human, Who am I, Freedom, etc - but in my opinion the most interesting and useful thing was the introduction of the four main values that are so important in our life. Those are love, purity, unselfishness and honesty. One may be interested in how it is possible to discuss those for they are different for every person. I think that we cannot really identify exactly what love is or what honesty is, but we can surely try to identify those four, and that’s really what we did. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to answer the question everyone asks: “And what was it all about?” And, at first, we were told that it’s simply a language course and we were supposed to live and communicate with native speakers (well, those who speak the language fluently), but that was not so. In brief I can just say that one can only understand what it is when one “tries (tastes)” it. They say even when it is finished you may not fully understand it, get something from it and only in goodbye: we are linked now!
some time it’ll come to you. Perhaps that’s how it is with me. I’m not quite sure that now I’m different from what I used to be, but I think that was quite an experience for me. There was a really kind of closed, friendly community of unfamiliar people who then became supportive and nice to each other. Now we are back to our cities, our working and studying places, but we do communicate. I’m sure it will always be with us, this feeling of being there, being acquainted with those rules and being a part of the new, better world, the world full of changes. We are the part of the program, we are the foundation for better generations and better life full of agreement, understanding and trust... I may only say THANK YOU! Anna Vassilieva
Three courses – three steps ahead (continued) (continued from page 1) ... projects in Ukraine, aiming at the development of young leaders, partnerships between youth organisations, actvisation of young people’s involvement in political life of society. A leader needs strengh – strengh for a jump ahead? But how much does one need and where does one take it from? I am sure that strengh comes from ability to listen to and understand people, ability to accept everyone’s individuality, understanding that mutual support is one of the main principles of human relationships. It became important to me, and gives me strengh. The course happened in Slovyanka, which is near Chernigov (Ukraine), on 23-30 of November 2003. This is what the participants wanted to share: Sasha Shimina, VC facilitator (Ukraine): At first I personally thought it is a failure because I had the feeling that nobody gets the idea, or, at least, the idea I had for them, but after some time I realised that I was comparing the course with other courses, and it was my mistake because all of them were completely different and unique. By
its end, I was amazed by the feelings people experienced, by the thoughts they talked of and by the views they expressed. It was so moving! Especially the last night, which was the guest party when a lot of officials from Kiev and Chernigov were invited. Imagine my surprise and shock when (while the concert was going on) Kostya took up all the guests and they all danced by the stage. Some of them told that they haven’t had such a rest and fun for a long time. Participants and staff prepared some performances, which also showed the talents and gift of teamwork all of them have. Andrei Nikolov, participant (Odessa): The gates of changes could be open only from the inside… One (having forgotten one’s own social roles) has to have a lot of courage in order to search for absolute honesty and absolute love in long discussions and reflections, to understand that life is not empty and pointless, to think about fate and eternal values. You need a special atmosphere for that! Atmosphere that you can’t describe, as you can’t describe the smell of garlic. You need special people! Intelligent and educated. People that haven’t got tired of searching the truth. You need to have time! To stop thinking about your eternal problems, cut all communication channels and dissolve in thoughts and feeling. Then you become an agent of change! One by one we change people! Oleg Tertichnyi, participant (Kiev): VC is the course that stimulates a personal work for each individual. Since people feel confident only if they have inner balance, to obtain inner balance is everyone’s problem. For me this course became an incitement to make efforts to create that inner balance and maybe it is not so important whether the efforts are made in order to solve some problems, but that they are made at all and may bring some fruit. Whether they will be positive or negative is for time and people to decide. As for the course I suppose it is extremely necessary since the reality of our days is we have no time even to look back at our lives, not even mentioning deep analysis of our actions. The week of isolation from “world” stops irrepressible rhythm that gives the opportunity, which took away this irrepressible world. Marina Lupalenko, participant (Kiev): I know… everything that surrounds me is created by my thoughts, emotions and behaviour. My thoughts materialise. And if they are positive, then my life is full of positive events. In other words, the outer reflects the inner. I know… I am part of God, part of the Universe… This is my reality. I could share my reality and model of perception of the main function of my existence with others during that week. The main function of my existence is to live, and to bring a unique contribution to the development of the Universe. I thank my fate for my chance to share what was inside of me. I thank the people who helped to create this situation, when I could open up. I am SO grateful for you all being there! We need strength to go ahead… 2004… there’ll be a new course, a new step… Konstantin Plosky, Centre for Political education, Kiev (Ukraine)
Developing the Ethical Leadership Workshop (ELW) In 2002 when the Lviv team first asked whether it would be possible to have a course about leadership, none of us thought it would involve so much. During a recent meeting, we realised it might be useful to explain some of the thinking behind the new material, the content and our hopes for the workshop. Last year F4F UK realised more trainers were needed because there were only three/ four, all running courses in English. The aim was to have local people run courses in their own language, but the Changing Course is complex and it takes two years or more for people 5
to become qualified leaders. The ELW seemed an ideal way to speed up the process by providing material that is shorter, less complex and easier to learn and present. Moreover, shorter workshops would be easier for working people to attend and they might form a stepping stone towards the Changing Course for anyone who is interested in ‘going further’.
As a result, the writers have not wanted to bore the RM members by running through that material again, so the values section is different. Training to become a Workshop Leader is being planned. It is likely to take themonth! form Smile of the of an initial training workshop followed by a gradual development programme to build confidence and competence.
THE STORY SO FAR… Around this time last year, USAID requested project proposals for Eastern Europe that they could fund. The idea was for a fiveyear project using USAID funding to write ELW material, train trainers and for those trainers to start to earn a living by running the workshops themselves. Although the project application was not successful, the committee decided that F4F UK should continue with the idea but recognised that it would take a lot longer since there would not be funds to work quickly. In June, Mike Prior from Canada, Nick Foster, David Curtis, Phoebe Gill, Gordon Fuller and Erik Andren from the UK met to discuss the workshop format, aims, outline etc. Later that week, the core team of Mike, Nick, Gordon and David put together detailed ideas for each session, which enabled them to continue writing material at home. Mike was very fast whereas the others have been somewhat slower, but it is almost ready and just needs the writers to meet to discuss the final details.
WHAT DO WE HOPE THE ELW WILL ACHIEVE? We would like to help our friends in Central & Eastern Europe and Russia who want to become trainers and present this material for themselves and, perhaps, earn a living from it. We hope that the short workshop will speed up the process of training trainers and that the trainers will provide support and follow up for all the people who attend their workshops.
BRIEF WORKSHOP SUMMARY Participants in ELWs will start by creating their own definition of ethical leadership. They will use this to decide what type of leader they are, what type of leader they want to be and what they will have to change to achieve this. There will be sessions on how leadership has evolved, types and styles of leadership and how values and ethics affect leadership. During the workshop, the participants will work together to form small teams who will provide support for each other after it has ended. The first run of the ELW at the regional meeting (RM) will have slightly different content because those attending the RM will be familiar with the concepts of values etc whereas those who have not encountered F4F before might not be familiar with these things. 6
WHAT DO WE HOPE TO ACHIEVE AT THE FORTHCOMING REGIONAL MEETING? 1. That the people who attend the RM are those who are able to evaluate the material, discuss it with their teams to decide whether it is something that they would like to be involved in. 2. That people who might become trainers will attend. 3. The writers will work with the material to judge its effectiveness and to decide whether to make changes. 4. We hope the participants will give feedback about the relevance of the material, content and changes needed. Gordon Fuller and Nick Foster ----------------------------------------------------------
Minna Palsio: Foundations for Freedom and other Initiatives of Change Hello! My name is Minna Palsio and I live in Finland. Last year, when I took part in the training for trainers course in England, one thought kept coming back to me. The thought was that year 2003 will be different in my life. I was thinking and searching how it would be different and after the course I was fasting and listening to the guid-
ance from God. ent topics, including: 1) The role of our Baltic Answer which Sea nations today and tomorrow; 2) Breakcame to me was ing prejudices, building bridges; 3) Life and that I need to take commitment; 4) “God has a plan - I have a a year off from my part.” One of my ideas was to bring the young permanent job and old generation together, so they could and work more share and learn from each other’s experience. with IC and F4F. I felt really inspired and good after the semiDuring nar and got the same feedback from others my sabbatical too. This kind of a cross-generational work is year I did different very important and I will try to continue it in things and I went Caux next summer. to many places. I I was hoping that I could continue went to Latvia and to be an IC fulltime worker, but I realised it’s Siberia with F4F not my time yet. So I will return to my own as a faculty mem- work at special children’s home. It was quite ber, and both a difficult decision for me to take and it also courses gave me a took some time to accept that I can’t do what lot. I learned more I would like to do most. But I still try be part about myself and of the f4f work as much as possible. I’m lucky also more about that I can get two months from my work next forgiveness at personal level. I like these f4f summer to be in Caux, so I hope to see you courses for many reasons. Through those there. courses I had a chance to meet new people and also I knew that I have something to give Minna Palsio them, but at the same time I also got something from them. This two way learning process is very important for me. Another good thing is how these young people challenge me with their deep questions about meaning of life or asking why I do this work and do not get even any salary for it and so on. But I learned that the work f4f is doing is our investment for the future and for the better world. It makes me happy having a possibility to be part of this work. Fun times... Another important period was last summer in Caux. There I helped to run the Interns programme for six weeks. I liked it so much that I have promised to run the same programme next summer too. After Caux we had a wonderful seminar in Tallinn, which was organized by Finnish IC team. There were 45 people from around Baltic sea area. The seminar’s theme was “Building a heart in Janet and Miles in Moldova the Baltic Sea region” and we have discussed differ-
Miles and Janet Paine: 10 years of Foundations for Freedom
It was our seventh visit to Moldova - no snow and ice this time, but a million leaves providing their russet canopy greeted us on arrival. Their brown carpet was soon to follow only to be speedily swept away by an army of all ages with their brooms and brushes on every street and pavement. So what were the objectives for our visit this time? First of all For A Change have asked for an article on f4f, now approaching its tenth anniversary. Rather than providing a comprehensive account of its outreach in every country and region it was suggested that Moldova might be taken as representative. It would take a sizeable tome, yet to be written, to do justice to the fifty courses in twenty locations in Eastern Europe with all the initiatives that have sprung from them. So for the time being a four-page illustrated article will have to suffice. Wherever possible, quotes of those who have been affected by their engagement in f4f are included. Of course in addition to gathering material and photographs for the article we valued the opportunity to catch up with many old friends, and some new, and their activities. We had an opportunity to visit the centre for old people - one of these activities. This has been painstakingly created out of a dilapidated and vandalised school in Straseni some 23 km from Chisinau - and was due to being opened the week after we left. F4Ffuture Diary We discussed possible projects, dates for the next Regional Meeting and we 4 September UK committee meeting were treated- F4F royally in the eight homes we visited, with all the traditional generous hos2 - 11 October - Changing Course 32 in Novosibirsk pitality that we have come to admire so much in(Russia) a country that economically has so little to offer. 20 October - F4F UK committeethis meeting And before concluding brief report donâ€™t forget to get hold of your copy of For A 24 - 30 November F4Fno. Course in Kiev Change volume -17 1, due out(Ukraine) in January. Some of your friends may like to have a February copy also!2004 - F4F Regional Meeting in Moldova
News from the Treasurer... Again, we have much to be thankful for. Matching funding from IC-UKâ€™s general fund, slightly reduced expenditure, funds raised in The Netherlands, and even a tax refund from the UK government, all mean that we can cover our anticipated expenses until the end of February, even if there is a RM in that month. So we can turn our thoughts and prayers to the needs of the spring and summer. It looks as if they may be heavy, but we do not yet have a budget as so much about courses, meetings, etc has still to be decided. As usual, participation at Caux seems likely to be a big expense for many. In Britain we are preparing a leaflet and also a power-point presentation to present F4F, its work and its need for support to a wider audience. As well as raising funds, we intend that this will be a way of talking with more British people about IC ideas. Also, we have just submitted a funding proposal to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy for a project in Moscow in partnership with the Ametistov Human Rights Center. We wish you success in your own fundraising efforts for all F4F/IC projects large and small. It is always very interesting to hear how you get on. Chris Evans Dear Reader, We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this issue of the F4F Newsletter. If you think that someone else you know should get this newsletter or if you have any suggestions, please contact the editor Oleg Ermurati at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Miles & Janet Paine Watch out for the next issue in February-March 2004!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 8