Aryeh, pictured on the right, is Creative Action Institute's California-based Education and Training Director. She has been with the organization for over a decade and recently returned from a trip to Ghana and Cameroon where she facilitated our Creative Collaboration and Systems workshops.
Can you tell me a little bit about the programs that you were conducting in Cameroon and Ghana?
We are bringing together cohorts of grassroots environmental organizations throughout Cameroon and Ghana to participate in four intensive trainings of our Creative Environmental Leadership Program. The skills and capacities they develop in these trainings will support them to effectively mobilize the leadership and engagement of their communities to build collective power and address the social and ecological challenges of our time.
How do you see these programs being implemented and affecting the communities of the people who attend?
The biggest impact that I see is a shift from a top-down, expert-driven model of education and development to a more relational, bottom-up and participatory model that engages all stakeholders impacted by an issue. They are successfully implementing the arts and popular education methodologies to give local communities more voice and ownership of their lives and in the sustainable management of their resources.
What has the impact been, on you, from attending and facilitating these workshops?
I feel deeply inspired by the tremendous commitment, creativity and resilience of our partners to work for a just and life-sustaining society in the face of very difficult, often repressive and harsh conditions. When I feel despair about the systematic deterioration of basic rights and democracy in our country, our partners help me to trust again in the power of our global humanity to work together, protect the dignity of each person and embody the kind of world we want to live in.
What do you hope is the greatest message that people take away from working with Creative Action Institute?
We believe that every person is inherently creative and has profound gifts that our world needs. We hope to spark the vision, skills and commitment of our partners to collaborate and nurture the creative leadership of everyone so that together we can build new systems rooted in love, interdependence and sustainability. Another world is possible and it is up to us to create it!