Children, The Family and Health: What it Takes to Give Children Long Life
The Hawaii Workshop: Closing
Dr. Crichfield lead the wrap-up session. She used the model of a tree as a device to easily remember and illustrate the ideas we have all shared. The tree’s roots are in the nutrients and the branches reaching toward the energy source. The trunk of this tree is the family, the branches are the issues which face the family. We each choose where to work based upon our training and skills. The tree is the analogy for what we have been doing in the workshop the last few days, representing the living, growing possibilities we take from it, to be turned into an action plan at a later time. There were at least five times participants were moved to tears. This means we were on the cutting edge of the issues.
Branches of the tree are named for the big ideas we discussed:
peace-restore this for the young child and the family
love - a source of spiritual nourrishment and energy for the child
listening - to the child and each other
“little sponges” - role models in a child’s life
communication - important to people of all ages
humor - to hold a person together, allows our spirit to be free
time - allows us to work with the child and the family
education - central to the action plan or disseminaation of most of the ideas
This is called a “tool summary” as opposed to a content summary.
What are YOU as individuals going to do with this information when you return home?
Share with others, disseminate information. Inestigate resources, encourage creative solutions, formulate then implement your plan. The same general idea presented here can result in dozens of different programs in local areas, all serving similar target populations.
When you return home, make these ideas practical for yourself and your community. Take one of the ideas and put it into your own context, grow your own version. Identify key people to work with in order to insure your plan, engage others as needed. Find sources of motivation both inside and outside your organization. Discover ideas which have been within you but were awakened through a new experience like the PPSEAWA UNESCO workshop we’ve attended.
Time for Storytelling: the oral tradition is part of many world cultures, the Pacific people are no exception.
Making a Difference: The Story of the Starfish
“A friend was walking down a deserted beach at sunrise. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water.
“As our friend approached the man, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and was throwing them back into the water - one at a time.
“Our friend was puzzled. He approached the local man and said, ‘Good morning, friend. I was wondering what you are doing?’
“‘I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean You see it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they will die.’
“’I understand,’ my friend replied, ‘but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches? Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?’
“The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish. As he threw it back into the sea, he replied, ‘I will make a difference for this one!’”
Shall we not try also to make a difference for at least one more person, who can then make a difference in another person’s life as well? And so it will grow.
The comma is the most underrated form of punctuation. It provides a pause, the opportunity to listen and remember, to reflect and take time. In ten years I hope you will remember the connections you made through PPSEAWA in Hawaii.
Flora Krissiloff, USA was chosen to contribute a story to illustrate this method of summation:
In Los Angeles, people from private and public schools have come together to require community service of all students. The name of the program is “Children Helping Poor and Homeless” The students collect non-perishible food items. They also get personal items like soap and toiletries. They pack the items into bags, then go to the beach or park in Santa Monica on designated days. The students hand out the food. They get to know the people they serve and develop relationships. Students run the program. Adults give basic support and emotional support by listening to children talk about their feelings and emotions involved with working with the homeless. This idea has spread to other communities. This story carries the basic idea for the project which can be replicated in your own community.
Last Modified: June 05, 2010