I am not too comfortable promoting myself or asking for money but I will try. Please feel free to ask questions if I have left out something important or that you would like to know. For now, I will try to answer the following:
Who am I?
My name is Safia. I am a 29 year old single (only) parent of a lovely and bright 6 yr. old. Design has always been one of my passions, from a young age. I have a BA in Urban Planning and (most) of an MS in Landscape Architecture. I care deeply about environmental and social justice issues and do my best to stay active in these areas. I hope to spend my life doing work that is meaningful and aligned with my values, although right now I have not accomplished this...yet.
What is Earth Activist Training?
I am just going to steal this from the EAT website, the link is below if you would like to know more.
EAT's Mission Statement:
To bring the knowledge and resources of regenerative ecological design to communities with the greatest needs and fewest resources.
To teach visionary and practical solutions and personal sustainability to social change activists, and to teach practical skills, organizing, and activism to visionaries.
To cross-pollinate the political, environmental, and spiritual movements that seek peace, justice, and resilience.
Our two-week intensives are Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses, offering the basic, internationally-recognized 72-hour permaculture curriculum with an additional focus on social permaculture, organizing tools, and spirit.
Why do I want to go to this Earth Activist Training?
Many reasons. I am at a juncture where I feel I have a serious lack of practical skills that are relevant to my field of work and to the sort of work and lifestyle that I would like to have. I badly need more hands-on learning and experience that will make me fully capable of building and creating real things, in the real world, that have tangible outcomes, and can be realized through informal means, as opposed to only having intellectual and abstract skills in design and theory.
I would also like to refresh and practice my design skills in a new, different, and hopefully fun and challenging context. To keep them alive and evolving.
I also, being a single parent of a young child with very limited resources, lack all of the extra experiences and activities (ex. summer jobs, internships, apprenticeships, competitions, conferences, etc.) that many of my peers have and so it is hard for me to find work. With the PDC I would gain practical skills, but also credentials.
I chose EAT in particular because of its focus on activism which has been a part of my past, my present and I hope will become an even greater part of my future. I would like to gain knowledge and skills in this regard as well, and to meet, learn from, and make connections with like minded people.
I also am drawn to EAT because it incorporates earth-based spirituality. For me, our earth, nature, is sacred and is by its very nature spiritual. There is more to working with the earth than the material and physical alone. I have been a part of the reclaiming tradition for several years now, I would like to continue and expand this practice. I have not yet had the chance to work with Starhawk but I would be honored to have this opportunity.
Logistically speaking, going to this makes much sense, because unlike many other places EAT is offered, I can get there relatively easily without having to fly, etc.
Most of all I see this as a wonderful opportunity for growth and learning, I fully anticipate that it will be an experience that will change my life (for the better) and will allow me to become more useful, more capable, more knowledgeable and more confident.
Some themes that have emerged this past year through a wonderful group I am involved in have been 'we are the ones' and 'the time is now' and I feel these to be quite appropriate as I was considering this.
What are the benefits of me attending EAT?
I think that I may have spoken already to the ways that EAT will benefit me as far as skills, experience, etc. I do want to say that I hope that this will be the beginning of a long journey, that it will lead me toward more learning and that I will find a path that allows me to use this knowledge and these skills to live closer to the earth, help myself and others, teach my child and other children, be a part of changing the way we live, and sustain ourselves. I don't know exactly what the next step will be, but I see this as the first of many.
I also hope that I can pass on this knowledge and these skills to my child and will be better able to find ways to immerse our lives in such work so that my daughter can grow up close to the earth and to nature and with knowledge of valuable survival skills. I believe that these are much more important to our world today than the book learning she gets at school.
Why do I need to raise money for it?
Of course I am raising money because I am of very limited resources and simply can't afford it. I am a single parent who has been in school for quite some years, and has a lot of student debt. I have stopped school to find work for these reasons, but right now have only a sporadic and low paying job (not at all in my field of interest) till the end of the school year. And not sure what I will be able to find after that. Unfortunately going to EAT will cause me to miss work as well which doesn't help the situation... but I feel its important and don't want lack of funds to be the only reason to miss it.
What will the money be used for?
The course will cost $1,650, but I will be receiving a scholarship which will help to cover some of this amount (TBD - most likelyl this campaign will go toward remainder).
we will have costs associated with transportation there and back
I would like to give a little bit of money to the woman who will help care for my child during the training
We are lacking some of the gear we need to bring as well.
fees for using we the trees
Lastly I want to say Thank you immensely, I truly appreciate it and please please only contribute if it is within your means, don't feel guilty about not helping.
* Just note if the campaign is not fully funded you will get your contribution refunded.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may still have. And let me know if you would like to hear more about it, see pictures, etc. at the end.
Thank you again and Blessed Be!
For more information about this here are some links: