Surviving Nature's Changes
December 28, 2015-January 14, 2016 Philippines
Reflections on IPP: Surviving Nature’s Changes – December 28, 2015-January 14, 2016 Philippines
“In my teen years, I dreamt of traveling the world. Today, it is a reality as the world (all of you) came to Datakan!” A community elder, in his 70s, profoundly expressed his happiness over our International People’s Project.
Twenty-eight participants in our IPP originated from fourteen different countries: Australia, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand and United States; spanning five continents. Distanced from our comfort zones, we embarked on a journey adopted by indigenous peoples from Kapangan, Benguet in Northern Philippines. Sharing, experiencing and conversing about our families, cultures, traditions, best practices, and climate challenges resulted in a culminating activity highlighted in 5 short films.
The eighteen days made each of us participants, between the ages of 18-72, varying from students to retirees, more aware of our interdependence, our being truly a part of a collective whole, that through open-minded discussions and deliberations, we created meaningful outcomes from what we experienced, what we saw, and what we felt. An appreciation of the wealth and wisdom of the ages was inevitable - young, old, schooled, venturing into the work force, out of the work force.
A personal realization was the importance of quality time, taking cues from the little moments, snippets pooled together. Project-wise: with a mere two whole working days with the indigenous people, to build trust, to gather data, to shoot the films and come out with outstanding outcomes was truly impressive. The films produced with concerted effort drew out the best and conveyed the loud message of the indigenous peoples. People-wise: building relationships from the little conversations or collective talks were so powerful.
We created a website (http://survivingnatureschanges.jimdo.com/) from our extraordinary IPP. Participants have even blogged about their experiences (http://evainbaguio.blogspot.com/), (http://blog.giwps.georgetown.edu/the-role-of-women-in-creating-climate-resilient-communities-focus-on-the-philippines/), and committed to instructing modules on climate change in their localities. We began filming our IPP promo video with footage taken during camp and hope to complete the project soon.
As a staunch CISVer, having experienced village as an adult leader in Denmark; staffed in Step Up in the Philippines and as international staff in Paris; I can truly say this IPP has even raised my appreciation and love for CISV to a much higher level.
By Anne Marie Dimalanta