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Global Buzz Report: February 2020

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The new Winds and Waves magazine

We are delighted to invite you to share your stories
via medium.com/winds-and-waves which is the public platform
we have moved to now, to publish Winds & Waves.
Please see the attachment which sets out how you can now
personally publish your stories for Winds and Waves magazine.

See here W&W@Medium PDF



Dear Friends,
How is it possible for me to imagine writing a narrative for a country that is not my own, you might ask? How can I be so presumptuous? I can only share how I feel in my heart from experiences in real time, some with you and others. So, I invite you to "listen" to what I have to share.

Last week I was invited to a video presentation, Cracking the Code of Rapid Social Transformation by Terry Patton who works with Ken Wilbur. Some of us in the Order studied Ken's book, NO BOUNDARIES back in the 80's. Then, as now, the presentation came to me as academic and intellectual as I most often look for the practical implications and solutions. I’m grateful for those folks who find theory their passion, as I realize research does trickle down to support us all, perhaps I’m too impatient? As I listened to Terry’s presentation, the images of the fires in Australia kept flashing before my eyes.

I read Facebook postings about the fires, cultural burning and the need for a different narrative for Australia. I was called to write. In 2015-6, it suggested that I read David Tacey’s book, Edge of the Sacred, a book that you studied some years back. I found the book very interesting, particularly chapter 4, David’s memoirs. When reading the last chapter, especially his closing two paragraphs, I was fascinated with his statement that a pioneering role of transformation was possible for Australia, on behalf of the world.(attached). Several other events and experiences, including David’s words, came rushing back to me as I watched Terry’s video presentation, especially the fires that now rage across the land. The tears came – and I imagined a whole thread of events being woven into a journey story or narrative that I wanted to write and share. These events came into my life beginning back in 1989-90.

I invite you to read the words – composed by a non- Australian; shared from the heart. Back in the 90’s, I learned of the Reconciliation work that so many of you joined in, initiated and participated in with the energy, structure and care, (including health care) that you provided during the 80’s and 90’s. Discovering what was happening in South Africa in their reconciliation trials, it raised the question for me about my own country and our need to do similar work. You were ahead of the times with strategies and programs that made a difference. Am I correct in recalling that you did this work in connection with the government, using your energy, passion, time and life learnings as well as ICA methods.

In 2014, a friend and I ventured out on a 3 week journey to Australia, renewing friendships and discovering new ones. After two days in the Blue Mountains, my friend took me to a gift store and I found a painting by Chris Tobin. Two days later I met Jacinta Tobin, a composer and song writer, purchasing one of her CDs. I later received a copy of Leanne’s poetry, she being the third sibling of the family.. Connecting with that family through music, poetry and art, even at the most simple and very brief connection, I begin to realize and understand something more about the rising up of new manifestations of Aboriginal culture. Later I received articles and pictures of the Woodford Academy, a national trust that has respect for Aboriginal culture, opening a space for art, building bridges between the cultures. Chris’ art was a beautiful backdrop for the entrance of the building.

The Declaration of the Heart.. After walking around Uluru and being given permission by the guide to actually touch the rock, I was moved by the history, depth and resilience of the people of the Aboriginal community; the land and people are one. (attached)

Another friend who had lived in Australia many years ago sent a copy of the Eulogy of Gough Whitlam by Noel Pearson In which Pearson paid tribute to "this old man, praising his foresight and moral vision in striving for universal opportunity in Australia.”

As I sat listening to the presentation, the photos of the fires and their destruction in Australia kept coming back to me in full color. Many events, images and experiences of the past 5 years, including my trip to Australia in 2014, were flooding my mind. I felt as if the current experience of fires, devastation of earth and total web of life; feelings of vulnerability, need for each other, fear, anger, love, all of this and more were calling for a container, a way of giving meaning, context and structures of community and care of each other, right now! As often is the case, tragedy brings folks together as they see and feel each other’s humanity. I’m grateful for the SIGNS OF CARE that are showing up, from many different places., in villages, cities and other countries of the globe.

Forgive me if some of my statements are not accurate or true, they come from a place of deep care. Part of my "work" in this final stage of my life is supporting and creating the stories that can heal, affirm, beckon, love the mystery and be present NOW. I find that poetry, reflections, music and stories often make a difference. I hope my words communicate what's in my heart, a care for you and the world.

With love and gratitude,

Nancy Lanphear           nancy@songaia.com


Enhancing the Capacity of the Grassroots
for Inclusive Environmental Governance

The Development Institute has been implementing the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) project in 11 communities within the Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site in the Volta Region since 2016.  GAGGA is a joint programme being run by three organisations - Both Ends, FCAM and Mama Cash. The aim of this programme is to strengthen the Lobby and Advocacy capacities of grassroots groups in the field of women’s rights and environmental justice. The goal of the project in Ghana is to ensure inclusive resource governance, ecosystem restoration and economic opportunities for rural women and youth activists of the area.

The Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site which is the largest in Ghana is a potential site for eco-tourism such as bird watching, night turtle watching and so on. Indigenes also depend on this resource for their livelihood. In spite of its economic potentials, the area has been under threat lately as a result of unsustainable use as well as poor governance and management practices. Additionally, the women are not fully involved in local level decision making regarding the management of the place and The DI seeks to address these challenges and more.

From its inception, the project was divided into three main phases, each under specific objectives. The first two phases which was from 2016 to 2018 sought to reverse exclusion of women in natural resource decision making processes, economic marginalization and low visibility and also enhance transparency through a number of strategies such as political and economic empowerment of the grassroots and the use of the Negotiated Approach. Within these three years, 11 communities have been empowered to engage duty bearers as well as advocate for their rights; 10,000 mangrove seedlings have been planted within the area in partnership with the Wildlife Division; and institutional as well as operational capacities of six gender and environmental groups have been strengthened towards leadership and governance of the KLCRS, amongst others. Additionally a strategic plan has been developed collectively by all stakeholders within the area.

The project is currently in the third and final phase and is being implemented under these three objectives:

  1. To empower local communities to fully and meaningfully participate in Natural Resources Management and Governance
  2. To promote supplementary and alternative livelihoods as well as sustainable financial schemes to improve livelihoods of local communities and investment in blue-green businesses
  3. To build a strong and visible CSO movement to ensure voices of local people are heard and processes are truly inclusive and sustainable of the KLCRS

Under the second objective, The DI organised a four-day training workshop for the women and youth within project communities (23 participants in all) from the 4th to the 7th of December 2019. The training was a follow up to a previous one carried out in phase one and was hosted by Agortoe, one of the project communities. The main aim of this programme was to improve their skills in the production of local crafts made from reeds for the international market and also introduce an alternative source of livelihood which is the making of fashion accessories such as hairbands and bracelets. The training was carried out by the Jesclan Art and Craft Enterprise. Participants were also taken through some lessons on entrepreneurship by the trainer.

After the programme, participants expressed their joy and were grateful for the opportunity to improve upon their skills and learn other crafts as well. “I really enjoyed the programme and promise to teach the women in my church what I have learnt” said Jennifer Fiavor. Another participant, Happy Zottor, a hat weaver, also found the training very useful to her work as it will help her make better hats not only for the local market but the international market as well.

The DI has also being engaging stakeholders both at the local and national level for the sustainable management of the area, under the third objective. Two stakeholder meetings (December 18, 2019 and January 22, 2020) have already been organised in Keta and Accra where concerns and ideas of stakeholders from both levels (communities, traditional authorities, District Assemblies, CSOs etc) have been discussed amidst plans of oil and gas exploration within the area by the Government.

Aside from these activities, capacities are being developed regularly in different ways and The DI hopes to achieve all objectives at the end of the programme and even more.
Dzifa Kumaga         dkumagah@thedevin.org  


In addition to the sustainable agricultural development projects in 11 villages of the Agboville province in Côte d’Ivoire, which already has been extensively reported about by ICA Cote d’Ivoire itself, ICA Japan’s current activities include a row of divers development projects in different regions worldwide.

ICA Japan’s activities in India A number of rural villages, located in the Indian state Madhya Pradesh, is severely affected by the effects of climate change and global warming . Due to the decline in rainfall and the extreme weather conditions during the past years the residents are suffering from chronic water shortages, and consequently, severe food scarcity. To survive, the local population, particularly women and children, were forced to walk multiple kilometers on a daily basis in order to fetch water from distant wells. In close cooperation with the communities and their advanced knowledge of the environment surrounding their villages, ICAJ managed to revitalize six wells which can provide drinking water for up to 800 people. To sustainably uphold and even expand the usage of the wells, the residents of the three participating villages in the Jhabua Country underwent maintenance and management training conducted by ICAJ, in order to ensure the proper functioning of the wells and its continuous usage. To cover a broader range of the people living in India’s drought areas, we will continue its engagement in the region and the water well regeneration project in the future.

ICA Japan’s activities in Kenya ICA Japan’s ‘One Student One Green’ project is a tree-planting and greening campaign that has been conducted in 5 schools in the Isinya District of Kajiado, Kenya. We started this project with the support of the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization and Rotary Club of Fujisawa in 2014 and brought together students, school faculties and families to join in this exciting activity that resulted in 6,000 various kinds of seedlings (e.g. drought-resistant neem, savanna acacia, and balanites) being planted. To make sure everyone can engage in this activity actively, we provided a total of 1,777 local people with courses in methods for planting and raising seedlings. Also, we installed a full-scale demonstration farm at a local girls’ school, where vegetables and fruits were planted and harvested which serve meals for our schoolmates. In the Isinya District of Kajiado, people are not aware of afforestation, greening and environmental conservation because many of them believe in ‘trees are gifts from God’ . But the chronic drought calls for a change in people’s awareness and behaviors into an eco-friendlier way. Therefore, our staff discussed the importance of greening activities with community leaders, school officials, and the local Ministry of Agriculture staff and eventually conducted the ‘One Student One Green’ to improve the environmental awareness of not only children but also parents. We will soon finish our second phase of this project in March 2020.

ICA Japan’s activities in Fukushima On 11 March 2011, a devastating earthquake that struck off the northeastern coast of Japan triggered a series of tsunamis that resulted in one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in history. Now, almost nine years on, the region is still recovering from the catastrophe -- countless people are still unable to return home, and regions of Fukushima remain closed due to radiation cleanup. In a single day, people lost houses and properties, and above all, they lost a sense of community.

Since 2013, ICA Japan, with the strong support of Theravada Buddhist Association, has been actively rebuilding these lost communities of Fukushima through the simple concept of horticultural therapy. The idea is simple: people share their stories and forge strong lasting relationships through planting community flowers and growing community crops.

As of 2019, after a six-year run of the project, we have observed evident community growth and relationship formations in the disaster-hit regions of Namie-town and Minamisoma-city. This year, ICA Japan will continue this project and help rebuild more communities in Okuma and Futaba towns.

Best regards,
ICA Japan Interns           icaj.main@gmail.com


ICA Nepal carried out social artistry leadership development training for women's group of Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot district named Village (Gaunghar). Clinic Mothers Group and Creative Women Group. The major objective of this training was developing artistic leadership quality among participants and enhancing their psychological ability to achieve personal and organizational goal. The training was facilitated by Atma Ram Timsina and Amba Datta Bhatta. The training was sponsored by Rotary International.


In addition, ICA Nepal worked as cooperating partner of Rotary Club of Rurdramati and trained school teachers with ORID methodology. Altogether 25 school teachers in Gorkha district participated in the teachers’ training.

Masao Kunisada, Second Secretary from Embassy of Japan visited ICA Nepal office learned about ICA’s activities and their impact in the lives of people and society. ICA Nepal along with ICA Japan has been carrying out community development activities in several districts of Nepal with the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan.

Ishu Subba







EPDI’s Contribution

Area of Coverage:


*       ICAI General Assembly



              See here: January 2020 report.pdf

Report by Hannah Anighoro           epdi2008@yahoo.com


Thirty years ago, the Institute of Cultural Affairs worked with Case Western Reserve University to research the inner life and workings of ICA. The case study began with the metaphor that organizations are “miracles of human interaction, the mystery of which deepens as we probe more into them.” To probe the mystery, the research team conducted an appreciative inquiry, a methodology that seeks to “locate and heighten the ‘life giving properties’ of organizations” by seeking the best of what is to lay the foundation of what might be.

ICA and Case Western identified five “life-giving forces” as the best of what is, as the “unique structure and processes of the organization that makes its very existence possible.” They can be summarized as consensus decision makingcorporatenessteaching and learning orientationservice mission, and spirit life.

Thirty years later, the current board and staff at ICA-USA felt it was time to take the pulse of what is, now. While much has changed, ICA-USA has taken care to carry forth lessons from its past. In seeking a new articulation of our core values, we once again posed an appreciative inquiry.

Board and staff members began by interviewing one another. Each was asked to name their peak experience, the values they cherish that give life to the organization, and their vision for the future of ICA-USA. The aggregated responses inspired months of group processing before crystallizing into four “core values” that attempt to bridge what is and what will be. They are radical collaborationembodied justicecontinuous learning, and profound care.

Subsequent descriptions and demonstrations of the four values are forthcoming, but already these values can be seen in our recent work. Throughout the most recent issue of Initiatives, the core values are revealed through stories of some of the people ICA-USA worked with in 2019, including women’s supportive housing organization Sarah’s Circle, Austin Coming Together director Darnell Shields, Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network veteran Alvyn Walker, and performing artist Meida Teresa McNeal, who grew up in Fifth City during ICA’s work in the community.

You can download the complete Initiatives at ica-usa.org/publications.html or find the stories in our latest news section.

Andrew Clayton           aclayton@ica-usa.org


Dear colleagues,

You may wish to let ICAI colleagues know about my autobiography/memoir, Serving People & Planet, filled with stories about my work and life with ICA, UNDP, and NYU in over fifty countries for fifty years. Colleagues may enjoy going with me on this journey of serving people and planet in mystery, love and gratitude. The book can be ordered on: Book Depository, Amazon, Lulu, and many other bookstores. I would love to hear reflections of colleagues and invite people to post a review online.

Rob Work            robertsonwork100@gmail.com

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