Thirty-two women from around the world who are committed to making a difference in the world, gathered together for the Findhorn Foundation’s Winter School of Ecofeminism, celebrating women’s empowerment, spirituality and a culture of peace. During the two-week-long programme devised by members of the Findhorn Community in association with the Geneva based Women’s World Summit Foundation, the participants worked with themes such as women’s art, dance and symbolism; shifting paradigms of power from ‘power over’ to ‘power with'; and caring for the Earth with self-reliance and sustainability.
One participant, Yatta Samah from Sierra Leone, went home with a new video camera, purchased with funds raised by fellow participants and members of the Findhorn Community. Yatta will use the video camera to document the Moawoma Rural Women’s Development Project in Sierra Leone, and expand the profile of her work. She hopes this will help her and the women of Sierra Leone to attract the additional funding and support they so much need. Yatta works across three different regions in Sierra Leone, helping the area to recover from the huge devastation it has suffered on all levels, due to the recent war there.
Ecofeminism is a convergence of three major contemporary movements: political feminism, environmentalism and women’s spirituality. Organiser May East said, “Over the two weeks the women were together, we shared skills and vision, celebrated each other, designed platforms for action and reclaimed the world as sacred ground. As never before we women are being urged to journey to the depth of ourselves to gather inspiration, vision and strength to build the new civilisation, informed by a culture of peace. This programme has addressed this crucial need in the world.”
The Winter School of Ecofeminism was inspired through the Findhorn Foundation’s connection with the United Nations’ vision of peaceful cooperation. The Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation associated with the UN. The programme attracted women from Brazil, England, Belgium, USA, Austria, Sierra Leone, Germany, France, Japan, Scotland, Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Australia, Greece, and India, and it is planned to run again in 2003.