A crash course in changing the world.
This can be extraordinary. So, here we are and this is what needs to be
done. This is the point it has come to: and those who are already
involved and those who want to become involved: please post, please
contribute, do not be shy. Be a part of something bigger than you. We
can make things happen. This is possible.
Winterminute has been talking with me extensively, and we have decided to combine our projects. This is now SEED.
Crystal Bellar, Winterminute, Claude Raines, Nick Heyming, Michele Baron, John
Tsangaris, Amos Meeks and Stefano Cieriare all committed to this project at the time of
this writing. Some of you have volunteered that are not on this list-
leave a comment and I will add you :)
This is the team. There are many of you who have volunteered through previous
posts, and this post is designed to get an idea of where you can put
your strengths, your curiosity, and your knowledge.
So our mission: To improve quality of life and opportunity through a customized curriculum
that emphasizes community, sustainable agriculture and social justice
around the globe.
1) To write a curriculum for specific area that focuses on natural resources, community involvement and cultural understanding
2) To teach others how to implement, understand and teach the message of
sustainable agriculture and its benefits within a community, guiding by
hands-on knowledge and methods.
3) To send a team of trained individuals to go out to specified locations
and to provide knowledge for communities to change their quality of
4)To be able to teach in such a way that change is sustainable by the community without outside involvement after a period of 1 to 2 years.
5) To provide the ability for communities to teach their next generation, to continue patterns of sustainability
6)To provide the ability to share and help implement solutions to social
problems and strategies for further improvement after the field team
After some discussion and research, Sierra Leone has been chosen for the first project. The reason this is, is about 10
years after the Civil War has ended, Sierra Leone has tons of
possibilities for growth and positive change. Their government is
interested in funding agricultural initiatives, and it is relatively
progressive. There are developed cities but also extreme poverty, and
it is extremely rich in natural resources that can be utilized. Because
of the Civil War there is not a lot of long standing agricultural
efforts in the country, but more are forming. The government also has
been pushing the issue sense 2007 to increase food security. We believe
that going here can make a very positive difference for individuals,
while having some governmental backing, and there are a lot of
possibilities considering the land, climate and natural resources
present in the country. As the first curriculum, it provides a higher
chance for success while teaching us the ways into which to improve the
program to bring it to more difficult political climates and
This operation is called: Operation gbamgbaode (subject to change- looking for the krio word for plant/seed. gbamgbaode means in the open)
What this design incorporates.
-Social Networks / Sociology
Skills Needed (not all in one person!)
-A Willing To Believe in the Improbable
-Holistic Understanding of Environment
-Willingness to ask hard questions
-Specialized plant knowledge
Those things below create the framework for growth and structure for an applicable, knowledgeable and workable
curriculum project with social support. It is the basis for design of
major features. It is important to understand the structure of the
community to transmit information in a way that is 1) easy to
understand 2) gives opportunities for them to use and transfer that
information to others and 3) is useful and applicable to their day to
More Detailed List of What needs to be done:
First off: We have a Wiki at http://evoke.mapofemergence.com/wiki Thanks to Stefano !
Also, we are trying to plan a google WAVE. Details in the works. I have invites- :D
Area of Focus: This needs to be a 1-3 page description of Sierra Leone and what is there and what we think we can do there. Like, an condensed overview of the
Need to Narrow Down Location even further- Look for Three Villages with a population of 5,000 or less. Preferably less than 1,000 would be even more beneficial.
In depth knowledge and Research:
Beliefs: cultural norms, religious leanings, superstitions, general knowledge about the world
customs: greetings, good-byes, gift-giving, holidays, dress, and other
religion: Cultural beliefs and general no-no’s due to religion? This includes
dress, same-sex relationships, adultery, just general things that stem
from beliefs. Religious tolerance is included here
farming methods: how do they currently farm? What aids do they use? Average plot of land?
Who owns the land? How many people work on a field? Common crops?
Types of food availability: What do the normally eat? What is there a
shortage of? What is in surplus? Do they have a variety of foods?
food preferences: What do they like to eat? Special Meals, favorite foods. these do not have to be available.
social structure: how are people in relation to each other- are their cla****?
is there an concidered ‘underclass’? how is social status defined? what
is the possibility for social mobility?
cooking methods: how do they cook and with what?
language: English and a native tongue- Krio. Lots of dialects of it. (answered!)
needs being met: what needs do they have that are being met? ex. shelter, clean water, food, fuel, basic needs
needs not being met: what are they missing? ex. protein
life expectancy (answered) 41 years
b) Climate (year round):
Climate: Type of climate per season. High and Low average temperatures, average
rainfall. It is ok to use graphs, charts, and other information.
Breaking the country down into smaller areas to point out climate
differences will be helpful
Water Supply: Fresh and Salt. Where is it located, access? Possible to have wells? Water contamination levels? Types of santiation problems
Resources and Availability of those resources: what do they have naturally around them? Such as mining resources, wood, metals, things they use
Expected Climate change next 20 (or so) years: for areas, like climate is done.
Wildlife: what kind of wild-life. provide details of levels of population- is it endangered? over populated?
Plants: edible and medicinal...also other plants if they have particular good uses (like, keep away certain pests, useful for dyes, clothes making,
that kind of thing.
Currency - what is it? Prices of common items? Trends in value compared to first
world countries? Is it getting stronger or weaker over time?
Trading/Market structure: How is market set up? Small stores, bigger stores? Do they trade? What items are commonly traded?
Work Environment, Types of Work: what do people commonly do for work? The
point isn’t to list every job out there, but common professions that
people use to get by
Political Stability: How stable is the country? Overthrown, established government process? Are people vying for power?
Applicable Policy: Agricultural especially! But policies that would effect a 1-2 year mission there.
child care - how do they take care of children? General Customs, information
literacy rates - (answered) low
education - mandatory k-6 education. But, not all children get it due to infrastructure problems.
crime resolution - if a crime is commited how is it addressed? What kind of laws? Important crimes to know about?
hobbies, crafts: what do they do for fun? Do they have a particular type of jewlery? Art related things?
learning methods: how do they learn?
family unit structure: what does a family look like? # of adults per household, # of children? Do grandparents live with parents? Is the
mortality rate very high so alot of children are one-parent or orphans?
major social problems (child welfare for example)- like child abuse, sanitation, opportunities for women?
Then The PLAN
The plan puts the information together in a way the meets our goals. It
also puts some of the logistical information together, resources to
contact, and makes the mission possible. It gives us the direction to
teach others HOW and guidelines for implementing the work we want to
do. We want to be able to help a community grow: socially,
What are the resources there? What groups have initatives going on? Who do we contact? How to get permission to actually work in the
country? Funding- what is available, procedures to get it. Laws around
funding issues. Like in America for donations to be tax-deductable, you
must become a 503(c) registered non-profit.
At the Location: how one stays there, estimated cost, general knowledge.
Basically, if we sent a team of 5-10 people- how would this play out?
the logistics part
At home: Do we set up greenhouses to pratice growing? Where? Time Investment? How do we teach
others? On-line cla****? How do we set up education for the trip? Do we
need a central location? If So, where? Who leads the bank accounts?
What is the orginizations structure? All these questions and more.
The actual curriculum: HUGE TIME INVESTMENT This is broken down into its own thing. More details on this later. But this is the brief:
1) For The agency:
teaching methods and methods by example / class learning plans must be included
throughout the thing. The outline above really gets incorporated into
the curriculum. The details go into it, the text gets written, and it
becomes the basis of our movement forward.
For anything you do- please cite sources !! The more academic or reliable ,
the better. If you wish to post images, make sure to post the licenses
about them. We do not want to break copy-right law.
Once a question is answered, I will post it- and this will continue to grow.
The Curriculum will be put together, and there will be updates on how
the agency is forming, and what the goals are.
I personally want to win, not because this is a game, but because this
could change lives. And I believe in change, in hope, and in a better
sustainable future. I know I can be part of something big and make a
difference. You can help. You can make a difference too. So, GO FORTH!
Discover, post it here, let us know what we can do.
Also, please critique, think of things too add, discuss stuff that hasn’t
been thought of. Help us modify to make this more effective, and
possible. Additions of implementable sustainable measures- like clean
water, alternate forms of power generation, that could be implemented
as a part of the curriculum are important, and topics can be made.