Help peacebuilders and others build personal resilience and innovation through reflective practice and resilience retreats.
The Space Bangkok Story
It went on for years. I accompanied peacebuilders through their times of transition, struggle, crisis, realization, and healing. And all along I was dealing with my own struggles - the aftermath of harassment, grief, and my own burnout. The forces that paved this road we walked gradually became clearer, as did the realization of their prevalence, not only in the peacebuilding field, but beyond. And echoing around it all was a single thought: this is wrong and it doesn't have to be this way.
All the while, I was doing work that regularly required creativity and innovative ideas for problem solving and program development and improvement. And I increasingly found it impossible to meet this demand. The spark of creativity inside me was dead, thus there was no creative energy to feed innovation. And I had no idea where to find it, how to restart it, or where to even start looking for answers.
My experience is in no way unique. Far too many of us unnecessarily find ourselves where I did.
As with many journeys, mine included a crucial turning point. It was the moment I refused to accept this reality and, at the same time, rejected the most often shared advice - that healing myself would mean changing my situation in ways that were not possible for me at the time. It was the moment I became determined to find some other way out.
As I forged my way, accompanied by friends, an idea that had lingered for years finally began to gain purpose and take shape. Something could most certainly be done about the unwellness of peacebuilders and others. Both individual and structural forces were at work, and both levels could be engaged. The gap of the inadequacy of the existing resources I had access to could be filled. We could do better at supporting people and organizations towards resilience.
Ultimately, the pursuit of this mission led to starting Space Bangkok, a social enterprise working to promote resilience and innovation by changing the how of what we do individually and organizationally through encouraging ongoing reflective practice and incorporating reflective elements in leadership, capacity building, facilitation, problem solving, and other work. For me, Space Bangkok brings together an absorbing need to delve more deeply into reflective practice and ways to nurture inner creativity with a passion for peacebuilding, training, and facilitation. In blending these elements, we are working to equip and accompany for resilience, growth, transformation, and peace.
What Your Donation Will Do
Our goal is that everyone wanting to join a resilience retreat will be able to do so. To that end, we strive to price the retreats at cost and well below market. Even so, we realize that the costs can be prohibitive for a variety of reasons. To bridge this gap, we are seeking to raise funds to help offset the retreat costs for some participants in order to enable their attendance.
Your donation will allow individuals needing renewal to be able to continue their good work to get just that. It will offset retreat costs for those seeking to attend the upcoming September 2017 and November 2017 retreats as needed. US$1,100 will send one person to a retreat and most participants needing help offsetting the cost only need a portion of this. These types of programs usually cost US$4,000 per person. We are able to offer them at a hugely discounted cost through our own in kind contributions - for example we do not include our own preparation costs. More detailed financial information is available on request.
The Resilience Retreat Story
In 2014, future founding members of the Humanity’s Thread group began a conversation about the value and importance of holistic retreat spaces for people working on the front lines of cultivating peace and social change. The first retreat brought together ten inspiring people, all of whom are both trying to make the world a more peaceful place and felt the deep need to step back from the pressures of their everyday work and reflect on where they've been, where they were, and where they wanted to go.
It was not a training workshop. They were not invited to sharpen the skills they use on a day-to-day basis as practitioners. They were not invited to sit and listen to the latest peace building theories. The ‘classroom’ was the places where conversations unfolded. It was the woods and mountains walked together or alone. It was around the table as both food and experiences were shared. It was the quiet spaces of reflection as they heard the journeys of others and perhaps listened to their own stories in ways they hadn’t anticipated. It was in the wisdom of pressing pause on the constant chatter in their minds and observing what emerged from the silence. It was through new ways of exploring the paths they’d been on and the paths that may lie ahead. They kept things simple, and left the mountains feeling renewed and inspired.
Three years later, two founding members of the Humanity's Thread group continue in partnership to pursue this goal through convening regular creative reflective retreats in Australia and Thailand. Previous retreats have seen gatherings of grass roots community builders, security sector personnel, local mediators, lawyers and advocates, educators, international aid workers, and government officers from around the world.