jueves, 10 de marzo de 2011

Transformative Learning - Inspire

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi – Executive Director, Afghan Institute of Learning

This was the final presentation of the ATWS in Scotland. It followed the title Inspire, and it was a breathtaking intervention with a lot of emotion and value. Truly inspiring!

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO she founded in 1995. Established to provide teacher training, education and health services to women and children, over 7 million have benefited from AIL’s programs to date. Sakena’s vision of a healthier Afghanistan evolved after watching her mother give birth to 15 children, only to have 5 children survive. Under Sakena’s leadership, AIL has established itself as a visionary organization which works at the grassroots level and empowers women and communities to bring education and health services to poor rural and urban girls and women, as well as other disenfranchised Afghans. AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women in the 1990s. AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3000 girls in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. AIL was first to open Women’s Learning Centers for Afghan women—a concept now copied by many organizations throughout Afghanistan. Dr. Yacoobi has received multiple recognition-of-service awards in Afghanistan.

Who she is:

Not much more can be said to this introduction. She was the first in her family to be able to go to university in the US, when she finished and wanted to go back to Afghanistan but the border was closed. When she finally was able to go back to her house, she created a learning center for women, which was illegal at the time. 

She told some stories that she has to live through, this is an example:

One day while travelling as of any other day she got stopped by a line of armed men with riffles. When she saw the line of men in the middle of the road that she travelled every day, she was very afraid for her life and those on board the truck. The young men aged between 16-22 years wanted her to get out of the vehicle. The people inside requested for her to stay but she knew they were all in danger if she did not do what they said. Finally when she confronted the men they told her that they wanted education and they would stop her every day until she accepted, they knew that she had a school. She said she will try to look for a solution, even though the school was for women and that she had no means to take care of them. When she got to the school the phone rang and it was from the aid program, she explained what had happened to her that morning and they told her they would take care of them too. Finally next day when she was stooped she told them she would teach them to write and read but on the condition that they would come every day, clean and behave correctly. After 4months in the program they had learned to read and write and today they are their guides and protect her. 

This is a true story and shows the feelings and how everybody wants to learn and be educated. They wanted to improve their life and change, education as a means of transformation and growth.
Another story was that of a young girl who wanted to go to school to read. She was told by her parents that the only way to go to school was if she woke up at 4 o’clock and did her labor before leaving every morning. For the first 4 months she did not speak a word but from the work she was doing by knitting she could pay his brother to do her work at home and take care of her 3 children. By the age of 22 she had become the leader of the local center with 300 women under her training, and people come and ask her for advice. She has become an important figure in her village and people come to her for advice. She is in the local council and is spreading the word to other areas. 

This is an example of how empowerment of women thorough education can lead to development. 

Finally she told us that her main aim is to make the world and the afghan women aware that they are individuals and that they can do anything they set to do. She is doing a great work in developing a women liberal right movement in Afghanistan and creating leader in that country. Empowering women in a very complicated country.

Best is to listen to her:

Do you think it´s an inspiring story?

After hearing this incredible story that I feel charged up with positive energy and feel to continue with our mission of achieving sustainable development in the region of la Vera through the promotion of responsible tourism.

viernes, 4 de marzo de 2011

Nurture – Transformative Learning

This presentation follows the series of the World Summit Adventure; the speaker was Keith Bellows - Editor in chief of National Geographic Traveler. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a Canadian citizen, Keith Bellows, 58, was named editor-in-chief of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER magazine in January 1998 and a vice president of the National Geographic Society in March 2000. Under his stewardship, the magazine has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards, won more than 60 Lowell Thomas Awards for best travel writing (it has been named best magazine eight of his 11 years and this year won as best magazine and best website), and eight Folio Awards for Best Travel Magazine. As a tip of the hat to new media, TRAVELER has won an iTunes People’s Choice Award for Best Podcast of 2006, for which Bellows wrote two scripts. Its “Intelligent Travel” won a 2007 Travvie and a 2009 Lonely Planet Award as best travel blog.

Keith has lived in Scotland among many other destinations. He began his speech by addressing that his readers are our customers. And put forward the idea of “Nurturing the future” (we have to pass or comfort zone every day). Some of the facts he introduced:
  • 35 % of US congress men have no passport, no data on US inhabitants.
He believes that travelling can be a learning experience and can lead to life changing experiences opening the mind of the traveller. Travelling is true life learning, learn the needs of the people, and learn from different cultures and from the world. These learning opportunities should be targeting the kids and young people in order to learn from local and from other cultures.
  • "Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled." (Prophet Mohammed)
It’s time to teach children to travel and they will travel to learn.
There is not a great offer for children travel, mainly is included in the parents holidays. It’s time we begin to target this audience and help to develop remote regions and maintain cultural heritage while educating children about other cultures and ways of living. The Guide is essential for creating a unique experience for children.
  • If you want to know the future, ask a kindergarten teacher.
In the future we must create specific offers for children, young people and for the growing market of retirees. Identify other travelers who are growing in number and demand associated with them.
It seems necessary that we begin to focus on tourism to these new market niches. (Young and retirees):

Do you think this is a suitable strategy?

lunes, 14 de febrero de 2011

Enjoy a day with our friends the donkeys on the Shire.

Donkey Trail.

Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the donkey trails in the Shire of la Vera with an animal in danger of extinction which we must preserve.
The donkey is one of the oldest “man-companions”. In the recent past they were used for all kinds of tasks. Its qualities are innate sobriety, prudence, integrity, fortitude and calm. Remember patience and peace. The donkey is the symbol of the friendly nature.
A series of educational activities have been generated from the donkey’s world; such as observing both the natural environment and the environment they live.
Among other things, it is offered to visits to the stable, direct contact with animals as well as active participation in the feeding and care of these.
One of the joys that this wonderful animal has given us is the possibility to experience special feelings with the involvement of the whole family, from children to adults.
Remember patience and peace will accompany you on this journey through the shire of la Vera.

Luis Yanes 

miércoles, 9 de febrero de 2011

Quad Adventure in the Shire of La Vera

For motor and nature enthusiasts we have the possibility to enjoy a very entertaining Quads routes in the Shire of la Vera.
Take advantage from a unique perspective of our beautiful landscapes. Your partner, family, peer or business groups, all have a place in our quad tours through the region “Comarca de la Vera”.
We have different types of routes and durations. Say which option is the one you like and come and enjoy a wonderful natural environment and the warmth of its people. Visit the river gorges, Pyrenean oak forests, roman bridges, and traditional ways of life (Cabrera, etc ....), birds, flora, and how to use a quad to favor nature and not to destroy it (responsible).
The only condition is that you must be in possession of driver's license and enjoy!

miércoles, 26 de enero de 2011

Transformative Learning - Cooperate

In this seminar of the Adventure Travel World Summit held in Scotland we had the opportunity to listen to John Sterling of The Conservation Alliance. (http://www.conservationalliance.com/)
John has spent the past 17 years in the conservation field, and has been involved with The Conservation Alliance since 1996. The Conservation Alliance is a group of 170 outdoor industry companies that work together to protect threatened wild places throughout North America.
Outdoor Business is giving back to the outdoors: Business shares, produce of a year.
We will look at two events with 30 year difference.
In 1989, The Conservation Alliance was co-founded, by Patagonia, REI, The North Face and Kelty, to encourage other companies in the outdoor industry to give money to environmental organizations and to become more involved in environmental work
The 4 major companies came together to protect their habitats, the wild places.
In the US NGO are very important in looking for funds and making companies contribution to environmental or conservation issues.
In 2009, Obama signed 2 million acres of US as a conservative measure.
This came about after the project designed by the conservation alliance in collaboration with many private companies and local people. Individuals and companies have collaborated in this initiative, looking for areas worth protecting and the conservation alliance has been looking for the funding and putting pressure on the administration resulting in the signed by president Obama, showing the strength in numbers.