Open Up with refugees
Alive Learning Education
Launching in a pandemic
The Alive Learning Education program of Open Up is a non-profit initiative for inner development of (refugee) youth. Our aim has to do with improving the health and development of individuals and society, and create a virtuous relationship between the two.
The introduction. Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we started opening a conversation with the founder of Unidos Social Innovation Center, located in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda. Exploring the possibilities for refugee youth to experience our inner work to support their growth and healing. With months of preparation and co-creation with Unidos, we successfully launched the first six-week pilot program in March 2021 in Nakivale, which was successfully experience by youth fellow from all over the camp.
Nakivale (established in 1958) is one of the largest refugee camps in the world and stretches for 184 km2 (71 Sq miles) near the Tanzania border in Isingiro district in Southern Uganda. It's hosting more than 138.000 refugees from Burundi, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan & South Sudan.
Increasing the health and development of individuals in refugee settlements and society, and create a virtuous relationship between the two.
Decentralizing power, and developing more space for mutual learning. Stimulating changes that meet the needs of the residents and make our process a center point for restoring health and wellbeing.
Supporting youth in becoming leaders of change and developing mutually supportive relationships between people and between communities.
Open up the unseen, unfelt, and unspoken. To give voice to the future of people; make-truth-visible; making-humans-possible.
The Open Up concept has been alive since the time of Socrates, Plato, and Dante. Over the centuries it has been periodically re-expressed. We're approaching the inner state of humanity in places that have been made ill, to genuinely and generously generate insight (in-side) that can catalyze a new story. A story that can transform culture, and inform culture differently for generations to come.
To reach a movement at this scale, it must be spread far beyond the immediate reach of the Open Up initiative.
We abide faith in the human spirit, in the capacity of people to be generous, creative, compassionate and kind–no matter what.
Self-sufficiency for refugees
Refugees – more than half of whom are children, are baring life in challenging situations, driven from their homes by conflict, persecution, environmental calamity, or dire economic straits. In purpose-built refugee camps and unplanned settlements, they attempt to begin life anew.
Most of the people are still facing negative emotions, and are traumatized by their past life, which in turn causes physical and mental health issues, traumatism, fear, negative emotions, and anxiety.
The Open Up initiative allows youth to regain their own hopes long abandoned because of the struggles and pains struck in their lives, both back in their countries of origins, and in the camp. The process helps individuals to learn how to relate and deal with their inner state; deal with their fear, and aims to decrease the trauma rate in the settlement and beyond.
Re-imagine education → Alive Learning
We live in a world where we have stopped perceiving the full spectrum of who we are. We are taught to be and think a certain way. Most people live a life that is a shadow, or a small segment of the life they could be. “Around the world, the fundamentalism of formal education is so entrenched in our ways of seeing the world - that even when a crisis in education is acknowledged, it is to complain that there isn’t enough of it.
Our contemporary discourse of education silences and delegitimizes the idea that there are diverse visions, many knowledge frameworks, and many streams other than mainstream visions of what learning, knowing, sensing and being could be. There is a fundamental paradigm shift from frameworks that centralize teaching and the teacher to others that emphasize learning and learners; and, from learners as passive recipients of content to learners as active co-creators of meaning.
We act as nodes in an coorporative network, in search for the others.
We firmly believe that transformation on a global scale happens person-to-person. We view people as the resource, capable, and having the capacity to create a better future. To embody the best human qualities of insight, generosity, and compassion.
The 6 week Program
Over each course of 6 weeks, we host different groups and share a unique methodology that takes a radical approach to psychotherapeutic breathing, and shifts perceptions in thinking and feeling to allow creative explorations that can increase radical kinship.
The program is a mutual learning process and involves conscious breathing acting as gut microbiome, rich inquiry explorations and provocative, supportive and challenging 3-hour live online sessions each week, and supported guidance in between our sessions. Curiosity as a core element for discovery. Open spaces for reflective dialogue and deep listening. Experiential and experimental journeys, meditation weaving into movement, sounds, group work and embodied breathwork practices to create a shared, immersive experience.
Open Up is an intimate observation; a research inquiry; alive learning education, and practice of conscious connected breathing, that enables us to open up to new vistas within and outside of ourselves. We invite full-body intelligence in conscious breathing to make possible the release of what's taking hostage in our fear, in our joy, in our power, our connectivity, our imagination, and in our agency. As a practice Open Up generates an openness to curiosity about the inner aliveness, mysterie and reality in relation to self, other and the world. Through practice, opening up becomes an actor of attracting the goodness of health, mentally, physically and spiritually. We breathe-with, improvise-with, experiment-with, play-with, learn-with, fail-with, see-with, connect-with, be-with the world within us as the source of all solutions.
"Breathwork is the only way to let go of all pessimism and open the door to new opportunities in the current situation"
non-lineair, experiential, experimental. nothing is fixed or final
open to a research inquiry
The perspective of thought and creativity in being with the story with deepened empathy and curiosity for what is possible and true.
Developing a new human sensibility in space for complexity for meaningful and sustainable relation, and dialogue.