Awakening the Dreamer in Children

Pachamama Alliance • 29 September 2017

This guest News article was written by Helena Read, an Awakening the Dreamer Facilitator from Australia.


NOTE: Due to the popularity of this discussion, a Group has been formed to move the conversation forward that you can join here.


Awakening the Dreamer in Children

I am passionate about working with children. It is a life long motivation inspired by the old proverb “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will give you the man.” The simple awe and wonder of the miracle of life in human form never fails to enliven me, and seeing this awe and wonder come alive in children provides me with exceptional hope for humanity.

Since the beginning of the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, there has been a consistent yet small number of Facilitators who have adapted the Symposium for children. From Colombia to Australia, Austria to Texas, these Facilitators have generally worked in isolation, each adapting the materials to their needs, and each facing the challenges primarily on their own.

Perhaps you are a Facilitator with children of your own, a teacher, an older sibling, or a grandparent, Whoever you are, if you identify as a change agent and you are passionate about working with children then I invite you to join me in this community conversation.

I am a member of Be The Change Australia, and in 2010 I co-founded the Jump Up program, a Symposium-inspired curriculum for children ages 5 to 12.

Jump Up has been relatively successful; it was piloted in a fabulous rural primary school, was trialed using action learning and action research methodology in five schools across the state of Victoria, Australia, and won a local award for excellence in sustainable education. It has grown to include a three-day residential facilitator-training program and has recently been piloted in China.

With thanks to this program I was fortunate to Journey to the rainforest in 2012, where Quechua elders blessed the program, and to enter into a weeklong internship at the Pachamama Alliance office in San Francisco. This year, I enjoyed a week in Beijing sharing the program with an inspiring group of Facilitators. Yet, despite these steps I am daily aware of the challenges we face in working with children.

The education system itself has inherent barriers for non-teachers (such as myself and many of the facilitators engaged with Jump Up): a complex language of pedagogy, curriculum and matrix. With each school, state, and country having their own standards and nuances. 

Parents and grandparents are often isolated in their work, and rarely seem to link their work as Symposium Facilitators and their work with children.

At times it seems that every step I take is thwarted with opposition, with doubts, with hurdles, with bureaucracy, with expectations… and I know that if this is my experience, then there must be other people in this global community who have a similar experience… people like me, people like you, who are passionate, dedicated, and more than a little challenged when it comes to working with children.

So I am wondering… What motivates you to work with children?

What is your pain in working with children?

What is your vision for working with children?

And what support would you like from this online community to facilitate your work with children?

If you are interested in this conversation, leave a note below and we can schedule a time for all of us to connect.