In a relationship-strengthening practice called “Circles of Empathy,” the graduating batch of grantees sat together, savoring time and space to reflect, communicate, and listen to each other.
Senior year in college may be the most challenging for many—with thesis requirements, leadership responsibilities, and daunting thoughts of life after graduation. It isn’t any different for all eight current Young Indigenous Peoples (YIP) grantees from Pamulaan Center for IP Education. Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. (Cartwheel PH) team members took time to gather them for kumustahan on September 5, 2017, encouraging them to rest and breathe awhile.
In a simple relationship-strengthening practice called “Circles of Empathy,” the graduating batch sat together, savoring time and space to reflect, communicate, and listen to each other. Beginning with a breathing and meditation exercise, they then expressed their current state of emotions. Recognizing their gathering as a safe holding space shared among all, they continued in encouraging one another through rounds of affirmation and growth. Many of them expressed gratitude in recognizing their own gifts and talents through what others saw in them.
Circles of Empathy is one of the nurturing self-care practices Cartwheel PH encourages its staff, teachers, and community workers to hold regularly. It is an integral part of THRiVE (Trauma-informed Healing and Resilience strengthening in Vulnerable Environments), an on-going initiative to integrate psychosocial approaches into the organization’s work in education and advocacy.
On September 4, 2017, Cartwheel PH renewed its shared commitment with other partner organizations as part of the National Coalition on IP Higher Education (NICHE). NICHE is a convergence of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines aimed at promoting holistic, integrated, relevant, and culture-sensitive education based on understanding and respect of indigenous peoples’ rights as key for social transformation and human development.