For those of you who aren’t yet aware of Nadine Ferris France and her team, read her latest email (below). Thanks to you and your School enrollments and tuition’s, the Work Foundation is able to make allow community leaders in Zimbabwe to attend this year’s School for The Work in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. We are able to pay for round-trip airfare, onsite hotel expenses, etc. and make it possible for these leaders to go back home and, with the help of Nadine and her team, continue their training to become Certified Facilitators of The Work. So enjoy one woman’s marvelous work for the end of suffering.
At the airport on my way home from two days in Belarus. I was invited to speak on self-stigma and HIV to a regional conference of 90 HIV positive women from Ukraine, Russian Federation and Belarus (over 10 countries were represented). Yesterday, I had a 3 hour session with the group, where I presented on self-stigma and HIV based on the Irish research on beliefs, then presented the Zimbabwe Self-stigma and The Work programme and then did The Work with the group. It was all in Russian – with an interpreter – as the majority of people only speak Russian and little to no English.
Each person filled out a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet (in Russian!) and I worked the first statement on the Worksheet with one beautiful woman while the group followed in their own work internally – “I am angry at Olga because she judged me (because of my HIV status)”.
Katie, it was mind-blowing – there are just no other words for this experience. I found the women so incredibly open to themselves and to The Work, and willing to answer the questions so fluidly – most of the women in this region have contracted HIV through drug use – so have battled drug addiction and HIV, using methods such as the 12-step programme. This region has the highest-growing HIV epidemic in the world at the moment and remains very poor – so it’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of amount of people already infected – in the next five years we will see a huge increase.
After the session I was flooded with people asking for The Work for themselves and for their own national programmes. Then in a meeting with the group of advocates that brought me to Belarus, they want their own programme on self-stigma and The Work and they want their own trained facilitators. It seems we might go the same road as we did in Zimbabwe: a 12 week self-stigma and HIV course, the School for The Work, and then the Training for Trainers so they have their own facilitators who can then give courses on self-stigma and HIV all around the region. These women are absolutely incredible, and I have no doubt will make it happen with a little support from us. They are strong, open, skilled, and highly tenacious! We will need to get one or two to the School quickly, so watch for even more scholarship applications coming soon.
Katie, this continues to explode around us in terms of demand, and I just want to keep you with us so you are aware when things are coming left and right and where they are coming from.
I am looking forward to seeing you in London, and I look forward to our time together after your book signing for me to share some of the incredible Work happening in Zimbabwe and now the Russian region it seems!
Here is one of the women I met yesterday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbucYGCIHDI
With so much love and gratitude.
PS – the materials on thework.com in Russian were SOOO USEFUL
Thank you for the update. You are tireless, and I am ready and willing to keep up with you as long as I am financially able, of course! No holding back, dearest, and it’s not easy to keep up with you as you continue to move The Work for the end of suffering in our world. What a privilege to support this path and to know you!
Always your partner in your lifelong journey to end suffering,
Local Zimbabwe facilitators with Certified Facilitators for The Work of Byron Katie: (left to right) Susan V, Nysha T*, Nadine F, Sylvia V**, and Margot D.