Tears of Delight PM of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern’s Well-Being Budget & Maori Guardianship | Friendship Bench

I am in tears of delight as I listen to the statements of the Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party, Jacinda Ardern, speaking of well-being as the measuring stick at the Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum. She speaks honestly and earnestly – brilliantly revealing to the other diplomats a lens through which to look that is not measuring the quantity of profits through the GDP, but the quality of life and well-being of the people.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, politics of kindness, empathy, well-being

New Zealand politics of kindness, empathy and well-being

Among the leaders of the prohibitively expensive and exclusive Davos World Economic Forum, here is yet another example of a leader stepping outside of the dictates of the norm, to instead be a spokesperson for the quality of life. She states that numbers mean nothing, if people are homeless, if the teen suicide rate is high, if people are emotionally and physically ill. It’s another great step for humanity to have an excellent female leader with the bravery to speak the truth. She’s naturally a tremendous advocate for making changes to avert climate catastrophe.

We all know what disasters continue to strike due to industrial practices that are bent on wielding the highest profits, at the cost of health and life of human and species loss and environmental degradation.

Instead of complete lies, such as what comes from the USA present reality-show-muppet-leader, everything that she says speaks truth, conviction and dignity, from the content of her words to her tone and mannerisms. She speaks honestly, as do a number of recently elected female congresswomen in the US. Hurray for the people who are electing these women leaders throughout the world. It is great news.

Not unprecedented in her ideas, the government of Bhutan conceived of the model of Gross National Happiness as a more real measuring stick than the GDP. You can have a high GDP with great numbers, sales and profits that are off the charts…and as you focus the lens in close, you see that the Amazons and Walmarts that are employing high numbers of stressed people, have paved all of the pristine land; expanded their enterprises along with their parking lots stinking of tar and asphalt and wiped out swaths of land that are habitat to creatures who share the planet.

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index

The construction of the GNH Index includes nine domains

Psychological wellbeing
Health
Education
Time use
Cultural diversity and resilience
Good governance
Community vitality
Ecological diversity and resilience
Living standards

We no longer need an economy bent on profit, so that the computer that I’m using has to be replaced every x amount of years, because of it being built to become obsolete in that short amount of time, as the Superfund sites where the minerals are harvested or skeletons of older models of trash accumulate, to litter and poison water and air. There is absolutely a different paradigm waiting for us around the corner.

Jacinda Ardern aims to to bring the New Zealand Maori philosophy of ‘guardianship’ of the environment into politics.

nothing to fear jacinda ardern urges world leaders

nothing to fear jacinda ardern urges world leaders

weforum Prince William aka HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Labor Party leader Jacinda Ardern, Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe discuss mental health and friendship bench

weforum Prince William aka HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Labor Party leader
Jacinda Ardern, Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe discuss mental health and friendship bench

One of the panelists was Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe. He is one of a total of 12 psychiatrists in the country of Zimbabwe, to serve a population of more than 16 million. He conceived of the idea of training grandmothers to essentially – listen – and the program has been wildly successful. HE created and implemented the ‘practice’ called a Friendship Bench. He talks of the Friendship Bench in this TED talk. Grandmothers in Zimbabwe are trained in cognitive behavioral evidence based talk-therapy; empowering them with the skills to listen, show empathy and provide emotional support.

The grandmothers have actually been more effective than doctors, in treating depression, anxiety, addictions and for patients’ overall success rates.

Grandmother Jack in Zimbabwe helped to pioneer the Friendship Bench program

Grandmother Jack in Zimbabwe helped to pioneer the Friendship Bench program

Grandmother Jack was one of the first grandmothers in Zimbabwe, empowered to provide evidence-based talk therapy. She saw 256 clients whose lives were improved dramatically. She is now deceased.

The Friendship Bench has since been adopted worldwide.

It has morphed to not be simply Grandmothers, but for peers to sit with each other to listen and show their support.  Certainly it helps dramatically the people who are suffering from physical or mental illness, or addiction and emotional trauma. And most brilliantly it also empowers the person who is trained as the listener, who can provide emotional support and empathy.

The Friendship Bench looks to get peers talking to each other about depression, suicide and mental health

The Friendship Bench looks to get peers talking to each other about depression, suicide and mental health

mental illness, friendship bench london for peers to talk to each other about depression

friendship bench london for peers to talk to each other openly

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bicycle before sunflowers

bicycle before sunflowers

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COP21 Activists Sharing their Stories & Solutions to Seed the World

Snap decision to go to Paris to be among the flurry of events around the COP21 – which most people call cop as in policeman, rather than spelling out ‘see oh pee’. The actual commencement of the talks between the delegates began on the 30th of November. You can watch these live at any of the following links.
http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/           http://www.cop21paris.org/agenda
http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/meeting/8926/php/view/schedule.php

Place de la République, shoes, Nov 29

Place de la République shoes Nov 29 representing marchers

The huge anticipated March in Paris was announced by the government on the 18th of November to be cancelled due to the attacks on the 13th in Paris. The French coalition of at least 250 different activist groups http://coalitionclimat21.org/en answered this by organizing a shoe in, where at Place du la Republique’ in Paris people placed their shoes, representing that their presence in spirit for the March.An Sung Sui as well as Pope Frances expedited their shoes to place them there as well.

Aung San Suu Kyi, shoes

Aung San Suu Kyi delivered her shoes

Pope Francis, shoes, Place de la Republique

Pope Francis delivered his shoes to Place de la Republique

The photograph, compliments of a Frenchman from Lyon, who together with a group of other lawyers and judges are organizing legislation as a means to protect spaces that are ‘in between’ other countries’ ownership and property: the air, water…

10000 people form a human chain Place de la République

10000 people form a human chain Place de la République

I’m so very fortunate to be staying at the St. Christopher’s Inns which has been occupied by Place to B

Place to B, Agenda COP 21 Events, Program, Seminars, Radio...

Place to B, Agenda COP 21 Events, Program, Seminars, Radio…

which is packed with continued events and information, speakers. There are 600 people booked here representing 40 different countries and a plethora of different movements. Many of the women in my dorm room in the hostel are members of Act!onaid | ActionAid International. Women who have come from numerous countries in Africa, the director from Johannesburg, South Africa.

An Inconvenient Youth, Slater Jewell-Kemker

An Inconvenient Youth, by Slater Jewell-Kemker

Basically all the different groups here have organized meetings and methods to place themselves and their activities into the public’s eye; organizing and staging peaceful & quiet public demonstrations in the streets to inform and place their activities into the public’s awareness. http://www.globalplatforms.org/about-activista

TM Transformational Media Summit Storytellers, media professionals, changemakers

TM Transformational Media Summit Storytellers, media professionals and changemakers

I’m presently attending a workshop regarding ‘creative storytelling and how this compels people to action’. Hosted by Katherine Adams, a woman who has used her talents in many different ways, among which is the director of Goodness T.V. Reporters d’Espoire : Pour une information qui donne envied d’agir/Reporters of Hope: for information that fuels the desire to act Emotion is at the heart of creative storytelling and this is what will induce people into action. Stories that tell of innovative solutions can be shared so that these will spread all over the world. One person’s resilience and solutions can be shared. The words here among the network of people here at Place to B is talking about how the media has to change the way in the way that they transmit information. The message has to be towards the solution.

Climate Heroes, Maxime Riché, Photographer

‘Climate Heroes’ film by Maxime Riché, Project Founder, Photographer

The day has been packed with a string of events; a summit with numerous different panelists talking to an audience of bloggers, writers, journalists, entrepreneurs, designers and more – a full repertoire of very valuable information that is being extended by people who have made differences in all different arenas. They and the messages they are exchanging are about making the necessary changes to the world – economically, politically and economically, from the bottom up. I’ve only participated for one day and am quite blown away with all of the captivating information shared through workshops I’ve attended, hosted by the Place to B platform of discussions about confirming new paradigms and ways to talk about a variety of subjects. Many of the talks are in French as well as English. This evening had big enough names and a big enough crowd to use a live simultaneous translator for Naomi Klein and the climate scientist James Hansen. At different times the Place to B program brings in musicians and artists to discuss as well as perform. There are lots of creative and passionate people who really are ‘following their bliss’. There’s a plethora of stimulation and fantastic exchanges that occur when you’re among a bunch of people with a mission to use their hearts and minds to make positive changes. Many of the talks are about how to change the paradigm of how the media and art can inspire the public with messages that deliver hope. And that change – which must be imminent – can best happen from the grass routes level, as people spread among one another success stories from all over the globe that ripple into more and more communities following to create more of the same.

I will be interviewing a few different people over the next weeks to add to my blog and sit some days at the location where the delegates are continuing their 2 week climate talks.