Community seeks to encourage African value of ubuntu in Homer

March 2, 2018 - garden totes

Alaska has a repute for attracting and fostering eccentric types: dreamers, free-thinkers and do-it-yourself-ers. Homer, a tiny encampment where this limit suggestion converges with entrepreneurial artists, combines this creativity with a abounding healthy resources; ideals can simply take reason in minds and hearts. Exactly that is function with Homer Ubuntu: a grassroots encampment organisation that has recently formed.

The organisation is formed on a truth of “ubuntu,” a artistic approach to consider about regulating a common resources of community. Ubuntu is a wily judgment to pin down, carrying mixed and multifaceted meanings. A word creatively from South Africa meaning, roughly, “there is no me though you,” or “I am, given of you,” it means that any of us is inextricably firm adult in another. Rooted in communal, common societies of Africa, a suspicion means to consolidate an heated open-heartedness, to see yourself as one partial of a common community.

The group’s initial devise is to finish encampment greenhouses, gardens and a base cellar. Brainchild of internal Homer residents Shawn Zuke and Anita Christie, Homer Ubuntu began as a tiny organisation from a Nomad Shelter yurt encampment on Bear Creek Drive, and has given stretched to 20 encampment members. The prophesy is simple: to exercise beliefs of ubuntu to assistance a community, exchanging skills and regulating a common trust in any other — eccentric people entrance together. Members will be means to minister 3 hours of work a week in sell for entrance to a encampment profits. Plans are in a works for a song and recovering humanities festival. Currently in a commencement stages, a organisation meets weekly for a potluck to plead devise ideas and finish a goal matter formed on a truth of ubuntu.

The judgment of Ubuntu became popularized in a West mostly by the papers of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, activists and leaders of a anti-apartheid transformation who took a installed judgment and unsentimental a definition to pierce assent and redemption to a divided South Africa and who won Nobel Peace Prizes for this work.

“Ubuntu is really formidable to describe into a Western language,” Tutu wrote in his 1999 book, “No Future Without Forgiveness.” “It speaks of a really hint of being human. When we wish to give high regard to someone we say, ‘Yu, u nobunto;’ ‘Hey so-and-so has ubuntu.’ Then we are generous, we are hospitable, we are accessible and caring and compassionate. You share what we have. It is to say, ‘My amiability is inextricably firm adult in yours.’ We go in a gold of life.”

The judgment became renouned in a unsentimental approach when Michael Tellinger published “Ubuntu Contributionism.” It seems to ask, if we are all a same, because do some of us have so little? The suspicion is to change a concentration from income onto a people themselves, unlocking a appetite of a people’s creativity and skills, and requesting them to any other.

From contributionism arises a unsentimental focus of “One Small Town”: we make changes on a really tiny scale, in one tiny town, where, ideally, any encampment member chooses either or not to minister 3 hours of their labor a week in sell for use of a finished encampment devise they helped create. They select to share their skills, dedicating themselves a few hours a week to offer their skill-set.

In a first tiny city found on a contributionism model, North Frontenac, Ontario, a mayor implemented a year turn hothouse nautical food-production trickery that provides practice and food for those who contribute. Community volunteers make a choice on either they wish to minister and means a program.

Other cities have had success implementing identical concepts: Seattle has a tool-sharing library, open city garden plots, respect complement farmers marketplace stands, and open classes where people can offer their trust for a favoured fee.

They are tiny changes, though ideally they have a sputter effect. From one tiny project, to one tiny village, to one tiny town. It is, in essence, elucidate internal problems on a tiny scale regulating a skills of a people. It’s partial of an maturation new appetite structure, one in that internal actors are creation decisions that enhance external from their towns and cities. The suspicion is if people can have a healthy internal community, it has a sputter outcome outwards towards a tellurian community.

For Christie and Zuke, a reason to start a organisation like ubuntu in Homer was timing; with a stream leaders a time for grassroots was now.

“Nowadays there can be this feeling of hopelessness, a feeling like we have no outcome on a world,” Zuke said. “Politics are so divisive that it’s easy to be reactive. we want, instead of entrance from a place of reactiveness, to be proactive. With ubuntu, only going to weekly meetings shifted my notice on reality. It done me comprehend a appetite of community, in formulating a together existence that by a appetite of a people can emanate change.”

The organisation is new and is receptive to new ideas, though all core around building a self- nutritious community. To fundraise for a start-up garden, members are creation record totes from upcycled DuraLast element that would differently go to waste; an superb resolution to a singly Alaskan need. In a full loop, they put a increase directly behind into a start-up garden. Being aware of waste, and incorporating sustainability into systems is partial of a truth of ubuntu.

One aspect is simply encampment members assisting any other out. Another peculiarity of ubuntu is meditative about any member of a community, and how to accommodate their needs.

“When my mom indispensable to move, it helped promote a hint of a idea,” Zuke said. “We thought, lets do it ubuntu style! With 9 people, we changed my mom in 3 hours. Plus, it was a blast!”

“Homer has a large comparison population, roughly 50 percent. These are a elders,” Christie said. “A lot of them don’t have a approach to get around town. Ubuntu could proffer 3 hours a week to give them rides around town, or offer cab vouchers.”

Homer residents are fasten for several reasons: Angie Shrieir, owners of Love Your Guts Cuisine, assimilated to bond with others who “are looking to flower not only survive,” she said.

“It seems to be that many of us in Homer feel a enterprise to have a deeper tie with life and with any other, seeking like-minded, constant tribes to support one another along this life journey,” Shrieir said. “So many of us are only buzzing by life. we trust we can bond with a tribes to co-create abounding fulfilling lives. Ubuntu seems to be in fixing with that vision.”

By mixing locally, members are fasten a tellurian network of Ubuntu groups, mixing internal movement with a incomparable network of resources and contacts. During one assembly in Dec 2017, from a dark of a yurt encampment in Homer, a organisation connected around webcast with a owner of Peace School, an choice propagandize in Canada, and interviewed a lady who started it. Ubuntu is even removing into Airbnb. There is a Airbnb ubuntu network that members can join. Utilizing a trust of sister cities, ubuntu aims to be tellurian — joining like minds and exchanging solutions from segment to region.

Ideas identical to ubuntu competence have played a chronological purpose in tillage communities, where everybody pitched in to lift a stick barn, or grocer hogs, or come together to applaud a harvest. Now, one can still see vestiges during farmers markets where vendors trade broccoli for apple pie, and potato cakes for garlic braids. Community common cultivation is renouned in tillage towns.

Now, it’s independence, individuality and confidence that are seen as enviable informative values. Yet there competence be value in reinstating these encampment bonds, as Boyd Vardy put it in his TED speak on ubuntu, “to comprehend from a inside that a possess good being is deeply tied to a good being of others.” This could be as elementary as determining to buy furnish from internal farmers instead of from a grocery store, going out of your approach to buy half a sow from a grocer from your encampment — creation local, unwavering choices that illuminate outwards; internal solutions for internal problems.

From Sir Francis, who, in 1600s Europe, penned “Utopia,” his book of a prophesy of a some-more equal multitude underneath a king, and was subsequently beheaded for his radical prophesy of an egalitarian Gothic kingdom, all a approach adult to a Barefooters of Homer itself, there have always been groups mixing on a fringes of a mainstream, proposing alternatives. The reason an ubuntu organisation competence mount out could be a distorted quality; it giveaway floats by time and opposite situations, with a mixed meanings and uses. At a heart, it is only simply a approach of observation oneself in propinquity to others. It can be unsentimental to other people, to animals, to healthy resources and even to oneself. Ubuntu has even been suggested as a approach to pierce brazen joined on meridian change.

Thinking of all of a ways all is bundled together; people, a furry, feathered friends, a rivers and a watersheds comparison — if all is inextricably linked, a health of a whole depends on a health of a parts. Incorporating these concepts could have a large outcome on decisions done for a destiny of renewable appetite and agriculture. Instead of creation prolonged tenure decisions for brief tenure gain, requesting ubuntu, and gripping in mind how it will impact a children and a world 7 generations down a line, could be a approach to go. In Homer, this organisation wants to pierce ubuntu home.

Want to learn more? They devise to be in full pitch by summer, and are seeking members, insight, devise ideas and contributions. To join, they ask that those meddlesome watch a “One Small Town” video online to familiarize. Email ubuntualaska@gmail.com or revisit a Homer Ubuntu Alaska Facebook Page.

Jennifer Tarnaki is a freelance author vital in Homer.

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