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Barefoot Nature's picture

Barefoot Nature

United KingdomBury St Edmunds, United Kingdom

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September 14, 2010

Barefoot Nature

About Me: 

I am a 43 year old single mother of two teenage mixed race girls. I am from a white working class background, and although I had a 'career' as a bilingual PA in London prior to becoming a mother; & I ran a small retail business for 4 years (with a baby at the breast & a toddler getting under my feet as I served customers!); I have been unemployed and in receipt of welfare since becoming a lone parent thirteen years ago.

I have trained as a Steiner Waldorf kindergarten teacher, and have worked in a voluntary capacity for an organisation called Forest School Camps for ten years or so. In 2004, I undertook a year's training in 'Bushcraft & Survival Skills' and won the Winston Churchill Fellowship Award which enabled me to travel to USA to spend 8 weeks in Tom Brown Jnr's Tracker School and Jon Young's Wilderness Awareness School. I managed to stretch the Award to enable me to take my daughters with me on that trip.

Since then, I have organised an annual inter-generational community camp for 150 people focussing on living in community on the land, and keeping traditional skills alive. Last year, following the death of my father, I was able to invest in a two week trip by train to Austria and Germany to study Peacemaking from the Haudenosaunee (Irooquois) tradition, again with Jon Young begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting. I was subsequently invited to California to further that training for another fortnight, and thereafter initiated an international training event in the UK, bringing a team of European & American peacemakers together to introduce British outdoor educators to the 8 Shields Wilderness Movement.

I am currently planning to hold two events next year : a women's gathering and an all-singing/all-dancing new community camp, strengthening the bonds of relationship within the generations of my community.

Despite all I have written, I remain without an income beyond Welfare, excluded from 'polite' society and I live in an exclusively white, village location, in a corner of the English countryside where a large proportion of the local population support the Armed Forces despite their sons being seduced into being cannon fodder as Cadets at the age of 13. Although racism is a dirty word nowadays, I am witness to the effects of the day to day institutionalised ignorance and racism upon my daughters as minority brown girls in an education system that continues to whitewash history.

My Passions: 
Uplifting women, connecting to nature, building community, changing culture
My Challenges: 
My gender, poverty, racism,
My Vision for the Future: 
Peace, equality, an end to patriarchy & capitalism, a return to indiginous, harmonious ways of living together on the land
My Areas of Expertise: 
children, nature, community, peacemaking, history, anthroposophy
My Languages: 
English, French, Spanish

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