This morning we had a workshop to discuss whether feminism concerns only girls and women (the short answer was a resounding “no”), and we also talked about the differences between feminism and humanism. We learned that while humanism began as a branch of philosophy in the 13th century, feminism is at its core a political movement that calls directly for social change. The issues are complicated, and they raised many more questions than we could answer in a two-hour workshop, but we’ll continue to tackle them in the next many days. Continue reading
Today was another exciting, jam-packed day! We starting off with yoga, art, a volunteer project to help reforest the area, and a workshop about gender and empathy, and finished the day with an evening hike through the forest and a boat ride to see a variety of wild animals and insects. Learn a little more about these activities, below… Continue reading
Over the last decade, many ecolodges have cropped up in the Peruvian Amazon. Ecolodges should always focus on conducting research and taking actions aimed at the preservation of green areas threatened by deforestation, mining, and agriculture, but sadly, most of them exploit, rather than protect, the rainforest and its inhabitants. Continue reading
The jungle isn’t a quiet place. Although all of our 2015 Advice Project Summit fellows were safely tucked into our beds last night, our open-air rooms were filled with busy wildlife. Chirping bats swooped between the high rafters as they chased insects to eat, and opossums and other small mammals scurried along the walls. Outside, competing choirs of tree frogs sang their hearts out; each species had its own, unique voice. The red and black poison dart frogs, for example, among the most toxic animals on the planet, emitted a rising crescendo of delightful popping sounds. Continue reading
Advice Project founder, Melissa Banigan, is pleased to announce her upcoming trip to Bamenda, Cameroon. Melissa has been invited by author Marie-Claire Nabila Kuja to be a keynote speaker during the Millennium Empowerment Conference (MEC) at St. Louis University Institute in Bamenda. Her talk will be about accelerating change in youth through storytelling, and she’ll share the stage with an Ashoka Fellow, a head of a university, authors, activists, and founders of other organizations that are making a difference in the lives of Cameroonian youth. It is a real honor, and Melissa looks forward to strengthening her relationship with the Bamendan community. Continue reading
The Advice Project is just starting to publish blog posts to recap each day of our 2015 Leadership and Empowerment Summit at Inotawa Expeditions Ecolodge in the Peruvian rainforest. We’re also gearing up to publish articles and letters by the teens and women who attended the trip, and we’re actively pitching pieces to various important publications. Check back often or subscribe to our website so that you don’t miss a post or article. Some of our blog posts and articles are already posted below, so please read, comment, and share widely with your friends and family!
We want to offer a special thanks to our partner in Peru, Inotawa Expeditions, for hosting us in the rainforest, and the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Perú in Lima and the Consulado General del Perú in New York City for their assistance with obtaining visas for the three Cameroonian nationals who were such vital members of our 2015 summit. Finally, we want to offer an enormous thank you to the 34 supporters who donated via our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, and the countless individuals who gave their time, energy, and resources to ensure we could offer scholarships to girls and women from around the world so that they could attend our 2015 summit.
The Huffington Post
- Repost of DAY 3: Welcome to the Jungle – Teens Meet in Peru to Learn About Gender and Conservation
- Repost of DAY 1: Lima, Peru – Travel and Privilege: Why Is International Travel Easy for Nationals of Some Countries, But Not for Others?
Blog Posts on The Advice Project Website (day-to-day summit details):
- DAY 1: Lima, Peru A conversation about travel and privilege
- DAY 2: Lima, Peru Our first full day as a group in Lima
- DAY 3: Welcome to the Jungle Introduction to Rainforest Issues: Gold Mining, Sex Trafficking, Sacred Trees and Conservation, and “The Advice Project Summit Challenge”
- DAY 4: The “Women Problem” How the need for more diversity in journalism is countered with extreme diversity within our group
- DAY 5: Visit to AMTUSET (**With Video**) Learning about local partnerships and using the sanipanga plant to make a bright purple dye
- DAY 6: Planting Trees and Exploring Gender Yoga, art classes, reforestation, volunteering, and a boat ride at night to see the starry skies
- DAY 7: Fishing for Piranha A workshop about the differences between humanism and feminism, and a hike to Tres Chimbadas Lake to fish for piranha
Published Summit Articles/Letters by Teens and Women
Blog Posts on Edventure Project (a blog by one of our adult leaders, Jennifer Miller – it contains descriptions/photos of our adventures rather than the workshops/summit activities)
- Peruvian Amazon Day 2: Purple People
- Peruvian Amazon Day 3: The River
- Peruvian Amazon Day 4: Butterflies, Piranha, and a Birthday
- Peruvian Amazon Day 5: Rain
- Peruvian Amazon Day 6: “Inconceivable!”
Please consider making a tax exempt donation to our scholarship fund via our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, so that even more girls and women from around the world can attend future summits and workshops.
UPDATE: Ed’s body was found on August 4th near a backwoods trail west on Slate Mountain in the El Dorado National Park, and his remains have been positively identified. His family and friends are thankful to have closure, and The Advice Project wants to personally thank JetBlue for donating flights to get our team out to El Dorado to assist with the search, and also for offering tickets to a team of professional SARs from the FDNY. The article below was reposted in The Huffington Post. Continue reading
JULY 7 ~ WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
~ Introduction to Rainforest Issues: Gold Mining, Sex Trafficking, Sacred Trees and Conservation, and “The Advice Project Summit Challenge” ~
Waking up at the crack of dawn with a group of twelve teens and women isn’t an easy task, but we had a flight to catch from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, so it couldn’t be helped. Advice Project filmmaker, Courtney Webster, whipped up some breakfast sandwiches for the group at 4:30AM, and we miraculously, albeit with foggy eyes, left our hostel for the airport by 5:15. Continue reading
July 6 — WELCOME TO PERU
This morning many of our summit fellows met in person for the first time. As most of the group relaxed at the hostel or took walks tours through Lima, Melissa went with Blessing, Shneider, and Gaelle for their appointment with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to *finally* obtain their official visas. The process involved shuffling between three different government buildings, visiting a bank, and taking a taxi ride with a driver who listened to loud salsa music. The less said about all of this, the better, but needless to say, at the end of the day the visas were finally procured, and we were treated very well by the kind, patient Peruvian officials who worked at the Ministry… Success! Continue reading
JULY 5 – TRAVEL AND PRIVILEGE
Today the twelve fellows of the 2015 Advice Project Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit arrived in Lima. Peru doesn’t require Canadian and United States of America nationals to obtain visas, so the most difficult issues most of us dealt with while in transit was being forced to dump the water out of our water bottles as we walked through security, and needing to munch on less than savory airplane snack options.
It was a different story entirely for the summit participants flying from Cameroon.
Advice Project Cameroon Program Manager, Fomuso Blessing Nabila, and two teens from our class in Bamenda, Cameroon (Gaelle and Shneider), spent over 30 hours traveling due to a myriad of visa complications and problems with airline and airport officials. Continue reading