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Survival stories for school children on mind and body

Most concepts are on upgrading 'health' with social business from 'outside'. This is one from 'inside'. There are many elderly in Columbia who know about how body and mind-body health works. Many people have a grandparent who knows what to do or what to say when you are in physical or mental distress. The specialists are also still around, the medicine men/women. Collecting these stories and making them available in accessible formats for primary schools/youth is very important... before it is too late.

Photo of Paul van Zoggel

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There are many elderly in Columbia who know about how body and mind-body health works. Many people have a grandparent who knows what to do or what to say when you are in physical or mental distress. The specialists are also still around, the medicine men/women.

Collecting these stories and making them available in accessible formats for primary schools/youth is very important... before it is too late.

- The wisdom on plants for the healthy/healing body
- The tales for the healthy/healing psyche
- The mixtures of oils to connect mind and body to collaborate on healing.

Why?
Young people loom to the outside 'shiny' material world and take these wisdom keepers for granted. These 3 types of stories kept people surviving for centuries, now they are starting to be forgotten, whole communities becoming completely dependent on outside 'help'.

How?
This concept s about getting the cycle of collecting, mediating, distribution going.

How do you envision this idea making money?

phase 1 : Startup : Beyond one pilot example publication, basically it does not need a financial investment, only time to listen and send the text and/or audiofile. phase 2 : After a few mobile phone ebooklets : (Digital SMS-like) micropayment for the results can turn into social business to professionalize and extend the collection of survival stories. phase 3 : After 10 stories : Making the knowledge stories available via an ipad app for people in the rest of the world who are used on paying 0.79 cent for a good (children) story. ( the simple fact local knowledge is available to the world is 'healing/healthy' for local community) phase 4 : It's possible to get ebooklets into the digital open lunchbox survival kit. (This concept is currently in development at http://www.openlunchbox.org ) Basically the idea off the Lunchbox is; "we can't change the educational system overnight to have local wisdom and brain wisdom as a school subject... Though we can reach children in their "Lunchbreaks". See FAQ on webpage for very basic explanation.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

It is planting a seed in the minds of primary school children. One pilot project, 4 'survival stories'; LOCAL : Elderly talk 1. local story of elderly wisdom keeper for physical health, power of plants. 2. local story of elderly wisdom keeper for mental health, culturally defined tale, power of local cultural/tribal mindset. GLOBAL : Brainhygenics 3. understand taking care of your brain is needed like brushing your teeth. 4. on how mind and body work together, stress and relief in basic language. These 4 stories are simply not told to children, while they should be the basics to learn about yourself and the wisdom in your local region. As said, if not collected soon, local wisdom will be lost, becoming completely depending on outside 'help'. The basics of health is understanding how your mind and body stays healthy. In school and in the system we only learn what to do when the mind or the body is broken.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

IMMATERIAL : step 1 : empowerment, 'our grandparents know stuff, modern world is in need off us, we are not a 'behind' community. step 2 : local community uprising; young people start to listen to old people. step 3 : local health wisdom is recorded, just in time before the elderly die. step 4 : communicating/collaboration within the community is taught intrinsically to children, preparing to take up other issues when older. step 5 : the seed is planted into the minds of children; communicating on existing knowledge and challenges is creating solutions. MATERIAL : step 1 : Webpage/mobile phone page is giving an identity to a locality. step 2 : example videobook for primary school children inspire 'their time spending on something is helping the whole" step 3 : web page + video booklet = igniting the classroom activity to go out and collect more stories on paper. step 4 : uploading the stories where the best are democratically turned into real booklets and videos/animations. step 5 : the online stories platform can grow with the children, as 'public health' has more these days than local medicine.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Create the first videobooklet on a powerful local plant, told by a 'grandparent'. Above you have enough info to get it going. If you are in need of a first elderly Columbian with stories, let me know. If you want to save time and energy, check out http://www.openlunchbox.org where I work on a platform to collect and publish bottomup stories children do not hear in school on mind and body health. Caldas can be a pilot project. I know 'social business' is about 'worldly' innovations, 'cathcing up' with the shiny/healthy West. At the same time the West is not so healthy anymore and there is great need of (Columbian) wisdom keepers to teach us again to live with natures hidden secrets for mental and physical wellbeing.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Paul,

I like your concept and the idea of building upon oral history and its ability to capture collective wisdom, reconnect community members and potentially provide ways to increase health. I am unsure how it can evolve into a business... but I am sure there are ways... You might want to clarify what you have in mind.
maybe there could be a way to have a museum (see for example the museum of Mayan medicine in San Sristobal de las Casas in Mexico) which could attract tourists.
cheers,

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Building on this idea of a museum, I keep thinking about the StoryCorps folks in the US http://storycorps.org/. It's been a hugely popular story collection program in America and I wonder if there's a way to learn from it to inform this concept as well? Something like this would not only pass down cultural wisdom, but it would be a wonderful intergenerational connection point. Great idea Paul!

Photo of Paul van Zoggel

Anne-Laure,

nice summary! On social business; I can very well imagine the little eco system on telling, distribution and reaching audience can be like Ashley's Storycorps. In a way it is the local/regional radio/tv/web broadcaster collaborating with a local school to collect and share stories.

The reason I put it under social business, as I believe we need to start with primary school kids. Schools are very much dictating knowledge and hoping to memorize the right things to one day get a job somewhere. In primary schools empowerment and exploration of local community is needed. Local media is there to reach beyond physical activity of a few.

Photo of Paul van Zoggel

Ashley,

yes great example! For sure to learn from their experience. You have connections with them? Elswise a good thing to contact them if we want to start this local telling ecosystem here through OPENideo

Photo of Paul van Zoggel

@ Anne-Laure,

Seems the website of museum of Mayan medicine in San Sristobal de las Casas is not online?

Connecting local media (journalist/writer/artist) with local primary school with local museum can work very well.

When these little video/e-booklets are published online, tourist agencies will link to them as these stories ad 'Caldas' value to their tourist offer.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Paul, just to answer on your last comment. I could not find the website of the museum of Mayan medicine but I visited it and it was interesting and I thought of it when I read your concept...

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Hi again Paul,
regarding the involvement of primary schools: I completely agree.
I remember a mother in my kids' school in Brooklyn who started a project of oral history with senior people in the neighborhood. Kids went to interview them. They were very interested and engaged and the people they interviewed suddenly felt acknowledged... clearly a nice idea.
al

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Ashley, thanks for your comment.
I like the storycorps concept. I saw some of them in an exhibition at the New Museum earlier this year... Indeed very much aligned with my suggestion of the concept - maybe a complement... or instead of the museum.

Photo of Paul van Zoggel

Attention between generations can solve a lot of problems anywhere I think. In the Netherlands there are daycare centers 'run' by elderly. Many benefits from all kinds of angles.

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