Once upon a time, far far away from Stockholm, there stood between the trees a large pastel house. Within its walls (and often outside of them) roamed 29 curious individuals. They had come from 17 different countries and five different continents.
Each of them came with their own gifts, talents and pasts, and with their own wishes for the year that would follow. They were full of questions and open for any new inspiration. The ten months to come were sure to challenge them and teach them, yet the future was now still a mystery. For three weeks this new community has lived together, shared meals together and spent most waking moments together, but the writing of their new story had in truth only just begun.
We are YIP10, the tenth generation that is now officially a part of the Youth Initiative Program. Though our journey has started like those that have come before – safe within beautiful Ytterjärna, Sweden – ours will venture across cities and oceans. In November, the whole community will travel to Brazil. After three months beside the sea in Picaranga, our group will split and fly to different internship locations scattered across the globe. Finally, we will return to where we are now, and so end where we begun. As in prior years, we will be sending out a monthly newsletter to inform the wider network of our adventures, processes and whereabouts. Our YIP year will be full of new faces, organisations and experiences, and it is sure to be an incredible story.
Written by Luna Stassen
Introducing YIP 10
Taking a picture with everyone present was not the easiest task so here goes two between which everyone is represented.
Back to front, left to right: Jonna (YIP9), Flor (Brazil OT), Lenie, Celina, Livia, Jaya, Mackenzie, Joshua, Annie (OT), David, Francesco, Reinoud (OT), Jakub, Rose (OT), Rembert (OT), Luana, Ella, Ro, Ilias, Leonora, Eva, Kiana, Sid, Paul, Leonard, Luna, Sophie (OT), Emi, Nico, Linus, Phyllis, Sun, Flora, Simon and Julian.
Back to front, left to right: Phyllis, Annie (OT), Ella, Livia, Jonna (YIP9), Simon-Dominique, Joshua, Sun, Leonora, David, Jaya, Francesco, Rebeca (YIP9), Ro, Jakub, Mackenzie, Reinoud (OT), Kiana, Linus, Paul, Leonard, Ilias, Eva, Emi, Lenie, Celina, Flora, Leor (open course guest), Luana, Sid, Luna, Nico, Rembert (OT), Gerard (contributor), Sophie (OT) and Simon.
First impressions of Ytterjärna
What is it that made me feel so alive that first rainy Friday in Ytterjärna?
Was it the fresh air and cool wind?
The warm welcome hugs?
The greyish beauty of the fjord with the sea’s cold embrace and the tender colours of the forest?
The honest curiosity in the eyes of everyone I see?
All of it, and more. The first two words build the core.
In the following days the wide, bright blue common room of our new home slowly fills with people, yippies, nations, cultures, ideas, questions, ideals – stories. Over playing games, baking cakes, sharing some food we brought with us, helping to move into ‘the hive’, we sidle, jump, walk, run or crawl closer, some careful and slow, others direct and immediate, everybody in their own way.
Sensing that this is a place to root, grow, there is space to stay.I still feel this, everyday.
Warmest thanks to Annie, Reinoud, Sophie, Rose, Rembert, Jonna, Flor, Rebeca and anyone else involved in making the «Welcome Home» sign at the door of Tallevana speak truth so surprisingly fast…
Written by Flora Gerber
I camped in the forest, somewhere nearby Järna. A fantasy like forest, where mushrooms grew, berries ripened and the leaves could be heard by the whispers of the wind.
The next day I arrived into what would later be introduced to us -at the opening ceremony- as “Yipland”. I walked, and as I approached I could see light colours and shapes floating in the distance. I was welcomed by joyous and peaceful smiles, that lead me to Tallevana.
I was the first to arrive. As I walked into this big building, memories of songs could be heard, pencils drawing and hearts talking. But no one was there, it was up to us, the newcomers to refill the house with inspiration, music and good sleep. My imagination and hopes for a time of growth, education, friendship and initiative wandered wildly. I had incredible visions of a time where people, young and conscious, came together, facing and living their quests, and thus becoming an active and creative part of the change sought.
One by one, at each new arrival we set to open our hearts and arms and welcome each other into this newly built family. We shared food and laughs, deep stories, walks and baths in the sea.
And it´s been so that we, 29 Yippies, have been bonding and learning for the past weeks. Such intensity! Such will from each of us and from each of the OT´s (Organizing Team).
I've been struck by the motivation, the hard work and how all this has emerged with creativity, art, openness and peace. This is real and it is happening in this very moment, for the sake of changing our perception and experience on this Earth, of this humanity, and all species and elements that we perceive. For the sake of who we truly are, and living from our hearts to that.
YIP10's journey has just begun, I see no end in sight, I see the immortality of such vital changes, that ripple throughout the world.
Written by Francesco Ercoli Serrão
A glipse into the first week…
“We are 29 adventurers, from 16 countries. We are here to create a better world.”
29 youths with passion, curiosity, and love to explore the world, have gathered in Ytterjärna in the end of August 2017, together started this 10 months learning journey. From the moment these young people met, they began to explore, to connect, and to understand each other, YIP 10 has begun.
The first week was just like a week in paradise, which I would definitely call a honeymoon week. Exploring the environment, feeling the nature from the surroundings. People sharing their knowledges and skills and wanting to learn from each other.
On our very first day, we had a walk into the lovely forest, and that is where we wrote a letter to ourselves, a reminder to the questions:
Why am I here?
How do I expect myself to be after the 10-months program?
We got to know the surrounding through answering questions about the area and accomplishing challenges in our teams. We got to know each other further by sharing further questions on our walk back to campus.
The level of sharing was as wide as the sky, and as deep as the ocean. It was a moment when time and space did not exist, and the moment when YIP 10 started shaping beautifully, shining itself to the world.
Written by Phyllis Huang
With Kiara Nagel and Molly Rose Kaufman
On the week of September 4th, we participated in the Place Making course run by Molly Rose Kaufman and Kiara Nagel. We discussed the meaning of justice, historically and practically, and explored the responsibilities associated with our power and privilege.
In the middle of the week, we travelled to a small community in Stockholm called Husby. We visited the local youth centre working to engage with youth of many diverse backgrounds. The leaders of the centre shared their histories working there, their meaning and purpose, and the functioning of their organization. Through observing this community, we saw parallels to the community organizing that Molly does in Orange, New Jersey.
As our first course, Place Making was a great opportunity to begin discovering where we each fit into the world and gain an understanding of the social justice work being done around the world. After a week of challenging conversations and deep thinking, we were even more inspired and excited to continue our YIP journey.
Written by Ro Solway
Art of Hosting Intensive
With Kajsa Balkfors and Emilia Rekestad
Monday morning was different from the usual, Oskar and Robin welcomed us at their farm to harvest carrots, coriander and tomatoes so we could conserve them for the winter.
Life at YIP starts to feel familiar as we participate in activities that fill our needs: singing, dancing, playing sports and gardening are taking many of us into new worlds. Important and fast decision making was a big struggle, but we managed to pick a country for our internships during February. The first three days of the week consisted of looking for flights and thinking about projects, then giving space to a two day Art of Hosting Intensive Training.
Kajsa and Emilia guided us through their art with fun stories and games. The Chaordic Path, the Breath, World Cafe and Visual Harvesting are in our lives now and there is no way back. The group was very inspired by the conversations around leadership and the power of questions, we had space to know each other better and find our common ground, tell our stories and practice listening to each other. We learned concepts like "co-create", "host myself" and "visualization" which we used in our Open Space conversations, hoping this will be a constant dynamic in our lives this year.
As we start to get used to each other, we get to the end of the week with a partly sunny day, eating delicious lasagna made by yippies, expecting this weekend's party to celebrate the three birthdays of the week and never getting tired of eating cake.
Written by Kiana Maldonado Muñúzuri
Above: Yip 10 Taking part in their first World Cafe together. Discussing their thoughts on the question:
What Leadership is needed in the world today?
A Challenging Week for a Fruitful Two Months
A Yippie's perspective on internship decision making.
From the first days of YIP, it was clear that this ten-month journey would be full of new challenges. One of those challenges was already introduced to us during the first week of the program, the necessity of making the decision about our internship destination.
Internships are a crucial part of YIP’s curriculum. It is the period that holds space for Yippies to be a part of ''the real world out there''. It is an important decision to make – what internship do I want to be part of?
For most of the people in the YIP 10 group it was not only an important decision to make, but a complicated and difficult one also. The broad spectrum of numerous possibilities didn’t help either. All the internship possibilities were tempting, all of them different in their own way, offering something new and totally unique. It was a slow process of research, lots of talks and communications until the choice started becoming clearer – gaining more specific and concrete shape. The time pressure, because of the price of flight tickets only added to the severity of the process of decision making. Most of us felt like we didn't have enough space to gain the information needed to make the final choice. It was a lot of pressure indeed. The clock was ticking, the time slowly passed. It was the time to make the call.
In the end, at last, most of us were able to make a concrete decision on time and most of us seem happy with the results, which is the most important thing.
So, during the month of February, twenty-nine yippies will travel around the world once again. They will visit Nepal, Los Angeles, Spain, Egypt and The Philippines, where they will try to take initiative and make a difference during their stay. Once again, new places, new spaces and new challenges.
Written by Jakub Hrbáň
A new and exciting space for YIP
What is the Hive, you may be asking yourself. The Hive is the new name given to the beautiful new YIP space. YIP's classroom, office and chill out space have moved from the Vita Huset to the Old Library building, still on the Ytterjärna campus . Some of you may remember this space as the SOFIA and BERAS offices.
On the bottom floor you will find the YIP office, a spacious room which will soon be made cosy with a set of sofas and tea making facilities. Of course there are also desks, workplaces, laptops, folders- all the usual office equipment.
The first floor has become the classroom, the chairs positioned in a (nearly) perfect circle are a prophesised feature.The second floor is mainly thought out as a workspace for the Yippies as well as a hang-out space, it is designed more like a balcony which looks down to the classroom. I'm now sitting here working on this very newsletter while still being able to hear the morning course.
Thank you to everyone who helped move from the Vita Huset to the Hive!
A Team Update
Proudly Presenting the YIP 10 team for the first period in Sweden…
Back to front, left to right: Reinoud Meijer, Rose Nekvapil, Rembert Biemond, Jonna-Marie Konig, Sophie Vroljik, Annie Meijer and Rebeca Lopez Walker.
And of course a big Thank-You to Ilias de Quidt, Phyllis Huang and Rose Nekvapil for the beautiful photos.
Until next month!