Dear Friends of YIP,
It is that time of year again. Ten dynamic months have flown by, and the people who arrived at the end of August as strangers are leaving each other as family. Hugs were given, tears were shed, stories were told, and laughter was spread. Experiences of all kinds took place throughout the year, and the transformation of seasons was felt by all.
I feel an immense amount of warmth reflecting on the year, knowing you have seen glimpses through this newsletter, and I am very grateful to have been able to contribute to this journey.
The next chapter begins at the end of August, full of new faces, change-makers emerging, and another cycle ahead.
Thank you all for your interest and support of YIP, and I wish you a wonderful summer in the north and a cozy winter in the south.
With love from the Hive,
In this newsletter you will find:
- Personal Initiative presentation week by Rike Altmann
- Outdoor experience by May Wyss and Kato van Goethem
- YIP14 Reflection by YIP14 and parents
- Thank you from the Organising Team
- Invitation to YIP15’s Opening Ceremony
Personal Initiative Presentation Week
After five weeks of self-designed curriculum and constantly working on our personal initiatives, we all came together for a full week of presentations. Many guests: parents, friends and locals came to hear about our projects.
It was a very intense week. Already the weekend before, you could feel the nervousness and tension in the group. But at the end, every one of us stood in front of the audience and presented the results of the last five weeks.
And wow, I don’t know where to start or how to summarize my thoughts and feelings about the presentations.
Each one was so beautiful, so honest, and so brave. I got to see completely different sides of the people I have lived with over the last nine months. There was a lot of vulnerability and a lot of very personal stories. A lot of laughter, tears, and so much more. I was so amazed by our group this week, and how everyone grew so much in the one year we spent together. To see how individual everyone is and how everyone goes through this world in a completely different way. On the other hand, I saw a piece of myself in each presentation. The things people shared often felt like someone had put my feelings, thoughts, and struggles into words. It was so interesting to see how different and similar we are at the same time.
At our Initiative Festival in March, we had a talk given by Jappe Delva. He talked about storytelling, and one sentence he said really stuck in my head: “Someone whose story you know cannot be your enemy.”
In that week of presentations, I could feel how storytelling creates connections. Hearing so much about people’s past, their deep inner stories, and where they came from created such understanding and love for everyone in the group.
Next to the presentations during the day, we also had a lot of evening programmes. In a dance performance, a theatre play, a music evening and a movie night, we could see the fruits of all the work people did the weeks before. It was a lot of fun and I felt full of admiration for the people who brought such beautiful, funny and touching things on stage.
It was just such a beautiful week, especially because it was filled not only with beautiful themes and stories but because people had so much courage to show different parts of themselves in a very honest and pure way.
I am writing this text as I sit at home a few days after the end of my YIP year. And I want to end this last newsletter article with a thank you. Thank you, YIP, for making it all possible and creating such a safe and stable space to tell these stories and give these presentations. And thank you, every single Yippie, for being in it with me, bringing so many different perspectives to the group, and making my year at YIP so special.
I miss you already, and I am soo excited to see what we will make happen in this world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
by Rike Altmann
No hours, minutes, seconds.
Time is measured by the position of the sun
and by the hunger in our stomachs.
Collecting water and wood, preparing camp
and cooking above the fire have become
Floating from one island to the next.
Bathing naked on soft water under the sunshine.
Catching fresh fish.
Howling like wolfs.
Waking up by angel voices singing.
Muscles aching from pushing all our belongings
through clear water on silver shells.
by May Wyss
YIP provides the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, in a way that helps you to grow, rather than hinders. It gives you the basic understanding of the complex realities that are happening in our world and current society. Living and learning with so many different, unique and talented people together, teaches you so many things about yourself, others, your place in the group and therefore also in society. It is a place for young and motivated people to come together, connect, exchange, create and where in the end you will have gained more questions than answers. – Marlene
To live in a community with 34 people is super challenging and exhausting. Nevertheless, I learned so many things about who I want to be, what is really important in our lives and our society. The courses felt like an alibi to make us meet each other. I learned the most within challenges that we had within our community and am really grateful about that. – Elia
This year has given us many things, challenges, joys, inside jokes and a whole lot of knowledge and new skills. Living in a community where everyone supports what the other does, even if they don’t like or know it themselves, is one of the most amazing experiences that I have had the privilege of being part of, together with 33 other people. – Christianne
I think the most beautiful thing YIP showed me is that we can actually love and work together with human beings of all kinds, not just in words or in theory but in experience. It was of course extremely challenging at many times, but the feeling of global comradeship is indescribable. – Liam
My YIP experience goes beyond words. The campus carries a sense of calmness that is hard to describe. The beauty of Sweden is all around you. And then there is the magical fjord that I swam in so many times (and I felt better afterwards every time, even when it was freezing). Being in YIP changed my mindset from being negative and depressed about the world we live in and what our role is as humans to feeling hopeful, ready and more positive. Living in such an intense form of community brings a lot of challenges and barriers to break. It was definitely not always easy and I also don’t think I wanted it to be easy. But it was so worth it. – Sara
You never know how much one can change within a year. YIP offers the chance to let you know. From keeping myself inside to opening up towards the world is possible, and I’m glad to have experienced that.
Here you need to work together with over 30 people, this is never an easy thing. In a small room, decisions need to be made by everyone – someone agrees, someone doesn’t, you can’t make everyone satisfied. That’s very common, because it’s part of the process, I’ve been through that much and truly felt that. –Kong
It was challenging, chaotic, busy and exhausting to live and work with more than 30 people from all over the world. However, I got so many skills, knowledge and love. YIP gave me something priceless and precious. I never forget this amazing experience and beautiful people. – Yoh
As the mother of one of the participants, I was able to attend the festival as well as the presentations of the internships and the personal initiatives, and all this touched me personally and helped me to look positively at the world. The Yippies here don’t live in a bubble and are encouraged in a very versatile and personal way to recognise themselves and others in the same way. I felt very welcome in an environment where it is important to be able to express yourself honestly and creatively, to listen well, to value practical things as much as spiritual ones. And even though I am at a different point in my life than these young people, I was touched very deeply and something in me has been able to heal by taking part and by simply watching and listening to the processes of the wonderful young people. – Sigrid Ceacilia Likar (Musician and Midwife)
Thank you from the Organizing Team
The human being is a bridge
Between the past
And future existence;
The present is momentary;
The moment as bridge.
Spirit turned to soul
In matter’s shell,
It comes from the past;
Soul turning to spirit
In seed encased,
It is future bound.
Grasp the future
Through what has been,
Hope for what will become
Through what is complete.
So seize what is
In what will be;
So seize what will be
In what is.
In the Opening and Closing Ceremony of YIP14 we read this verse by Rudolf Steiner.
Bridges allow places that are otherwise separated by highways, rivers, valleys, to connect. One landscape meets the other, and an exchange can happen. In a world where separation and disconnection grows, the need to build bridges becomes more pressing.
The stronger the bridge, the more people it can carry, the more storms it can weather, the greater distances it can connect. For some, bridges may be very scary to cross, for others it may be a thrilling adventure. To build a strong bridge, one needs time, creativity, collaboration.
Today there are close to 8 billion people on earth. 35 of them gathered in Ytterjärna, carrying with them unique stories, concerns and hopes for the future. Over the 10 months, these stories were shared, and through this, places, people, and moments were bridged.
YIP14 built many bridges together. Sometimes they were under the bridge, sometimes they were one of the pillars supporting others to cross the bridge, sometimes they stood on top, zooming out and getting view of the bigger picture.
Each and everyone had an essential role to play.
We have now arrived on the other side of the bridge of YIP14. All 34 crossed as proud YIP alumni ready to embark on new adventures to bridge new places, people, and moments.
We are very grateful for the time together and are excited to see what new bridges you will build!
YIP14, we wish you all the best, and perhaps our bridges will cross again.
YIP Organising Team