News from YIP: April 2024

Landing back on Campus and in the Community

Dear friends of YIP,

We hope this newsletter finds you well,
 During the first weeks after the Yippies returned from their internships, the leaves on the trees became bigger and bigger. Also, the reeds next to the ponds started to shoot, and they are growing quickly upwards towards the sun. In the beginning of the month, we had some nice and warmer days when it was just such a great pleasure to be outside, but these beautiful days soon turned into gray winter weather again. We welcomed the rain after a long time, and then the snow came back for, hopefully, a last taste of its beauty. Now we’re all ready for the spring to really burst open, to re-aliven the environment with all its biodiversity, and to receive the sun’s warmth and energy. In the first week, the Yippies reflected on their internship experiences and shared them with each other. Also, their Personal Initiative was reawakened, and they looked ahead to the Self Designed Curriculum. The week after, we welcomed Paul Matthews, who took the Yippies on a journey of Poetry and Creative Writing. At the end of the month, we started our gardening week with Thomas Lüthi who talked about the life processes of seeds, leaves and plants… In the afternoons we started to work in the YIP garden behind Tallevana, where we were lucky to have sunny but cold weather. Written by Yander Fabri 
In this newsletter you will find: – Internship Monte Azul (Brazil) written by Jasmine Pan– Internship Sinal Do Vale (Brazil) written by Tsu-En Chiang and Li Künne– Internship Review and Kickstart Self Designed Curriculum written by Amy Fowler– Creative Writing written by Enza Blosseville and Tsue-En Chiang– Creative Writing Exercise written by Tsue-En Chiang– Gardening Week written by Roseanna Holbrook– Messages from YIP- YIP-Alumni Project: Training as Flow Game Facilitator written by Soetkin Galle (YIP15 alumna)
Photo by Yander Fabri

Internship: Monte Azul


Photos by Jasmine Pan

Monte Azul lies on the outskirts of the city São Paulo – a city where modern skyscrapers contrast the chaotic, colorful houses of the less advantaged communities. The organization started back in the 80s with a simple question: some children from a nearby slum asked the founder when they knocked on her door: What do you have to give me? Today, Monte Azul has developed into a big social organization with two main areas, Monte Azul and Horizonte Azul, where many different projects take place in an effort to create community and better the lives of those who live in the neighborhood. We were placed in Horizonte Azul, which is located further from the city center and closer to nature. In Horizonte Azul, there is currently a Waldorf school, an after-school program, a kindergarten, and a biodynamic garden.

Every morning, we walk for ten minutes—down and then up a hill—to the campus. With a smile, a wave and a “have a good day,” the two of us part (little ones). Every day in preschool is full of unpredictable surprises as well as sweet little moments with the children. One of my treasured moments is when a chubby little boy ran up to greet me with a hug as I came into the classroom in the morning.

On Thursdays, I also spend the day working in the biodynamic garden, where they plant vegetables to be used in the school kitchen. With four types of bananas, avocados bigger than my palm, and numerous other fruits, the garden is not only a fruit heaven for me, but also a place for the people in the community to come and work with or just be in the beautiful nature.

Besides working, I also explored the city center of São Paulo on weekends, learned how to make the famous Brazilian Feijoada (Brazilian black bean dish), met amazing people and even had the chance to visit an indigenous community.

As Easter approaches, teachers in the preschool have been busy preparing for a puppet show and presents for the children. It also means that our internship is coming to an end. It’s almost time to say goodbye to this beautiful place. My time here has been amazing and enriching. My heart is filled with gratitude for all the wonderful people I’ve come to meet and the unforgettable experiences I’ve had.

Written by Jasmine Pan

Photos by Jasmine Pan

Internship: Sinal do Vale


Photos by Tsu-En Chiang

In the lush jungle, 50 km from the heart of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sinal do Vale is a place to regenerate ecosystems, communities, and individuals through learning experiences and inspiring relationships. This is my fourth week of being at Sinal, and each morning greets me with the symphony of birdsong and the chatter of insects. Surrounded by lush greenery and basking in the warm sunlight, the air is thick with moisture, nurturing a variety of plant and animal species, many of which I have never seen before. In the garden, corn stalks that barely reached my height just three weeks ago now tower over me, bearing plenty of corn. Life at Sinal moves in rhythm with nature, always changing and captivating.

Our days are filled with different activities, from helping with planting trees to caring for seedlings in the nursery. Through the Oasis Game methodology, we have connected with the local community, gathering their dreams and fostering a sense of belonging. Hosting a Talent Show with them has allowed us to make deeper connections with locals and bring the community together through shared experiences. Additionally, we have worked with students from the Favela, doing pottery and painting tiles, preparing them for future art projects.

Right now, we are improving the recycling station to make it look nicer and more welcoming. We are using recycled materials and natural resources to give it a fresh look and make it a place where everyone wants to hang out.

Additionally, we’re living in Casa dos Lagos. That is a little yellow house, a 7-minute walk from the campus of Sinal do Vale. If you walk outside the house, you stand next to a little lake and a banana plantation. And if you look further, you only see mountains covered by jungle. That means many different shades of green wherever you look. Sometimes little monkeys are passing by, and we can sit and watch them doing their business.

Written by Tsu-En Chiang and Li Künne

Follow Sinal do Vale via: or 

Photos by Tsu-En Chiang

Internship Review and Self Designed Curriculum Kickstart

– with the Organising Team –

Photo by Yander Fabri

Our campus grounds are budding and shining with spring and as we arrive back to YIP, I feel our ideas and energies are doing the same. 

On Monday and Tuesday, we reflected and held space for each internship group to recount their time away.

With each other’s stories digesting, we looked into future initiatives. We got to hear about next year’s YIP curriculum and structure design… get excited about YIP17! 

Then, with time to re-awaken, deepen and plan, we expressed our personal initiative project ideas. Now that things bubbling inside us have been heard, it feels very real, very exciting and a little scary – let the fun begin! 

For four weeks, starting on the 29th of April, we will be living and breathing in a YIP curriculum designed by us yippies. So, on Friday we were given time to plan and discuss how things will be – on four massive calendars and, of course, with many post-it notes.

Written by Amy Fowler

Writing Creatively

– with Paul Matthews –

Photo by Yander Fabri

First of all, I have to say that this week has been one of my favourite weeks of the year. I already enjoyed poetry and playing with words, but this week made me love it even more. I felt like Paul knew how to make people feel comfortable. I think his approach worked because he made us do a lot of “silly exercises”, as he often says. They were one more creative than the other, and for me, they had the effect of an icebreaker. Because when you allow yourself to be “silly,” you allow your self-expression to happen and take more risks. And by “silly,” I mean, for example, to write poetry in a language you made up yourself.

It was amazing to see how everyone is able to create a language and make it sound like it is real and logical. I think while hearing everyone say theirs out loud, I also realized how much freedom you give to your unconscious and imagination by doing this. I liked what Ada said; it seemed like we could see more of the person through their made-up language. Paul also said, “Sometimes the soul comes out in a made-up language”. To help you understand, this is my poem:

Amel cnev coni

Buca eld coni

Salin edd du amire

Du edd salin amire

One thing I will remember are also these sentences from We also did different partnering exercises in which we had to write a poem or a story in collaboration with someone else. Sometimes it was hard for me to express myself since English is not my first language, but I am glad Paul allowed me and Ada to write some things in French. This is one of the group poems in nine words:

Exotic mysterious smells,

float towards the

infinity of


Something I will remember from this week is to relax into the “wrong” and learn to enjoy it and laugh about it. Because then you stop caring if it is good or not, and you actually write good poems when you let go of your own expectations. I think this is also a good learning for everyday life! I also think what helped the most was the joyful energy of Paul and his funny giggles, which really made the difference in the atmosphere. As well as his open heart, sincerity and vulnerability that he shared with us.

Written by Enza Blosseville

Writing Creatively: Exercise

Photo by Yander Fabri

In this creative writing exercise with Paul, we were divided into a group of 3 and chose a random object in the room. After carefully observing the object with our five senses, we each wrote about it from the perspectives of a noun, an adjective, and a verb. The perspective of a noun describes plainly the facts about the object that people can observe with their senses without adding fantasy and personal emotions. The perspective of an adjective expresses the relationship between the object and the writer. It could be a letter from the writer to the object, asking questions, revealing longing, or making confessions. Finally, the perspective of a verb is spoken from the point of view of the object, guiding readers to know how the object thinks, feels, behaves, etc.


*Writing from the perspective of a NOUN by Mika

The clock’s body is made of plastic. Its life force comes from metal that smells like pulverized chemicals; the battery is the only part that smells. The rest of the clock is muted, and its moving hands are silent. The more active hand is a darker red than that which dresses the neighboring fire alarm. The fire alarm plays a more serious role in protecting humans, but we rely on the clock far more in a day, looking to it often despite its bland, almost medical appearance. The outer body is a translucent, rough white, as if it were dipped in sand and then sanded; it feels like a bowl you could eat out of if the clock could be rid of its mechanics. It contains decades of engineering, meaning this clock is so light it would make a disappointing Frisbee.

*Writing in the perspective of an ADJECTIVE by Tsu-En

Dear Clock,

Do you have time?

I hope you don’t feel lonely hanging high up there. Actually, people love you. The girl looks at you after yawning, Paul calls you before each fika. I too, can’t help myself peeking at you and I don’t know why. I’m kind of jealous of you that you never dress up, but people just want to look at you. Such a charming presence.

Tic tac, you march, I hear you.

Your steps shudder.

I bet you must feel tired of this endless marathon of life, for no matter how far you run, you can only reach 12 and go back to 1.

My dear clock, if you have time, let’s have fika and forget about time.

*Writing in the perspective of a VERB by Enza


From IKEA Industry I come to this classroom.

I belong.

I represent what you have and can never take back.

Time of your life that forever I will track.

I look at you every day and yet my presence doesn’t scare you.

I know your habits and parts of your truths.

But oh never you will see me too.

Tic tac, I am here and now but time goes on and you always forget about my sound…

Written by Tsu-En Chiang

Photo by Yander Fabri

Gardening: Spring

-With Aleksandra Domańska and Thomas Lüthi-

Photo by Amy Fowler

Woken by a dazzling ocean of bird song that seeps and resonates through the window to your sleeping soul, it will gently guide you to the edges of your body, from where you will dissolve into yourself and rise with the day. You watch the sun’s thin blue-yellow light of spring that plays with the colors of the curtain hanging above you and wonder whether its light will hold or hide today, behind clouds that gather themselves currently out of sight. But for now, the light is enough, and you fold out of bed. Nearby rings the alarm of your roommate, who may still be sleeping. ‘Service hour’ it reads as it vibrates on repeat to ‘I will survive’.

After cleaning the home and shared spaces and preparing breakfast for the community, we all feast together on muesli with nuts, toast and jams and warm porridge with creamy yogurt. You’ll hug dear Aleksa, the beloved gardener, goodbye, and all gather in the hive for morning singing, joined by Thomas Lütti who will stay on with us and share his wonderings on the world, inviting us to wonder with him as he wonders and together weave, through observation, a picture of patterns seen in life unfurling before us.

He will give us branches he’s pruned from trees and let us play with tape and sticks until we capture, for a moment, a sense of the mother tree’s wholeness through only the positioning of one of her many limbs. It is beautiful, you think as you imagine the tree behind the scene: its green foliage, its long, curious roots, its protective yet yielding bark.

He will let you sit for hours gathered around the pressed leaves he’d gathered and brought to us with flowers, roots, shoots and stems, and let us puzzle and piece together theories to touch on potential truths of their biography. He would observe silently, as a patient parent would observe a child, letting it feel and taste and touch the world around it. We move each leaf around excitedly as you lay out a new story of evolution from leaf-bud to decaying generations. You feel the energy that pulses through you, the energy to discover, uncover or maybe only observe what might be, and even that which you call truth, another will question with their own. Evolution evolves.

The morning passes peacefully, with nothing forced or imposed, and the course flows and meanders past valleys of plant roots, exploring patterns of identification, correlations between species and touching on biodynamic preparations. You sit with the other Yippies in the hive and wonder at the collective intelligence of the group. What details of great beauty can be spotted and gathered, like drops of morning rain on the leaves of old oak trees? What zest for life and living processes, what admiration and appreciation for the natural cycles and self-organizing ability of nature?

As the morning grows into midday, you start to feel the need to wiggle, the need to stand and swing and feel the soil beneath your feet. Your skin longs silently for the outside air. Each cell is awaiting the embrace of the breeze, the kissing sun, the warm smell of earth and plant matter. Soon again, you will be wrapped in the ocean of birdsong- it will seep through your skin (a window that allows your inner being to experience, touch and be changed by the outside world) and resonate with your soul.

Together, you stand with the Yippies and together, with loving, curious hands, you move to touch the soil that is alive and creates life.

Written by Roseanna Holbrook

Message from YIP

Apply now for YIP17

Far too soon, YIP16 is coming to an end, which means we will have a whole new generation of YIP alumni in the YIP network and the campus will become the home base for the new Yippies of YIP17. YIP16 started enthusiastically creating some outreach videos! This month, they took advantage of the precious rays of sunlight after a gardening session to shoot some joyful shots. 

Apply now for YIP17 before the second application deadline on June 15, 2024. If you need a visa to come to YIP, we recommend you apply as soon as possible to allow time for the visa to be processed.

For questions, email or visit our website: 

New Team Member

We are so happy that Kaya, a YIP15 alumna, will come and support the team and the Yippies as a voluntary co-worker during the final stages of the YIP16 program. She is bringing a lot of warm and joyful energy, which will be needed to end this YIP year in a good way!

A little bit about Kaya:

“I lived most of my life in a city called Freiburg, in the south of Germany. Here, I grew up in a sustainable ecological neighborhood with access to nature and a lot of freedom for kids and young adults. I loved going for walks with dogs and for small adventures with friends whenever there was time outside of school.

After graduating from school in 2020 I went for work and travel in Europe and met the joy of working, living and learning together with other young people.

Coming back home from the travel brought up a lot of questions in me and after struggling to find my way back to life I decided to go to YIP in 2022.

Being part of YIP15 was a rich and important experience for me. It brought back my orientation and a lot of new inspirations, as well as many important connections. A lot of the experiences are still part of my life, which is why I decided to come back to Ytterjärna for the last two months of YIP16 to work and help as a volunteer.

It warms my heart and motivates me a lot to see a group of young people going through similar, surprises, struggles and growth as I did last year. I think especially the last two months of YIP can be a very important time for the participants. Full of life and energy, but also shaped by the approaching end and some uncertainty about the future. I want to support the Yippies as much as I can during this period!

I am very curious what it will be like to work at YIP as a volunteer instead of being a participant. It makes me feel excited to take on more responsibility and actively engage in my tasks and, through that, with the group of Yippies. Learning more about the organizational side of a program like YIP can give me a lot of valuable insight, I believe, and help me develop my organizing skills and capacities.”

YIP Alumni Project: Training as a Flow Game Facilitator

YIP is a social entrepreneurship program, and each year the alumni network expands and a lot of projects are worked on. We are curious to see what these projects are that YIP alumni are working on, so we decided to include each month an article written by an alumnus in which they can explain their work and experience.

This month we hear from Soetkin (YIP 15 alumna) about her experience to be trained as a Flow Game facilitator.

Photo by James Ede

In March, me and Nell (YIP 15) went to a Flow Game facilitation course in Sejs, Denmark. Flow Game is something we got to know about during our time at YIP. In a lifetime, one can have many questions, and questions are a big thing in YIP. They have potential. A lot of it. But many these days (myself included) can feel stuck with questions. We often look for a quick answer, but that doesn’t always satisfy. The Flow Game is, in essence, a tool to deepen questions, work with them and let them flow. It allows a question to unfold as something that guides you, something that is inspiring. Something that brings you closer to who you are and what you want. It can be a more direct way of letting your intuition speak or of surfacing something you might know already but have forgotten. The Flow Game is a tool in the form of a game, which makes one able to look at one’s own question from multiple perspectives. Guided by the game with wisdom from oneself and the other players (you can play alone, with others or with groups and companies). It has the ability to connect people with themselves and with others. Bring clarity to chaos.

Speaking from my own experience, it helped me clarify whether I should do YIP, and whether last year would’ve been the right time, etc. In YIP, the flow game guided me in my personal initiative with questions like, “What is my personal initiative?” and “how do I want to work on my personal initiative” and so on.

With all the above, I’m trying to say that the Flow Game is REALLY cool and just simply magical. It has been a game-changer (see what I did there? ;)) for me and for Nell too.

So we decided to follow a 3-day course, hosted by the wonderful Toke Møller, Mary-Alice Arthur and James Ede. It was a great experience, but also challenging at times. This game has been around for a few decades and has had big impacts on people’s lives. It’s not something to take lightly, but it’s something to take with the utmost respect and gratitude.

Going to Sejs in itself was an adventure. We decided to hitchhike from Leuven (Belgium) to Sejs (Denmark). The adventure of not knowing who’s going to pick you up next, the diverse people you meet along the way, and the fact that it’s usually the cheapest option are things we both like about it. When you hitchhike, you see places you didn’t plan to see. You meet people you otherwise wouldn’t. 

In the evening, we arrived at the venue, gifted with a gorgeous sunset from the hills and I felt very grateful. For Nell, for our travel adventure, for the Flow Game, and for YIP, without whom I wouldn’t have known about all of this beauty! The course was dense and satisfying. It has been long since I could bring up so much focus for such periods of time. The hours were flying by. For me, it’s a sign that it’s something important, something good. On the way back, we played a Flow Game in the train with Yeliz, whom we met during the training. At home, I’ve offered it to one friend so far, and it has been meaningful to her as well as to me. I’ve also played a solo game for myself, which I could take more out of than I expected.

I hope (and plan) to soon play more with other people so they can maybe experience the magic too. If you’re reading this and are curious for more, you can go to the website:, or reach out to me (Soetkin) or Nell. You can also look for a Flow Game host in your area (there’s a list on the website) if you want to experience what the flow game could mean to you.

With warmth from Belgium,


Written by Soetkin Galle (YIP 15 alumna)

Photo by Nell Lenoir

In the next newsletter you will find:

  • Self Designed Curriculum
  • Personal Initiatives
  • YIP Alumni Project

Newsletter composed by Yander Fabri and Naomi Richards