Heidi Pohl, a Facilitator in Colombia, sent this letter sharing her experience organizing a Symposium for 4- and 5-year-old children. She and her fellow organizers enjoyed the challenge of adapting the material for kids, and learned a lot from the young participants.

Adapting the Symposium for a (Very) Young Audience

We are a group of certified coaches whose experience has been with companies and institutions. In our opinion, kids are the most powerful source to change paradigms, create a new way of living in this world, and understand sustainability from a more holistic view.

We chose to design a first approach to the Symposium for kids between four and five years old, which has been a great challenge and learning process for us. It’s very different to share feeling and a sense of connectedness with these little beings!

We decide to “travel” with the kids through three concepts:

  • Pachamama is our mother who is worthy of love, who is ill right now, and who needs us.
  • There is a reality in the world and we can change it, it depends on us, we can make a new design, have a new dream, and we can make it together.
  • Our heart must be central to this new dream, each of us needs to feel and give love, and have a sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves.

“We need to love Pachamama and give her many kisses.”

We discovered that this generation of little kids has a different view of the environment than we did at that age. They are already conscious about what is going on.

They know that animals are dying, that woods are disappearing, that big environmental disasters are happening, that people are suffering – and somehow they have the sense that everything is connected.

Some of the statements we heard from the kids:

  • “Everybody knows that we shouldn’t throw trash away, but some adults keep doing it again and again and again, I don’t understand why.”
  • “If we don’t help Pachamama get well again, we will have to do a lot of work.”
  • “We need to love Pachamama and give her many kisses.”
  • “Everything we have comes from Pachamama, for example, music instruments come out of trees.”
  • “We are a family and the animals and plants are our friends.”

Following the Next Generation’s Lead

It was inspiring and beautiful to join these children holding hands and singing songs as a gift for the earth, dancing outside the representation of Pachamama. There was no sense of separation and we understood that what we have to do is not to show them or explain something. We were there just to remember and decide to change the dream.

In that moment, we knew that another future is possible and it gave us hope and a lot of energy to keep working on our purpose: encouraging adults to awake from the trance and change paradigms.

Our kids are seeing it – what keeps us adults from seeing it too?