Post from Up with People President & CEO Dale Penny:
When I left Up with People in 1995, I worked with a national youth conservation service organization (The SCA) for 17 years. Our mission was to develop young environmental leaders through stewardship of the land. College interns and high school volunteers worked to preserve and restore public lands in backcountry and urban settings.
What I came to understand was we weren’t simply conserving the land…we were really working to sustain the ecosystem of the places where we worked. An ecosystem is simply a community of mutually dependent parts — animals, plants, bacteria, soil and water– which interact to sustain life. Each part of that system is dependent upon other parts to exist. Without them it ultimately will die.
At Up with People we are working to sustain the global ecosystem which includes the interdependent community — not only the natural world but also our social structures including cities, nations, businesses, economies and political frameworks — that make up life on this fragile planet. We are all inextricably tied together. Our health, our security and our future depend upon our working together as an ecosystem…a community of mutually dependent parts.
There was a time when humans could build walls around their cities to keep the others out. Oceans and mountains could prevent others from being a threat. But technology, transportation and communication have rendered those protections obsolete…oceans, mountains, even walls won’t work anymore.
Now we simply have no choice but to learn to think and live and act as global citizens. We must find ways to honor our differences, to learn from each other, to take a chance on trusting those who are unfamiliar and to serve those in need. Because In the end, we are one ecosystem with each part dependent upon on other parts to exist. Without them we ultimately will die.
The good news is that there is a great network of nonprofit organizations (NGO’s) throughout the world that offer opportunities to help sustain this global ecosystem. One of these programs is Up with People, a global nonprofit whose mission is to empower young people to be positive change makers in their world. Over 22,000 current and former cast members from over 22 countries share the commitment to break down walls of misunderstanding and help build a more trusting, hopeful and peaceful world.
Home – no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from
We gotta understand that it’s the only one we got it’s
Home – no matter where you are, no matter where you go,
Everything you see, everywhere you look around you, you are home.
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