Applications for the India Ripple Academy Learning Lab are still open and the deadline to apply is July 31st. The Learning Lab is a 2-month program that will launch in Rishikesh, India with a training intensive from September 14-16, 2018.
The Ripple Academy Learning Lab is a unique opportunity for women environmental leaders in India to strengthen their work, increase their impact, and gain deeper access to the movement of regional women leaders transforming environmental crises into solutions.
We’ve set sail for the next chapter! This Fall, thirty women from throughout India will gather in Rishikesh, India to kick off the Ripple Academy. Along with our partner, URI, and our global design team, we’ve developed the first in a series of Ripple Academy “Learning Labs” in different regions — 2-month programming that includes a 3-day workshop and an interactive online training. The Lab will support women leaders to strengthen their grassroots environmental initiatives, increasing the impact of their vital solutions.
The Ripple Academy scales the success of WEA’s model — developed over more than a decade of supporting grassroots women environmental leaders — by guiding multiple cohorts of women leaders through year-long WEA trainings that equip them with skills, tools, and resources to scale income-generating environmental projects.
With ongoing mentorship and global visibility, they will transform the impact of their initiatives alongside aligned leaders — exponentially advancing regional environmental solutions and influencing global environmental goals.
In early September, 30 women environmental leaders from throughout India began their journey with WEA and URI’sRipple Academy. Join us in Rishikesh and meet these leaders as we began sharing knowledge, skills and growing their networks for support and action.
For the last 6 months, WEA and United Religions Initiative have worked together to develop a framework and launch this innovative new partnership, and we couldn’t be more excited to be working together to support more women around the world than ever before!
This holistic training program merges the very best of our organizational models, integrating leadership, conflict resolution, and peace-building with action-oriented skills and tools for on-the-ground impact. By combining WEA’s capacity-building training model with URI’s vast network of women’s circles around the world, thousands more will be reached and provided with the skills and tools necessary to spark lasting change.
For WEA and URI, this partnership has been like finding a long-lost sibling. As URI Executive Director Rev. Victor Kazanjian explains, our organizations share a “deep-rooted connection to the empowerment of grassroots people.” WEA and URI are both organizations deeply invested in listening rather than telling. We share the core understanding that the wisdom necessary for communities to create change already exists within those communities.
After years of arriving at the same conclusions – that environmental protection and women’s empowerment are essential precursors to developing stable and thriving communities worldwide – our organizations have chosen to link efforts to develop a unified strategy that will create a greater impact than either organization could achieve on its own.
For URI, this comes from years of understanding the nature of patriarchal religions, shares Victor. URI has worked in over 97 countries worldwide, and has seen that women are often the most effective grassroots leaders in their communities, despite the structural and societal limitations they face. This experience has strengthened URI’s commitment to working with and supporting women’s leadership networks. Women are getting the work done!
“What we know is this,” Victor says. “Where women thrive, communities thrive.” WEA obviously could not agree more!
The Ripple Academy is not about outside experts telling communities what is needed. This innovative partnership will provide training to women grassroots change-makers so they have the skills they need to affirm their own visions for their communities.
“We are both light framed organizations,” Victor explains, “we are not organizations looking to build a big center that dictates what should be done. We’re not a development agency. We push resources out into communities to women so they can create change in their own communities.”
URI and WEA come together at a critical time – when efforts to build bridges across nations, learn from each other, and activate people power are needed more than ever. Our partnership enables both organizations to reach deeper and wider, catalyzing a global ripple effect that begins in our communities. The time is now.