Tine Ward

Mother's Day 2019

Mother Earth is the greatest expression of the potential for a regenerative and reparative economy. The skill of mothering is in knowing just how far you can stretch to accommodate your children’s needs before recognizing that you are beyond your limit. Humanity has indeed pushed Mother Earth to her limit, and we need to apologize and make reparations before it is too late.  

Rockflower was founded on the premise that we need a new economic paradigm – one based on the logic of mothering. You do not need to be a woman or a mother to practice the art of mothering, but you must understand and carry out it’s basic tenets. Tolerance, compassion, empathy and a nuanced approach to risk and reward. 

Rockflower works with those who weed, nurture, till and fertilize agents of change, who will reimagine a new earth, one of shared abundance and prosperity.

At the center of the Rockflower Wheel is the word “integrity”.  By focussing on this central principle of wholeness and truth, and propelling that dynamism and energy outwards for the increase and exponential reward of others, our partners engage with all five principles of trust, compassion, clarity, equality and dignity, in order to proceed through the five keys and systems to ensure the desired outcomes. 

This Mother’s Day, we would like to recognize the extraordinary work of all of our partners, for their continued resolve, patience and determination to birth a new inclusive economy. However, by choosing to highlight the appropriately named Mamas for Burundi, we honor an organization working against the backdrop of 30 years of conflict, who are continually redrawing the lines to find new ways in addressing the screaming inequity of poverty and violence. 

Mamas for Burundi shares the holistic Five Key approach of Rockflower in seeking interconnected and multi-layered approaches to ensure progress for future generations. They work on traditional approaches to education, reading and writing proficiency at grade level, whilst exploring new approaches to vocational training. They tackle the dire consequences of child marriage, unwanted pregnancies and an archaic approach to women’s health and wellbeing with modern approaches to contraception and a reassessment of rights. Above all they recognize that in order to achieve long lasting socio-economic recovery, the foundation must be the inclusion of female leadership in all civic and government positions. To develop a culture of peace and stability, women and mothers must be at the forefront of change. To address solutions to climate change, you must start by asking those most adversely affected by it – those in need of food, water and shelter for their families. 

On May 12th, 2019, and every day forward, we celebrate all who understand that it will be through the radical acceptance of the art of mothering, that we will see the practical realization of an economy that feeds and nurtures every individual human being in the knowledge that everyone deserves that kind of Mother Love. 

International Women's Day 2019

Photo by: Cristina de Vigo

Photo by: Cristina de Vigo

One of the most widely shared articles over the last few weeks has been David Brooks’ piece in The New York Times, A Nation of Weavers. He describes the climate of disintegration of the social fabric here in the US, and how to be a “weaver” rather than a “ripper”. Connection, or at least the prospect of it, is what gets most of us out of bed in the morning. 

My first thought when I read Brooks’ article was of 21 women in Astillero, Nicaragua - Las Tejedoras, which quite literally means “The Weavers”.  Rockflower was introduced to Las Tejedoras by one of our social enterprise partners, Casa Congo, whose mission is to “empower communities with skills and resources for sustainable development”. Our part has been to support these women in their vision for expansion and growth. Casa Congo works to introduce the whole community to regenerative models of conservation on offer to the rest of the world by building with bamboo, designing water and sanitation systems and protecting the natural environment.

Las Tejedoras, formed as a group 12 years ago, with the goal to recycle plastic bags and trash, weaving them into wallets, bags and other items for sale. They have since collected over 400,000 plastic bags discarded on the streets and beaches of Astillero. Their slogan, “Una Bolsa Menos, Una Tortuga Mas” translates to “One Less Bag, One More Turtle.”  

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They took what was garbage and weaved their way to a sustainable business model. But, the model centered around one key ingredient – shared intent. Knowing that in order for this to succeed, they needed to work as a team. The women didn’t try to do it alone, they did it as a group, they understood intuitively that the real value of their endeavor lay in the shared commitment, the connection. 

In a country like Nicaragua where the patriarchy is alive and well, how does a group like Las Tejedoras succeed? They quite literally “weave” – their goods, their lives, their commitment, their intent so that all benefit from the shared social fabric. Their early attempts to start this business were met with resistance from the local community, in particular the men. However through perseverance and determination, they have established themselves as successful social entrepreneurs, expanding their business to include a juice and smoothie bar which opened in December 2017

Rockflower exists to find, fund and support grassroots community-based organizations and social entrepreneurs improving the lives of women and girls all over the world. 

We operate on a philosophy of radical idealism, practically realized. Radical idealism is the catalyst to drive all other concepts, ideas and principles that define Rockflower, resulting in the practical application of funds to projects and programs. 

The United Nations' theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”. Rockflower is grateful to work with a diverse group of individuals and organizations all over world, who get up every day with this concept at the forefront of their minds. We work with extraordinary women who have defied the odds and press forward with their vision for a more just and equal world. 

Yet, in a fund devoted to improving the lives of women and girls, it is extremely encouraging to know that some of our most ardent partners and collaborators are men. The founding team of Sol, Luca, Tomaso and Nick from Casa Congo, Siddique from Community Programs Pakistan, Dancan from Jiwo Paro, Dr. Chris and Somto Ugwu from SIRP, and Twisi from Footsteps Africa to name just a few. If we are to truly “Think Equal, Build Smart and Innovate for Change”, we must do so with a truly balanced and integrated approach.

Las Tejedoras and the small fishing community of Astillero demonstrates this in ways, large and small. They work to conserve the environment and provide a future for their children. Like so many at the sharp end of climate change, they have no choice, because their lives and that of their children, quite literally depend on it. 

Women and in particular mothers understand the regenerative effect of connectivity. 

When we talk of connection and connectivity we think of sources of power and energy, electricity, the internet, off grid solar, but in fact the greatest source of connective power is the power of ideas and how that translates to our relationships with each other. We call this the Currency of Mind™.

Rockflower uses the Currency of Mind™ as the ultimate source of power and connection. This is based on the premise that the mind is the most valuable and powerful means of exchange that exists. Everything of value starts with an idea created in someone's mind. When you share an idea it increases, it expands and takes on energy – becomes currency. 

Let us celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 with respect and appreciation for this currency that will provide opportunities for every single thread of humanity to be valued in order to weave a more just and equitable world.