Internation Policy Digest – Healing Seekers: Expedition Congo
CLAIRE MCCURDY 12.11.15
During this dark time of rabid gun violence and the possible rise of fascism in the United States, it is heartening to note some good news – news of people and organizations whose purpose is entirely benevolent. People who are working to document and protect endangered regions and species and to influence us all to become better stewards of the earth.
Rare people, in fact, like Amy Greeson and her organization Healing Seekers.We caught up with pharmacist, healer, educator and founder of the nonprofit organization Healing Seekers, Amy Greeson, in a phone interview on December 8, 2015 shortly before she and her Healing Seekers team were to undertake an expedition to the Congo.
Healing Seekers’ Congo Expedition for Education, scheduled for early February 2016, is its fifth. Previous explorations have been to the Amazon, Belize, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.
The purpose of this expedition is to explore and document in film this virtually unknown region of the Congo. These films will be used to develop unique educational materials which complement school curricula while also serving as a recorder of history.
Greeson and Healing Seekers hope that these materials will influence younger generations to be better stewards and protectors of the life forms, indigenous people and environments which thrive on Earth.
Why the Congo?
Greeson has noted that our world is becoming smaller and its untapped, pristine areas and indigenous people are becoming endangered treasures of history. The Congo is just such a pristine, endangered area.The Congo Expedition for Education will be to a region in the Republic of Congo which has never been explored or documented by outsiders. It will be the most intense trek the team has ever undertaken, and possibly the one with the greatest potential for risk.
Greeson will take a small team of 3 and join with 12-15 guides and porters who live in the Congo. The expedition will require great perseverance from every member, each one of whom is undergoing rigorous advance training in order to be physically fit enough to walk long distances carrying supplies and equipment.
Because the area is unmapped, it is impossible to estimate exactly how long it will take to enter into and travel within the jungle. It will be a case of “here’s your machete, hack out your path!”
The team will have to be self-sufficient, and prepared to do its own doctoring, carrying medicine and wearing boots and guards with which to combat snakes-which may fall out of the trees onto the unwary. There will be no helicopters waiting to transport them out of the country if trouble befalls. The team will be going in by foot and coming out by foot.
Congo Expedition Funding
Healing Seekers’ is seeking funding to cover some of the gear, medical supplies including anti-venoms, rental of off road vehicles, fuel and repair kits, a back-up HD camera, batteries and sound equipment, machetes, extra water filtration devices, multiple extra-large heavy duty dry bags, 2 satellite phones, solar chargers, and flights within country.
Amy Greeson pictured in Papua New Guinea. (Healing Seekers)
A GoFundMe campaign indicates that the mission of the Congo Expedition has captured the imagination, especially among local NC people and organizations.
Healing Seekers has netted the bulk of needed funding, in a strong show of local support buttressed by a generous gift from a major donor, but for those readers who wish to donate to this cause, please go to the(ir) GoFundMe (account).
What is Healing Seekers?
Healing Seekers is an all-volunteer educational resource serving the community and world as a 501(c) 3 non-profit. The organization’s mission is to provide video content material and resources for schools, educational venues and the general public about its explorations of some of the most remote areas of the world.
Healing Seekers’ treks are extensively filmed, which allows for deeply engaging educational videos and webisodes to be created. These materials complement school curricula and encompass biology, physiology, ecology, geography, social studies, religious and spiritual practices.
The organization and its educational materials promote greater awareness of indigenous cultures; encourage the preservation of the environment and its people with a particular interest in health and healing; join together with other people and groups in measures of sustainability, and collaborate with others who share its vision and mission, both locally and globally.
These explorations have made amazing discoveries – initially about the way medical treatments and therapies may arise. More broadly, they have begun to teach about the interconnectedness of life. The trek videos have helped viewers gain greater insight into other worlds and forever impact those who journey with them.
New Directions for Healing Seekers
Healing Seekers believes that a true education extends far beyond the typical classroom experience, opening hearts as well as minds. Its educational materials are deposited with one of the largest online media services and are available to over 50,000 schools in the United States alone. They are also available on the website and on YouTube.
In November 2015, Healing Seekers also signed a new contract with a distribution company, New Dimension Media, which will soon make all Healing Seekers videos available to over 100,000 public and private schools primarily in the United States. The contract was obtained via a Healing Seekers Board member, who made a direct connection to the VP of New Dimensions Media (NDM).
This collaboration between Healing Seekers and New Dimension Media (NDM) allows every Healing Seekers’video to be streamed directly into classrooms in more than 100,000 public and private schools.
Founded in 1978 by Albert Nader, New Dimension Media is the premier producer and distributor of original core curriculum media content created for K-12 classrooms. NDM programs have won over 100 of the industry’s most prestigious honors, including the CINE Golden Eagle and the Golden Apple.
Healing Seekers and Amy Greeson
In a 2012 interview, we asked Greeson what makes her work and that of Healing Seekers unique. Her answer still holds true: “I believe that my goal in life is to do good- and not just locally but globally. My life’s path is spiritual, to help others understand that the gifts of the wild save lives.”
She added: “Healing Seeker’s overall goal is to teach people about the stuff of life itself. If species are to survive, we need to understand how integral they are to our planet. We may find cures for cancer in the bark of the yew tree, but we must not sacrifice the trees themselves in order to obtain the bark, or the species will die. We need to relearn how to make a heart connection with other people and other species. We need to open our eyes and our hearts. What you love you will never destroy!”
In 2012, we asked Amy Greeson what message does Healing Seekers want to send to the world. Her response: “We have not even begun to touch the possibilities of our potential to heal..The important thing is to never stop searching, exploring, discovering, and never ever think that we know all that there is to know about anything…even ourselves.”
For more information on Amy Greeson and Healing Seekers, please click here.