GAIA's Educational Way

GAIA's approach to education is formed from a passion to share and disseminate information.

We set targets to educate creatively, with an awareness for the environment and community.

Whether working with schools, community groups, companies or government offices we aim to balance the needs of the individuals with the needs of the environment. Teaching through workshops, lectures, playlets or talks of the need for individuals to take responsibility for their actions.

Our workshops and playlets intend to be inspirational. We want to educate, yes, but we believe for the long term future of the environment individuals have to be inspired from within themselves. Ultimately, we can provide information, insight and tools, but, we can not force nefarious superficial people to suddenly become caring utilitarian philanthropists.

GAIA's working environment and philosophies are founded on turning menial and mundane tasks into creative fun experiences. This philosophy is transposed to our education brief. We aim to make it fun to think green, to work creatively.

We will help to abolish fears people have of anything new.

Sister Elva
For GAIA Unlimited

A Company History

Charity Begins At Home:

Founded on ethical principles, GAIA believes, that, ethics begin with good communications and this can be done best (for us) not from the stand-point of a charity, but, as a muti-faceted organization. We are not a charitable organization by legal registration, but, we are a charitable organization by moral implications and ethical practice.

GAIA is a community and corporate education organization and business, and social campaigns lobbyist. There is a non-profit making separate entity within GAIA Unlimited designed to create awareness and change within the community and corporations effecting human rights, social justice, sustainability, ecology, animal rights and fair trade.

Legal charitable status can just as often be a cover for some corrupt and fraudulent ventures or characters. The regulations haven't seemed to curb nefarious behaviour, as such charities haven't managed to stay clear of controversy. Becoming victims of greed, fraud, and capitalism in the same way as corporate industries have.

So, legal status is not a guarantee to charitable behaviour. We believe, that, charity is a way of being, and that a corporation has as much right as a registered charity to perform and be credited with charitable acts.

"Corporate businesses have every right to be accepted as a good, clean, caring organization. We challenge you to find, just one ethical, moral or charitable ideal, that, we do not live up to. If you ignore us, maybe you should consider your own charitable, moral and ethical beliefs." GAIA's Chief Executor.


Believing Is Half The Truth:

GAIA is a reclamation organization. Trying to reclaim words and morals for correct and original usages.

We began by reclaiming the word 'Media' from the television networks and brought it back to the plural of 'Medium'. We work in many 'mediums'.

As our tag line says; 'GAIA is an independent ethical multi-media, arts and ecological educational organization (for productions, presentations, publications, performances, design, marketing and advertising) working in film, stage, promotional, publishing, lectures, installations and education'.

Our interests span film productions, stage and music performances, poetry and music publishing, fine-art, photographic and sculptural installations, educational and ecological talks, workshops and presentations, garden design and construction, graphic and film advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns.

A cottage industry-style business, with a two-tier objective policy to umbrella in-house multi-media projects and to foster external multi-media projects (be they individuals or groups).

We are in continuous pursuit of innovative low-environmental-impact creativities and high ethical and ecological standards.

GAIA’s foundations are built on ethical and ecological ideals. Its constitution has developed, and continually evolves, around the needs of the business and its members, not set rules, society’s expectations or established ways.

Unlike most organizations, GAIA is not solely considerate to human requirements. GAIA is an ecological organization. Growing out of its involvement with the world and considerate to the needs of all species of animals, flora, habitats and environments. Our approach is, that, we are here to improve upon and learn from our mentors: Improving and adapting to the changing needs of the world and introducing our own approach.

‘Green’ is not about going back to primitive life. Nor is it blind obedience to protest. It is a way of life. It is about recognising, then distinguishing, tools from necessities. Recognizing, that, cars, banks, money, computers, stereos and ilk are tools not necessities. Once one recognises this/once recognised one can, then use them accordingly. Even in a ‘green’ culture one can use modern technologies! It is simply how and why one uses them, that is relevant.

Nor is being an ethical business about dismantling capitalism. On the contrary, we strive for a fair deal for all. We want artists and craftspeople to receive as much acceptance in earning a living wage from their work as a plumber, teacher or solicitor does. To be ethical and 'green' does not mean, that, one de-values the financial rewards of creative works. We do not believe, that, artists and craftspeople are charities, in need of aid. We believe they are working people in need of a working wage.

GAIA founded its own path to follow, because there was no path ready for us to go down. But, it is an ever evolving path. Never straight. Never obvious. Never predictable. Never becoming establishment. It is an evolving path changing at every turn to weave our own way through life.

The Great Joe Bob
For GAIA Unlimited

Get A Life Dot Com: Micro-Blogg

Suddenly the world is full of 'writers'.

All writing bloggs.

Just like the world is full of 'musicians', because they can upload their songs on myspace. Or 'film-makers', because they can upload their moving pictures on youtube Just like the world is full of neuro-surgeons, because everybody has read about it on the internet!

Bla bla bla, bla blablablablab... Me me memememe me me me.

I was going to spend sometime adding to this virtual worthless, pitiful, insecure world, bestowing the virtues of using the vacuum cleaner in the correct and most efficient manner, spewing some spurious facile comment on what we are doing, or let you know which celebrity we saw shopping at S & M today...

But, you know what? We decided to live our life, instead!

Cowboy Joe
For
GAIA Unlimited

The Evolving Beings

I was brought up in a particularly usual working class mixed race multi-cultured family of immigrants, with voting aspirations of the middle-classes and educated in an ordinary state secondary school.

Despite this ordinary up-bringing and schooling, I believe, I managed to mature into an extraordinarily unconventional individual with an appetite for knowledge and self-growth.

In a recent conversation with a friend about home educating our son I was, as usual, forced to justify my position for not 'following the crowd'... I gave all the reasons that I have mentioned in the past about the restricted curriculum, the appalling teaching standards, the class sizes and pupil attention, the lack of parental input and so on... After lambasting a whole generation of children my friend, rather upset, said; "Well, my children didn't turn out so bad."

I hadn't the heart to tell him, that, his children, in fact, lacked all the basic skills and knowledge that I would have expected from an educational programme and that their reaction and interaction with the world was very much un-individual and 'programmed'. They may not have 'turned-out out so bad' but they had, in fact, turned out exactly how we would have expected.

I do feel, that, I have got to where I am now despite, not because of my schooling and family. I do not feel, that, it is an intelligent way to proceed in the hope that my son will get through schooling scarred, but not broken. It seems far better to learn from the mistakes and move on and forward. Hence, our decision to home educate.

My desire and drive to pursue this and the re-education of as many people as possible in the basic knowledge that seems evidently lacking in so many children and adults is ever stronger despite the wall of ignorance growing taller.

Fortunately, home education in our area is very high. But, if every home educated child and parent shouted from the roof tops about how much happier and brighter and content they are, maybe we can re-address the problems in our society of growing illiteracy, of the increase in a limited vocabulary, of a growing need for aggressive behaviour, of the lack of knowledge and awareness of other cultures...

If any one is to blame, it must be my parents' generation. The hippie people. The leftie, socialist pacifists with a conscience. They had the energy and the opportunity to make massive changes to our society and the infra-structure of schooling, business and government, but, they blew it! They threw it all away to become either conservatives with a small 'c' or conservatives with a capital 'C'.

Today, I cringe at the stupidity of peoples' inability to converse. Children and adults use phrases like: 'fully grown adults' (as opposed to what other type of adult?); 'very very this or that'; or 'tiny little this or that'. The lack of understanding and depth of the English language used by people of all ages now, appalls me. Not because I am some Luddite, and expects us all to speak the Queen's English... But, because I always believed, that, to evolve as a species one had to evolve as an individual and to do this one had to seek and absorb as much information as possible. The one good teacher I had at school was an English teacher who taught me that to fully express myself, and in so doing allowing me to relieve myself of any frustrations and aggression through an inability to be comprehensively understood, I would also open-up a vault of hidden words waiting to be used.

People often cite the evolution of language as an excuse for incorrect usage. Yes, there is evidence of Byron writing 'text' format letters and colloquial pronunciations and idioms. But, Byron, didn't allow himself to write his poetry in 'text' format. Just as he never held everyday conversations in his poetry format. The point about evolution of a language, colloquialisms and 'Queen's English' is, that, they all have their place. Today, my (and many others') argument is, that, the boundaries are being eroded. Text language is now entering everyday speach. E-mail language is entering legal language.

The English language is a vast, complex and intriguing language and to allow idiots to limit its usage is a crying shame. There are a wealth of words, phrases and grammatics in English, that, should excite and challenge and invite people to explore, not dumb-down.

English is not my only gripe. I am astounded at the lack of basic knowledge in biology as well. People (a lot from university education) who use phrases like: 'the animals and the humans'; or 'animals and insects,' or 'look at the spider, it's a big insect isn't it?' No! Humans are animals. Insects are animals and spiders are arthropod arachnids, not insects!

I hope, that, all home educators will take time between all the clever intellectual educational skills developments, that, they pursue with their children, and go through some basics with them too. If we are going to evolve and for our language to evolve we must first understand where we are starting from.

Jonathon Tuttle
GAIA's Ethical Consultant

Why We Want To Talk About It...

[Originally published on GAIA's MySpace Site. 12th December 2007.]

Why We Want To Talk About It...
Why are we engaged in this campaign and why do we think Depression and Asthma are taboo subjects in our society?

In The Beginning There Were Witches...
There is growing and considerable evidence, that, in the Middle-Ages people were burnt at the stake: labeled as 'Witches', when they may well have been suffering from Depression or P.M.T.. Hundreds of years on, we are not that far from the prejudices and persecutions witnessed then. After twenty years of suffering and campaigning on issues related to Depression, re-branding is the real thing that has happened: mock-caring voices; glossy colour brochures; and new terminologies to embrace the vulnerable and gullible.

Depression is as much a taboo as it it ever has been. Partly, because, on the whole, the only people talking about it, publicly, are medical personnel, psychologists and theorists. The true 'experts' - the sufferers - are still unable to make it through the BBC doors, or into the national newspapers, or onto local radio stations... Unless, of course, there is a news item, that, stigmatizes or stereo-types the sufferer.


Sit-Down, Shut-Up And Listen!...
Instead, of open discussion and confessional outings by 'ordinary' sufferers, we are invaded by an array of 'celebrity' sufferers, who misinterpret mental health terminologies on their way to popularizing it and pampering their 'media' profile, making themselves seem caring, sensitive and clever. Celebrities have made mental health 'fun', 'wacky' and 'creative'. People say ,that, they have Bi-Polar, like other people say, that, they have an iPhone!

Depression is
not 'fun', it is not glamorous, 'creative' or 'wacky'. It is about suffering, pain, anguish: and it kills!

Today, it can be easier to talk in public about Cancer or A.I.D.S, than it is about Depression. Which is why GAIA, launched their "Sit-Down, Shut--Up And Listen!" campaign in November 2006, with the support at various events of Asthma UK (Cymru) and Journeys. The main event kicked-off nine months later along the west Wales coastal path, as a member of GAIA ran the sixty-three miles length of the coastal path and swam the seven Blue Flag beaches along the way.

The former national sprinter and international sprint coach, a sufferer of Depression since his teenage years and from Asthma for four years, completed the challenge in under twelve hours, and raised £1,500 for GAIA.

Kick-Up A Fuss About Depression And Asthma!...
For 2008, GAIA, is directing its campaign to the younger demographics. Where suicide rates are still going up. Where little support systems are in place. Where few talk about either Depression or Asthma. Where some school teachers (and parents) still think children with Asthma are 'faking-it' and being 'pathetic'. Where young people with Depression are still regarded in the wider society as being 'weak' or 'lazy'.

It is time we all, as sufferers, stand-up and start bellowing from our kitchen stools to be heard. We regard this campaign as something to kick people's arses! Wake them up from their mediocre cryonic Daily Mail stupor!

At GAIA, we feel, that, it is time to break-down the myths and taboos. People should feel free to talk about Asthma and/or Depression.

While, we have been campaigning, we have met so many people who suffer from either or both conditions. People who have sponsored us; who have donated help or equipment or services to our events; local shop-keepers; executives from national companies have 'come-out' to us. People we would never have known started talking and started opening-up.

"
I remember, when I was in my twenties, I suffered from Depression for about ten years (suffering in silence) until I decided to tell my family and friends. It would have been easier if I had 'come-out' and told them, that, I was gay!" Chief Executive of GAIA.

Depression can hit anyone. It has no boundaries. It doesn't observe class, culture or gender. It has no political or religious inclinations. It can hit the factory worker just as easily as the merchant banker. But, one thing is far more clear now is, that, the young have have been left behind.

It's Cool To Talk...
GAIA's UK-wide series of gigs, fundraising and awareness event, on 30th March 2008, is designed to really kick-up some fuss about Depression and Asthma. So much talk and campaigning is directed at the 'older generation', and the young are left to die or heave-up somewhere in a lonely corner. But, it is okay to talk about Depression and Asthma. It is
not a taboo, and it doesn't mean you're not 'cool'.

We have venues in Liverpool, Cambridge, London, Cardiff and York and dozens of young bands lining-up to play for free. It is heart-warming and stirring stuff. The spirit of direct action Mother Jones and Joe Hill is still alive in many places. Young people, who should be too cool to have anything to do with this, are standing-up and wanting to be part of this campaign.

One band from Cambridge wanted to do it, writing to us:

"
...I'm in a punk band from Cambridge and we'd be more than happy to be on the line-up. I suffered from Asthma as a child, but, I somehow grew out of it. My brother, aged 26, is currently living at home and suffering from Depression and I'm sure as you know, it is not easy for him or my family. Cheers for gettin' in touch man, just give us a date and I'll tell the others. Take care."
From a member of a band in Cambridge.

Disturbingly, he also let us into a little incident he witnessed:
"
Last night, I went to see a band at a local venue in Cambridge and there was a 14 year old girl there. She wasn't drinking or doing drugs, but, the atmosphere in the gig room got quite over-heated, and when she walked out of the gig she took in a huge breath of smoke and had an Asthma attack. People looked after her and a paramedic arrived. But, then the police had to get involved as usual. The promoter of the venue was worried about one thing and that she that she was 14. So, the venue would get its license taken away because she was under-age. He didn't give a shit about the fact, that, the girl was still hyperventilating on the bench. As if it would be her fault, that, the venue let 14 year olds in because the landlord is a tight ****."
From a member of a band in Cambridge.

Another band from Liverpool have come onboard for similar reasons:
"
...Yeah, we'd love to, fundraisers are a MUST in our books. Furthermore, I have depression/bi-polar issues myself so this is something I'd love to get involved in..."
Member of a Liverpool Band.

In a further conversation, as we explained why we felt it was important, that, young people were targeted during this campaign, he wrote:
"
...It's the younger generations who suffer post from Depression, Asthma and other problems which are associated with them both (such as, Bulemia, Anorexia, Anxiety, etc.) It just seems so strange, that, so little is done considering they're big problems tight now and only getting bigger. The best anyone does is get pills which only mask certain issues, if any at all. More work needs to be done into the whole issue and it needs to be looked at much deeper..."
Member of a Liverpool Band.

So many of the bands have witness experiences or direct experience with Depression or Asthma and are all standing-up to show their young fan-base, that, 'It Is Cool To Talk' about Depression and/or Asthma. That, you can still be cool if you suffer from Depression and/or Asthma.

It is a lead that many older people should take, especially considering, that, the young have far more to lose.

Let's not allow our youth to be burnt-out before they get a chance to live.

Lord Muswell
For GAIA Unlimited