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Creating Circles of Compassion and Strategy document

“Every 5 Minutes a child dies as a result of violence”.  Join the transformation and create change.

 

Introduction

We need as a human family to move into greater compassion and firm resolution to reach out and join the change makers and world servers around the world in order to realize y 2030 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general, and the SDG Target #16.2 in particular, to “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children”.

WWSF proposes to you, your family and networks to consider creating community circles of compassion to discuss, learn and help implement strong prevention measures of violence against children and youth for the protection of their right to dignity and safety.

We all have a role to play and Circles of compassion can speed up the creation of a world free of violence and abuse and especially against children and youth. Join the conversation!

For those of you who are new to the power of community circles and wish to create a Circle of compassion to find your contribution towards ending violence against children and youth, we share with you the basic guidelines to help you get started.

How to create your Circle

• Invite friends and partners; create a sacred circle center - a space where you can put photos of children, flowers, candles, whatever your culture uses to celebrate a special time of relationships to focus on the needs of humanity

• Begin with a period of silent reflection

• One person speaks at a time

• Speak from the heart and from your own experience

• Listen for wisdom with compassion and with discernment instead of judgment

• Invite silence and reflection when needed, in you and in the Circle

• Take responsibility for your experience and your impact on the Circle

• Make decisions, whenever possible, by consensus

• Encourage and welcome diverse points of view

• Agree to hold the tension, instead of rushing in to fix things

• Keep the confidence of the Circle; respect the trust relationship about what is shared in the circle

• Feel free to add other guidelines should Circle members find it useful to do so

How to register you Circle

With this link you can fill out the Registration Form 

Information about guidelines and principles for creating and maintaining a circle of compassion is available upon request at wdpca(at)wwsf.ch.  Every Circle of compassion is autonomous in its function. The only request is (which is implicit when adopting the name ‘Circle of Compassion’) to respect the guidelines mentioned above, as well as the vision and the objectives, which gave birth to them – creating a world that works for all - leaving no one behind. The building of a world expressing more compassion is one of the conditions for creating more responsible societies.

For more information, visit the website Millionth Circle and how to change ourselves and the world, by Dr. Jean Bolen M. D. https://www.amazon.com/Millionth-Circle-Ourselves-World-Essential/dp/1573241768.

WWSF would appreciate learning about your participation in creating Circles of Compassion and will grant you permission to use the Logo upon request with a brief introduction of your circle. You will find information and ideas for action in our annual campaign Kit “19 Days of activism 1-19 November) on line. We will also mention your circle in our annual activity reports once we hear from you. Link: www.woman.ch

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He/she experiences him/herself, his/her thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his/her consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” - Albert Einstein


Strategy

Circles of Compassion – Strategy 

     A strategy to create a world fit for children & youth.

       Making the Sustainable Development Goal Agenda 2030

     Target # 16.2

       a reality: « End abuse, exploitation, trafficking

       and all forms of violence and torture against children ».  

 

The Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) is pleased to share with the NGO community and civil society at large the idea of creating community Circles of compassion to change the world and ourselves.

The metaphor ”the Millionth Circle” taken from Dr. Jean Bolen’s book with the same title captured our enthusiasm to inspire the growth of Circles of compassion to create a non-violent world with no one left behind.

What is a Circle?

In her book “Women Circling the Earth”, Beverly Engel offers a powerful guide to fostering community, healing and empowering. A circle is not just a gathering of people who sit in a circle on the floor or a meeting where the chairs are arranged in a circle. Circle meetings provide simple, yet powerful tools to help teach people how to communicate more honestly and openly. What we wish to promote is an alternative to box-like hierarchical structures and confining systems, which dominate today. Among other things, circles can help us to

- listen without judgment

- foster cooperation and understanding

- help implement creative solutions to problems

- bridge differences

- help settle disputes and reach consensus

- encourage reconciliation and apology, etc.

We live in a world that cultivates separateness between people. When people join together in circles, they become keenly aware that such separateness does not really exist on a deeper level. Circles help alleviate the feeling that we stand alone against the harshness and violence of modern society. They remind us that we are all one.

Circle Guidelines

Circles provide a replenishing and sanctuary place, and can be considered laboratories of grace where people can learn to relate in a way so conflicts and problems can be resolved. To participate in a circle, all you need is the desire, the willingness to attend the meetings, and agree to follow the guidelines. Each group determines their own rules but there are some universal circle guidelines that all agree to and help circle meetings to function more successfully for all participants. They include:

- Create sacred space

- One person speaks at a time (in most circles a talking piece (stone, stick or bowl is passed
   around and you speak only if you are the one holding the talking peace)

- Speak and listen from the heart

- Share leadership, resources, common vision/mission/purpose

- Offer experience instead of advice

- Judge action, not the person

- Share feelings about issues

- Take decisions by consensus

- What is shared in the circle remains in the circle (confidentiality agreement)

- Checking-in and checking-out (opening and closing the circle)

Circle meetings are excellent places for people to learn positive lessons about power. Circles rotate leadership so that each member gets a chance to experience the role of the leader. There is no hierarchy, only interactive, distributed leadership and accountability.

Create your own Circle of compassion

Invite your friends, colleagues and acquaintances and make sure to ask that people make a commitment to working within the circle to achieve the group objective. We encourage you to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Agenda 2030, and focus on SDG Target 16.2 (text mentioned above) by making it your rallying point, thereby participating in the process of achieving the UN Agenda 2030. Appeal to women and men of goodwill and to all those in power to focus on achieving the new global SDG strategy.

You may wish to add a spiritual dimension to your Circle

A prayer-meditation component in your circle connects members to each other at the soul level, deepens the group, reveals what really matters to the members, and brings spirit into the circle and through the circle into everyday life. When opening the circle, use a go-around fashion to encourage each person to share briefly what is closest to their heart and what is most important in their lives at that articular moment. To close the circle, acknowledge any situation that was discussed and in need of a remedy and have the circle give it its blessings. Close with a final go-around. It is important to provide ample time for silent prayer or contemplation for closing. Each person is free to pray in his/her own way. Circles are not intended to replace already-established religious practices.

Tell us about your Circle(s) / Circle Reports

We invite you to send a brief report on your Circle(s) of Compassion (name, place, theme and email) to WWSF - E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It is planned to monitor the spread of Circles of compassion around the world, which will be published on the WWSF website.

Acknowledgements

WWSF wishes to acknowledge all the pioneers in circle work who have helped bring this idea to the world, such as the Chakra Circle, the Circle of Seven, The Women’s International Dialogues, the Millionth Circle phenomena, Peer Spirit, Women Circling the Earth, Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture, the Visualizing Alternative structures Video campaign, and others. In addition, we honor all the wise women everywhere, young and old, who continue to gather in circles as a way to bring the spirit of community closer together in their circle of hearts.

Books on Circle formats and Circle skills

- The Millionth Circle, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen

- Women Circling the Earth: A Guide Fostering Community, Healing and Empowerment, Beverly Engel

- Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture, Christina Baldwin

- Wisdom Circles: A Guide to Self-Discovery and Community Building, Charles Garfield, Cindy Spring and Sedonia Cahill

Copyright Logo

WWSF grants the use of the Circle of Compassion logo once you have filled the Google registration Form. We thank you for your participation in creating circles of compassion to transform our world and ourselves.

Contact: For any questions, please contact us  at wdpca(at)wwsf.ch