final let freedom ring

final let freedom ring


This December 2013, some of the world’s best popular education facilitators and activists will be coming to Britain to facilitate with Winter Activism School to share the training tools outlined below. There will be a training in London and in Glasgow. Please see the report from the ‘Let Freedom Ring’ launch in April 2013. Thanks to the Africa Centre and everyone involved for making this happen!If you’re proactive in challenging injustice in the UK – whether you’re sick at the levels sick of austeritypolice brutality and the depths of the quality of life for our people or other areas – The Glass Is Half Full and fellow educators and activists would like you to benefit from the training? Please email

Please share and sign up to The Glass Is Half Full Facebook page or email

The methods of Training for Transformation (TfT) have nourished the belly of movements for justice all over the world. Eternally-inspiring Anne Hope (co-founder of TfT along with the magnificent Sally Timmel) shared the trainings she learnt directly with Paulo Freire many years ago with the late great Steve Biko. Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement was a pivotal lifeforce in tearing down the evils of Apartheid and since then, TfT has inspired activists and communities all over the world. To mention just a few – the Centre for Human Ecology, So We Stand, Abahlali – the South African Shackdwellers Movement, Centre for Youth Resources Foundation Network (CRYfoNe), Mamelani, the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) and many more know the magic of TfT. If you’re grieving for the loss of community power at the hands of the State, inequality or oppression at large, I would thoroughly recommend TfT. Full TfT videos here.

Life and Death of Steven Biko (Full Documentary)

For the many people I speak to who want a deeper understanding of the powers of popular education, please listen to two of the most amazing activists in this universe – Cathy McCormack and Liam Kane – CLICK HERE. Share this X

Cathy McCormack, activist and author of ‘The Wee Yellow Butterfly’ has – for over quarter of a century – witnessed each and every day a ‘war without bullets’ being waged remorselessly against herself and other structurally oppressed people.

It was then that I star ted to both experience and see human suffering and hardship that I had never expected to witness in my lifetime, except perhaps in a time of war. So when all the propaganda started about the unemployed being lazy scroungers, workshy and wanting to live in a dependency culture, I realised that there was a war going on, ‘a war without bullets’. It is bad enough being forced to live in poverty without getting the blame for it.” Cathy McMorack – the War Without Bullets in Coracle – the magazine of the Iona Community.



The Training for Transformation (TfT)  Train-the-Trainer programme with 40 years of practical participative community development experience. TfT is an education programme provides activists and educators with the tools, skills and methodology to mobilise and organise self-mobilised communities to fight for justice and equality. It is part of the Grail Movement –  A Global Women’s movement challenging them to deep personal and spiritual commitment. Full TfT videos here.

Training for Transformation is based on a number of approaches to change. The core of this work is the development of critical consciousness and creativity. It was developed from Paulo Freire’s radically different approach to adult education which helped people to read their reality and write their own history, and motivates them to action that transforms their life  situation. The uniqueness of Freire’s approach challenges the traditional  educational mould. The implementation of this theory is very practical  with well trained teams analysing the macro and micro realities of each area, finding generative themes and developing programmes that aim to  develop critical consciousness and action.

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”― Paulo Freire


Using Paulo Freire’s insights of adult education at the core, we provide tools and methods for conversations to: 

  • Understand the deep psychological blocks in people who have been traumatized by poverty and war which hinders the building of trust between and among people with different interests.
  • Build a new level of leadership in development education grounded in good theory and practice to map the wealth and assets of individuals, families, organisations, communities and societies – the foundation for sustainable collaborative development.
  • Empower local communities to understand the fundamental human needs and respond to all forms of poverty and launch community development efforts for self reliance and network with other global civil society efforts.
  • Explore synergies on culture, spirituality, morality and ignite leadership conversations to share visions, but also to ensure action that has a deep and long term commitment to social justice, with a strong sense of responsibility and accountability to the communities whom they serve.
  • Deepen ecological-social and economic analysis through questioning structures and systems of power in society and the role of civil society organisations locally, nationally and internationally. This process enables participants to explore the balance between power and love and taking conversations towards examining economics, gender equality, and cosmology.
  • Use participatory adult education methods developed by Paulo Freire, Knowels, Hurton, bell hooks, Block and other practitioners to design appropriate group dynamic conversations, reflect on impact and to engage in renewed actions such as, re-visioning, strategic planning and/or organisational development.

Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them…. Liberation is like a childbirth, and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person, no longer oppressor or oppressed, but a person in the process of achieving freedom… It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire


Picture – So We Stand Summer School participants preparing for the spoken word showcase

The Winter Activism School 2013 builds on from the legacy of a programme I was involved in this year – the So We Stand Summer School 2012 – introduction to Social Justice Community Organising … which was indeed inspired by our allies in Oakland in the US – the great School of Organising Unity and LiberationIt’s early days yet but ideas from participants and facilitators involved in the School 2012 are bubbling to build and strengthen then School 2013. The community are dedicated to creative and practical action, training people to become popular educators, sharing their critical consciousness and passion for community self-defence through the power of spoken word. Please get in touch if you are interested. 

The launch of the Summer School Reclaiming the riots: legacy, representation and strategies of resistance – One Year On. Where Now? was organised with our allies at the brilliant George Padmore Institute. The 3 pillars of the School were political education and (2) skills training and (3) ‘informal organising internships’ to deepen their community organising practice from the School. Currently So We Stand are connecting all the participants with their desired facilitators to strengthen their community organising practice.

You can also hear some of the full workshop sessions from anti -racist environmental justice Southall organiser Salvinder Dhillion(anti) Joint Enterprise campaigner GloriaAjamu from Rukus and Fierce and an interview on GayDar Radio from a queer perspective building alliances and organising against oppression and much more. You can see a list of all the places we went and amazing organisers and facilitators we organised with here – as part of the ongoing internships for the participants to deepen their strength and power in community organising for social justice. From Southall to Tottenham to the high courts exposing institutional racism and police brutality the School didn’t stop! Here is the link to all the photos from Barney, who is currently doing an amazing job of collating all the footage from the School. Fundamentally a massive thanks to all involved. Check out the mammoth list of facilitators and organisational collaborators here – whether you were lucky enough to be involved in the School this year or not – if you would like inspiring organisers for social and environmental justice – you should definitely get in touch with the crew here

The Summer School was a great learning experience and the workshops were facilitated by engaging activists from different backgrounds. I have made new friends and plan to use what I have learnt to inform future action including collaborating with other participants. A huge thank you to So We Stand for letting me be a part of it!” Amy-Jo Lynch, So We Stand Summer School Participant