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Pamela Haines, Philadelphia, PA (English)

Pamela HainesI live in a big house with my husband, our grown foster son and friends. Our two other sons are grown, and our house has always been a place where people from all over can come and stay for several weeks, months or years. I work in early childhood, building leadership and community among childcare workers and trying to bring more resources into the early childhood system.  I also help run a family center and teach co-counseling.

I work hard to keep free of the addiction of consumption that otherwise has a great influence in this age.  I am writing and leading groups and looking for other ways of calling people in the US to challenge an economic system based on greed and growth, and to free ourselves from the addiction to consumption.   I am starting a “circle of conscience” in my Quaker congregation to support people in listening for the voice of conscience and acting on it.Pamela Haines in Uganda

To better my community, I work with early childhood workers, building leadership and support networks to help people advocate for their needs. I connect city people to the beauty of the earth by public gardening projects. I support a community center in a poor part of the city.

The ways I build peace are that I share listening time with my husband regularly. I listen to others. I help parents understand, listen to and play with their children. I teach the skills of co-counseling, and support a group of leaders to grow a co-counseling community. I invite people to feel connected to people and projects in other parts of the world where I have made personal connections; for instance I clerk the spiritual companions group for Nadine Hoover to support her in building friendships with people in Indonesia.

Pamela Haines in the KitchenI have close friends in North Uganda, who are trying to rebuild peace in their community after over twenty years of civil war. I am grateful I can support them in this struggle.  We listen to one another, laugh, share food and seek ways to support the children. In this photograph I am with some of my friends at the UNIFAT School in Gulu, Northern Uganda.

I am grateful for the chance to get to know new friends in Indonesia through the Indonesia Initiative of Friends Peace Teams. What I look for in a friend is:

What gives life meaning and hope are all the people around the world who want to be friends, work for change, live simply, notice what makes us hopeful and share that widely.

Jan 2011