Herbalists Without Borders now has an Amsterdam group (they call it a Chapter, rather than a group). I will arrange a first meeting soon for anyone interested to come along to, and find out possibilities of how to get involved, in a manageable way. Herbalists without Borders is not just for herbalists. It is a collective of complementary therapists, herbalists, herb growers, herb lovers etc. The thread is that they all want to increase equity of access for herbal medicine and herbal products and complementary therapies. Some offer a discount on their prices for therapy (like me), some take part in actions (like helping refugees grow a herb garden or have access to safe herbal products), some organise regular events to raise awareness of herbalism in places where it doesn’t usually reach, others deliver free street herbalism, have a mass of other ways to help.
Would you like to get involved? You don’t need to join HWB global to get involved but that is a very good thing to do, if you want to. First thing that I would like to arrange for HWB Amsterdam is a date for a small group (4-5) to do a half day food prep, cooking and serving at De Stoelen Project, the homeless shelter/soup kitchen on Marnixstraat. It costs about 100 Euro to feed the clients for one evening, so those joining that small group would need to help raise that money and be happy to do the shopping and cook it and help to serve it (they really want meat and filling items but not too fibre-rich foods in the meals generally, btw). The session is from about midday to about 9pm. Here’s a post from a session I led there previously.
I would really like to deliver some fresh herbs also, possibly from local suppliers, and start to have that long awaited fresh herb bar, which the clients there can take from, to improve their meals. Also to speak to the team who runs the project, to see if we could start to offer some form of herbal/organic/wholesome self-care kit, for them to keep behind the counter to hand out as needed. At present those kits contain items such as new pairs of socks and underpants, a toothbrush and paste. I would also like to speak to them about the most common ailments that we could actually offer support for – skin sores, athlete’s foot etc. Clearly doctors and other health professionals are needed for most issues these people encounter (and psychiatric issues are common) but some issues are about self care and perhaps a simple homemade salve – which some of us could periodically get free tins for, make a batch of salve using local herbs and take over to the centre, could help.
If you are interested in helping somehow, perhaps really locally, perhaps further away, then it is certainly possible and being part of a group helps. HWB global offers members trauma training, and training in many areas such as how to run street clinics etc. Clearly what each person offers has to match their qualifications and their comfort zone.
One thing that is always welcome, fresh herbs from growers – homegrowers and commercial growers. So if you have fresh culinary herbs spare (for Marnixstraat Stoelen Project or similar places), or if you grow medicinal herbs and would like to see some of those incorporated into the local community, somehow, please have a think about how it could be possible. I want to start this slowly, steadily and that the group builds and finds its feet comfortably, but if you already have ideas of what to do, how to do it, who to contact etc, let me know
Would you like to get involved? If so, please get in touch.