MMC volunteer Jason Stewart

Jason Stewart, PhD.

Jason was born in Pennsylvania and has lived and worked in both the US and Sweden before spending the last nine years as a full-time volunteer within numerous projects in Southern India – most recently living and working at Sadhana Forest in Auroville.

Why the Mercy Project?

“Since I first heard about the Mercy ER project something in me completely lit up.  I think one of the ways it touches me is that it could provide a window through which I can see how my work with individuals moves into working with small groups and into communities and into large organizations. I think it is helping me imagine how I can concretely contribute to make large-scale systemic changes that can create more peace and harmony on the planet.”

What I bring

“I’ve been involved with the work of communication and conflict resolution for five years in the context of personal development and community living situations – this gives me skills in connecting with groups of people, expressing myself, and listening. Before working in the areas of communication and nonviolence I was a research scientist – starting out in Molecular Biology and then Computer Science – so I bring skills of analysis, observation, and deductive reasoning. Over the past three years I’ve lived in a large volunteer reforestation project which has helped me gain more skills in group participation, leadership, and teamwork.”

Reasons I’m excited.

“From the description the staff of the Emergency unit are people who work in really stressful environment and their interaction with one another and with the patients suffer from a lack of inner resources and the work you are planning with them has a HUGE potential impact on both their enjoyment of their work and the patients enjoyment of the service they receive. Another unique aspect for me is that they are a large (120+) team working in a professional environment – which is different from the settings I’ve offered this work in previously. Finally the ER staff is part of a large organization and so this work takes place inside of that larger context – it is both impacted by and impacts the larger system.”

What I imagine I will receive by participating.

“I will be observing the training environment as well as learning directly how to share this material in a professional (business) environment. I will be observing and collecting real life experiences of how this work provides new skills to develop inner resources and new possibilities for communication and learn how that impacts their ability to collaborate and provide a quality of service for others. I can also imagine that I will further develop my skills to help vision, plan, and prepare the sharing of this work in a professional context by participating alongside you as the project evolves.”

Ways I can imagine participating.

“The most obvious way is for me to be present and available  for the purpose of support – whether that be emotional, mental or physical support. I know that sharing this work can be deeply challenging and when we are challenged it can be of tremendous help to have a partner to be able to clear any fixed ideas that get in our way listening to and speaking with the people in front of us. I can imagine helping with any the physical preparation work as well as any post-session cleanup. I would also make my self available for assisting with any small-group activities: answering questions or supporting the work.  I would really enjoy helping to analyze the results of the sessions: gathering what worked and what you would have liked to be different and helping plan the direction for future sessions. Finally it would be tremendously valuable to help create qualitative or quantitative means to assess the impact the work has had”.