Travel with a purpose is important to Phyllis Davies. She shares her skills in grief education,
as well as in solar cooking, leadership development, sustainable agriculture, reforestation and community health. She helps rural communities address problems with potable water, AIDS projects, orphanages, and school farms, as well as working with Hospice and in peace and trauma survival education. She is dedicated to working in remote regions and loves helping people identify and solve their own problems using resources already available in the village or local area.
Phyllis is a native Californian. She is a 1966 Cal Poly graduate and has been named a University's Honored Alumnus. She has lectured there in World Food Politics, International Development, Psychology (as it relates to grief issues), Effective Activism, Womens Studies and simple, sustainable techniques to improve lives and slow global warming. Her specific focus is on the roles of women in subsistence agriculture, and helping women learn to facilitate changes in their community.
Her lifetime interest in education, peace, global hunger, and heath issues have taken her into remote areas of many "two-thirds world" (what is often called
"third world") countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Her 2007 trip, as part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Citizen Diplomacy Delegation to Iran and Cuba, brought the number of nations in which she has traveled and worked to 60 countries.
As a delegate to the United Nations Summit Forum in Rio de Janeiro, she helped negotiate the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Treaties that were adopted by the United Nations for non-governmental organizations. She was named World Neighbors Volunteer of the Year.
Phyllis has worked on projects with five of the recent Nobel Peace Prize recipients.
People often ask her why she is so concerned about solving world problems. She conceeds part of her motivation on global issues is related to experiencing the grief after two of her three children died in unrelated accidents. "World hunger is largely solvable within our lifetime, if we are willing to address it with even a small portion of the commitment that we have given to war."
She explains that pople often think that research and development hold a key to a better world for all, yet they forget we have many important answers that we are not using. Soil underlies the security of the planet. "We know green manure crops, animal manures, compost, cover crops, and the like can markedly revitalize soil. On the whole they are methods that are easy to use and transfer to others. It is so important to realize the health of the soil is truely crutial for quality of life for everyone. The continual depletion of soils -- weak soils, weaken plants, making them more susceptible to disease, often goes unmentioned, an unaddressed problem.
"Across the world poor storage methods allow at least 30% loss of food to insects, rats and other rodents. This is an immense problem for research and development to tackle. New storage methods need to be constructed with natural, easily available materials and methods and be weather proof or at least useable for several seasons. Storage is an issue that we in our culture tend to forget.
"We all need remember to be building soil everyday everywhere - - - as we work on climate improvement, water quality, increasing biodiversity, safe food, and our own personal connection with nature - healthy psyches."
Dawna, Phyllis's daughter says, "My mother has her ear to the heartbeat of the world."
Phyllis Davies is the author of a top-selling book, Grief: Climb Toward Understanding, now in a 5th edition.
It came out of her experience with the deaths of their two sons.
She and Bill married in 1966 and they have grown much of their food on their small solar-powered organic family farm in the Los Osos Valley.
One of my most interesting trips internationally was in February 2007, to Iran, as part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Citizens Diplomacy Delegation. This team of 26 experts, in many fields was diversely knowledgable; religious, peace and politically focused activists, medically trained individuals and a videographer. I went as the agricultural and community group formation delegate.
The power point (PP) program which I am using for free talks given to local religous and service groups on Iran.