AnimalConcepts, the Hummingbird Stories, and the Earth Charter

AnimalConcepts is proud to be an Earth Charter International Partner and Friend, and our purpose is rooted in and based on an interconnected culture of care and respect, serving peoples, animals, the greater community of life, and the beautiful planet we share. Animal Concepts, the Hummingbird Stories, and the Earth Charter

‘You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Dr Jane Goodall

AnimalConcepts and Earth Charter International have joined forces to generate a collaborative space to enhance the use of the Earth Charter (EC) in global AnimalConcepts’ activities using the EC as a lens determining purposes, focus, decision-making and actions. They also work together to share the EC with wider community and network, including zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, universities, and other animal and conservation organisations.

Hummingbirds have long been a symbol of wisdom and courage. The Hummingbird Stories (HS) are inspired by an indigenous parable from the Quechuan people of South America and enlivened by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ fabulous Haida-Manga illustrations in The Flight of the Hummingbird. This powerful story is about a brave hummingbird making a courageous effort to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. Holding only one drop of water at the time in her tiny beak she makes many trips over the burning woodland. Her actions show her fellow woodland creatures that doing something, even small actions, is better than doing nothing at all. The story shares a message of environmental stewardship and that each of us can be part of creating a better world for everyone.

With the Hummingbird Stories we put together inspiring stories, quotes, and practical examples to enthuse people, linking them with the Earth Charter Principles and concepts, supporting the global movement towards a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

Feel welcome to join the Hummingbird Stories group which aims to highlight thoughts, feelings, actions, art, and more from individuals, groups, and organisationswho share, advocate, and or embody meaningful change, small or large, local or global. Our stories aim to turn conscience into action.

HS is a co-creation between Sabrina Brando who is a changemaker and director of Spanish-based AnimalConcepts and PhD Candidate at the University of Stirling in Scotland, and Irma Verhoeven who is a professional educator at Aeres MBO in the Netherlands, and a Programme and Partnership Development at Earth Charter International Secretariat in Costa Rica.

Every day we can find examples of good news to be found and possibilities for action! It is easy to feel that all is bad, that there is so much wrong and suffering in the world. And to a certain extent that is very true, there is a lot wrong and there is a lot of suffering. To be and or continue being a force of good we must find ways to stay grounded, connected and look for opportunities, for good news, finding solutions however small. To keep looking where we can act to make a change, to make something better, to help the healing. To listen, to reflect, to learn, to change considering new teachings, to co-create, and a willingness to serve. This is bigger than me, this is bigger than you, we are all interconnected.

“You matter and what you do matters. Be the change you want to see in the world Gandhi said and decide on the difference you want to make. Be vibrantly radiating out your light, it can also inspire others to shine their lights of change. Look for other lights to feel inspired and supported. Notice how we all have different lights shining, to see more clearly, to act alongside each other, and if you can, to hold the light for those who cannot hold it for themselves. Let’s all be hummingbirds, small but powerful, shining all kinds of lights for a brighter world.” – Sabrina Brando (from Good news and actions: peoples and organisations as forces for good, 2022 HERE)

As a symbol of their 30-year friendship and commitment to peoples, other animals, and planet, Irma and Sabrina embedded the beautiful hummingbird and message it stands for. © Photo by Sabrina Brando