Her smile is radiant and her energy infectious. Caroline Lesire willingly defines herself, to whomever asks her to introduce herself, as a citizen of the world, activist, meditator and… mother of a little girl.
It was at the age of 17, during a trip to Latin America, that she understood that to be "the change we want to see in the world", to use the words of Gandhi, he would you have to tame your emotions and transmute them to do your part and contribute to building a world that is more respectful of people and living things.
Back in Belgium, she decided to undertake studies in political science and international humanitarian aid. For seven years, she worked in French-speaking Africa in development cooperation in projects for access to health care in the context of which she was confronted with situations of injustice and multiple forms of violence. In contact with actors in the field, she says she learned humility and a form of joyful acceptance of what is. And also became aware of the essential convergence between social and environmental struggles. “Being rather idealistic and sensitive, it was not a cakewalk. I felt isolated and powerless in the face of the cynicism of the Belgian public authorities who co-financed the projects that we set up without really supporting us”, she underlines.
In 2009, while still working in Africa, she co-founded, in Brussels, with her companion, Ilios Kotsou, doctor in psychology and lecturer at the Free University of Brussels, “Émergences. To change, to change the world”, in which she is involved as a volunteer. That was almost fifteen years ago, and the mindfulness was not yet very present in the media. The objective of the association? Contribute to the emergence of a more just, conscious, altruistic, warm and supportive society. Back from Africa, when her daughter was born, she became the coordinator of Émergences. “It's another way to help change the world. I will continue to work by acting on another lever. In the transition ecosystem, it is important that everyone finds the place in which they want to act. We need all the energies,” she explains.
For the past few years, she has been leading mindfulness-based birth preparation sessions. These aim to prepare for birth and parenthood, to restore awareness and presence in the clinics and hospitals that welcome future mothers, and to act at the level of parents who are preparing to welcome a child. "The exercises that we offer allow you to revisit your life before birth and to question intergenerational suffering so as not to reproduce it," she explains.
“What will we invent to take care of life? What are we going to do to heal the planet? »
Multi-cap activist, Caroline Lesire is also a cooperator in Brussels in a small organic, collaborative and self-managed neighborhood grocery store, which operates in a short circuit. Only those who work there three hours a month can consume there. “These are concrete alternatives. This avoids enriching the big brands that are not very respectful of the planet. And we also help local farmers to increase their income and consolidate their economic situation,” she adds.
Las but nos least, Caroline is working with a dozen parents on the creation of a new school with active pedagogies which should open its doors in September 2021. This new kind of school will be inspired, without exception, by intuitions great pedagogues including Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner which will be updated based on the most recent discoveries in neuroscience.
“What will we invent to take care of life? What are we going to do to heal the planet? “, she wonders in the conclusion of the collective book Caring for life, self, others and nature which she coordinated with Ilios Kotsou. “The flights of wild geese can be a source of inspiration, in addition to the wonder they arouse. It is never the same goose or the same group that leads the whole: they all know the direction, but they take turns and fly in a cooperative and intelligent way to help themselves to the beating of their neighbor's wings. they write.