IPM invites participants to join in its immersion experience programs
An Immersion Experience Program (IEP) with International Partners in Mission (IPM), an international nonprofit based in Cleveland Heights, is a life-changing opportunity to discover another culture, primarily by interacting with locals who are implementing initiatives focused on improving their communities.
IEPs are short-term trips to the places where IPM works. IEP participants, many of whom are from Northeast Ohio, will learn about the socio-economic, political, cultural and historic realities of these places.
This year, July 30 through Aug. 5, IPM is holding an immersion to the Native American Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This is the seventh-largest Indian reservation in the United States, and is shared by the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Shoshone culture.
They will also be able to meet with representatives from Sacajawea Treasures, a Native American project that IPM supports. This program works with Eastern Shoshone tribal members to develop sustainable economic opportunities and promote native culture. The project is currently working to set up a Web page to show the traditional beadwork of the tribe members online.
During the immersion, participants will visit several key sites of importance to Native Americans, such as the burial site of Sacajawea, the Native American woman who guided Lewis and Clark on their expedition in the western part of the United States. They will tour the cultural center to learn more about the history of the Shoshone, Arapaho and the reservation.
Participants will also have an opportunity to visit the reservation’s oldest community, Washakie, home to Fort Washakie, which was a military outpost until 1909, when it was decommissioned. Finally, they will take part in the annual Gift of the Waters Indian Pageant—a celebration of native music and dance.
In addition to organizing immersion trips, IPM provides financial and technical assistance to 60 community-initiated and run projects in 20 countries throughout the world, including El Salvador, India and Kenya. IPM works across borders of faith, culture and economic circumstance, with children, women and youth, to create partnerships that build justice, peace and hope for all.
IPM encourages Heights residents to join its immersion trips. For more information, contact Melanie Strout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raluca Besliu, originally from Romania, is a staff member at IPM. She studied international relations from Vassar College and has a master's degree from the University of Oxford.