A New Era

I’m excited to say that a new era has begun for me.  Check out my updated Aja Certified website and blog at www.ajacertified.org.  

Logo in Star

Behind the Scenes

It has been quite some time since I have written a blog… I have been busy behind the scenes preparing for another big phase aboard the Global Peace Train.  I am excited to say that we have been around for almost 5 years and it is just this year we are preparing for a more public launch.  I feel a bit like the wizard of oz behind a curtain and the big face that everyone sees will appear as the face of the train.  You can imagine how long it has taken to get the tracks fashioned to the ground, the set just right and the great hall filled with the right people. It has taken 5 years to understand the workings of the train, what each lever does and the perfect speed to take around curves.  In real world terms I have been busy with the nuts and bolts of running this non-profit organization.  How to keep balance within my own life, how to have the greatest impact for the people we serve, how to deliver our services on time and with grace.  How to integrate strong accounting systems, customer service protocols, and most of all, how to blend modern business systems in with traditional cultures. Our Tribal Traditions program is stronger than ever and I am excited to begin the painting of the official Tribal Traditions train car that will accommodate the Lakota Sioux project as well as any other tribal projects that may follow. Take a look at the full-sized toy train unfinished, it was hand-made by Wayne Montz of California. As you can see he is a talented master of toy trains!  This train is almost 7 feet long, stands 12 inches high and rides on a 14 foot track.  G-P-37

Everyday I realize this train does things I didn’t know before and I am preparing myself for the real deal… This is the last round of tests before the launch of the new Global Peace Train website, and I am in training as a humble servant to humanity.  My wish is for this train to continue to gain momentum and for the systems to be strong enough to support humanity as we move ever closer to our own awakening.

I’m looking forward to the formal unveiling soon!



Aja’s video entry for the Make Market, Launch It contest

This is my first informational video about bringing my expertise to market and sharing the amazing stories that I have discovered along the way…

I long to help parents and teachers communicate difficult issues in a lighthearted way so that our future generation can better understand the human experience and their relationship to challenging experiences.




Sacred Perception

The star quilts made by the women of the Tribal Traditions of the Lakota Sioux are stunning, something special indeed. They are used in many of the traditions of the Lakota people. For example when a couple gets married they are put under a star quilt during the marriage ceremony. I often sit in one when I want to feel connected to something bigger than myself, perhaps what the Lakota call Wakan Tanka“the great mystery”. It feels like the act of wrapping myself in one of the quilts brings heightened awareness and an opportunity for me to see things from a bigger point of view. Sometimes I even sit in them with others when I want to connect more deeply.

The quilts have some power that is hard to put into words. Perhaps it’s because the quilts, the women who make them and the medicine man Sam Moves Camp have been teaching me over the duration of this wonderful project. It is possible the knowledge connects me to my higher wisdom because I have “labeled” the quilts sacred, or maybe they really do have some power beyond words! It’s hard to know for sure. Take some time to learn more about the Tribal Traditions project, the Lakota people, how to donate, or buy a quilt at: www.tribaltraditions.org.


The Ride on the Global Peace Train, Overcoming Poverty Mind

I was born in a midwife’s bed. My mother and father were homeless and sleeping on any fold out couch they could find. I was raised in the welfare system and when I turned 18 was confronted with the climb out of poverty. At times I didn’t know if I would make it another day, and the sadness and desperation were overwhelming.

As I allowed my experience and the people around me to teach me, I began to see that poverty wasn’t a result of how much money I had, but more a state of mind. I could have one dollar to my name and feel like the richest person on earth if my experience was ripe and colorful. There were also times that I had tens of thousands of dollars in my bank account and I felt isolated and scared for the moment it might run out.

I am often shocked at the joy I see in slums around the world. Through the media I was trained to believe people in Africa or others in extreme poverty are always sad. I was shocked the first time I went into a slum and saw orphaned children playing and laughing just like back home but without the plastic toys. It was at that moment I realized they were human and not just some alienated picture on TV.

I haven’t yet mastered the climb out of poverty, but working on the Global Peace Train with women in the slums of Kenya and the Pine Ridge Reservation has helped me see how fortunate I am. I aspire to master this climb alongside the many women the Global Peace Train serves, and share what we learn along the way.

May we all free our minds,


Lighting up the Slums

I have spent many hours in slums around the world, and they are dark.  The buildings are built very close and usually have no natural light source if there is light at all. Click the link below to see how one man is bringing light to the people living in the poorest communities in the Philippines. I love this project.  It just goes to show you that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a genius!  CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW LINK

GBaby and the Climb Out of Poverty, by Aja Duniven

How can a story help us climb out of poverty? I often find myself touched by the stories of people who have been through extreme difficulties and moved beyond them. That is why I work with toys to tell a story. Just like when I was a child I can look at a toy and use my imagination to weave together an outrageous story. It is my love for imagination that drove me to begin interviewing other people to see what wonderful stories would surface from their real life and imagination.

GBaby’s character was created out of interviews I did with real people around the world.
 He was literally bought from a young girl on a train in India and his story is born from the real life facts and spun together with many different people’s imaginations. The first public photo of him from last week shows where he began.  He was born an orphan on the streets of india, he lived on a trash pile in India selling recyclables for cash, and he dreamed of one day reaching America… 

One of my favorite things about GBaby is that his story is about some of the hardest circumstances to overcome: no mother or father, no money, no hope. He never gave up and fought all those challenges to make it to America to follow his dream of being a world-changing rapper. His story is still new, people don’t always know what to think of him, and he requires people to step out of their comfort zones in order to build the next part of his story. He hasn’t made it out of poverty just by arriving in America, his challenge now is to get people to believe in him… I bet you could imagine how hard it would be to believe a plastic doll could ever become a rapper. But I bet, as he goes on his journey we will have the opportunity to believe in something seemingly impossible and make it possible! 

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