ubuntu in Caldonazzo 2014

"The wheel of friendship"


Summer 2014

The highly engaged and motivated ubuntu-in-Caldonazzo Team, celebrates again this summer, a creative art-pedagogical week with SOS CV children from different countries. This time around, it is all about friendship. The wheel of friendship as the spirit of childhood throws up questions like: how does friendship begin? What does it look like?

How is it formed, cared for and experienced? How does it influence our thinking and our doing?

We do not need words to answer these questions. All we need is action and the raw materials to demonstrate all these are colors and stones. We make our way to the streambed to collect stones. And there are many of them in different sizes, colours and forms. And according to their appeal and radiance, the stones are chosen. After which, it is time to cleanse them of sand and dirt, and to enable smoother painting, they are whitewashed. And this time it rains cats and dogs in Caldonazzo!

Happily enough, the children are in a still more joyful mood to play and act. One after the other, in groups or single, accompanied or alone they troop in into the workshop site.

It is wonderful to see the children inspect the stones and make their choices of stones to paint. It is common occurrence seeing the smallest children probe their strength on the biggest stones and the biggest adults spare their energy with the smallest stones.

Though none of them reveals why, the end product lets the cat out of the bag. Then, it is easy to observe in hindsight that the children really do pick their favourite based on the appealing character of each stone.

Happy about what they can and passionate for something new, the children bring into view the natural character of each stone. Besides, the elderly people around cash in on the chance to give their inner feelings a gentle touch by painting. And so, in a concert of young and old, a charming landscape of art decorated by stones of colours and forms emerges. The children also demonstrate their knack for art in the designing and styling of friendship bracelets.

These are symbols of things like fish, airplane, human profiles, trees, houses, flowers etc. Each child paints three symbols, one for a friend, one for the collective friendship wheel and one to keep.
Very many children still want to style more figures: for their SOS CV mother as they say. It is really thrilling to experience this.

It is time to bring all the objects together. And it emerges: The friendship wheel! It is very beautiful indeed. Besides it is nice to see how self-confident and happy the children are as they present their work of art. In this moment of joy and satisfaction, their innermost dispositions to happiness become visible.

Life is quite more than food and shelter. Children and adults alike live also in their memories and in their imaginations, in their hopes and in their dreams. Making a living-world like this a reality for children is the very essence of holidays.

"I am, because you are. And you, are because I am" is an expression for life in friendship. And such a life is worthwhile living. The SOS CV children do not only imagine it. They feel it. They want it and they have it: In SOS CV holiday camp at the Caldonazzo lake. Ubuntu, the Culture initiative of SOS CV is happy for the contributions so far to this.

photos: W. Anyanwu