Italy: New Hope Team Workshop
By Aurora Fluckiger and July Cirelli, FFWPU Italy
From the 7th to the 13th July 2019, Colle Mattia’s landscape has been livened up by the NHT WS, held for kids coming from all over Italy. “Where Diversity becomes Beauty: Brothers and Sisters under One God” was the motto that accompanied us throughout the entire workshop. The motto aimed at conveying two main messages. First, we as staff wanted to transmit to the children the message that ostensible differences, such as cultural differences, different family backgrounds or different skin colours, are no limitations but rather a source of enrichment, as each one of us can learn from one another. Moreover, we wished to emphasize that what bonds all of us is that we come from one source of love only, which is God.
Which is why, each one of us displays his own original nature, each one of us displays one of the countless precious characteristics of our Heavenly Parent. We carried out activities and lectures focusing on this very topic. In order to better develop such content, we assigned one specific topic for each day.
Colours was the first day’s topic. The lectures given in the morning were divided into two groups (Junior and Senior), and they focused mainly on God’s Nature and the Principle of Creation, which our Heavenly Parent has put into practice. The evening was spent on various outdoor activities, such as a Colour Run, after which the kids ended up being covered with colourful paint from head to toe; a couple of water games posts, and Soapy Soccer.
Teamwork was the second day’s topic, as in the evening the kids, divided in their teams, were involved in a Treasure Hunt, organized in various posts both physical and creative, but even inner/spiritual.
Purity was the third day’s topic. A topic we all cherish as staff members, as it is an utmost important value to convey to the youth, since it is the most precious tool God gave us, in order to not only live a happily married life but also to live with a healthy, genuine and unconditional love between brothers and sisters. As a matter of fact, lectures have examined in depth the Fall, in order to make the kids understand the origin of a love so wrongly abused – a self- centred love, and to make them comprehend the importance of not making our ancestors’ mistakes. With the Senior Group, during the second part of the lecture, a bro/sis talk was held. Many participants greatly appreciated this activity, as they could listen to older brothers and sisters’ advice on how to keep clear purity standards, especially in a society that seems to drift people away day by day from the path of values that God’s heart would want us to walk on. In this way, the staff members could provide support to their own younger brothers and sisters and they encouraged them to reach out to their parents for support.
On the fourth day, we wanted to break the routine a bit with an excursion to Tuscolo, and as we were more immersed in God’s Creation, Nature was the topic for that day. In addition to leisure time, participants were involved in inner and spiritual activities, for instance a lecture on prayer, the building of an altar to God and True Parents by each team, through the use of any material they could find in nature (leaves, branches, flowers etc.), and an individual moment in which both participants and staff members could write a letter to God. The day was brought to a close with a Prayer Evening, a very deep moment in which participants and staff members could experience both God’s love and siblings love, not only through prayers but also through hugs.
Lastly, “Express oneself” was the last day’s topic. Participants prepared sketches with their teams for the unavoidable Family Evening. Even this time turned out to be wonderful to conclude the WS all together in a very joyful way, especially at the graduation handing out the certificates to each participant and prizes to all the teams. In addition to the sketches played out by the teams, various performances, such as songs and dances, were offered.
Overall, everybody could live this WS with a positive spirit as we all felt part of a big and special family.
Throughout this week God could display his nature in various ways. He displayed his heart of an older brother and sister through the commitment of the staff members, who organized both lectures and activities. A special thanks goes to Francesca Calì and José Preciutti, as the WS coordinators; Nausika Celnikasi, as the photographer and videomaker; Deo Lupota, Martin Chionna and Philip Ciuca, as the Sports Coordinators and GA; July Cirelli, as the MC; Erik Celnikasi and Aurora Fluckiger, as teachers for the Junior and Senior Groups respectively; Rebecca Stoica, Cristina Arcadi, Agostino Arcadi, Stella Piperis and Marco Tammiso as Team Leaders.
Futhermore, God could display his great parental heart especially through the Kitchen Staff, who took great care of both the participants and staff members, from the first until the last day of the WS, in addition to expressing their love through food.
Each one of us has always felt supported thanks to them, that is why we would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Maria Piperis, Zamira Tisci, Elisa Gonnella, Maria Grazia and Emanuele Bernardi. Naturally, a final and special thanks goes to each participant that has contributed in making this WS special and to the kids’ parents who, despite the sacrifices they make in order to send their children to workshops, trusted us.
Hoping that we can see you all next year, NHT STAFF wishes you to enjoy the rest of your journey, that we hope has been enriched with brand new and special friendships!