Germany: Starting the Chinese New Year with a benefit event.

by Karl-Christian Hausmann, UPF Germany

On January 25, 2020, about 120 guests and friends of Universal Peace Federation Stuttgart had the opportunity to celebrate and offer good wishes for a second start to the New Year.

Karl-Christian Hausmann proposed a toast to the New Year, and in the spirit of Francis of Assisi suggested in his address that one not only seek blessings for the year but try to become a blessing to others and the neighborhood. “So many people amongst the almost

60.000 inhabitants of Stuttgart East, for example, engage themselves for the sustainable developmental goals of the United Nations or do good for others.

Some find their motivation partly in the traditions of the great religions, or they receive a strong impulse from their original mind. The goal of this benefit event is, amongst other things to bring people together and in doing so to inspire and support each other“, Hausmann said. He quoted from Martin Luther King’s famous speech: we have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.

The main purpose of the event was to gather donations for a project of the active playground Raitelsberg (www.aki-raitelsberg.de). In the immediate future, several volunteer bee-keepers will lend their support to help establish a new home for some bee colonies. There were three reasons why we chose to support AKI Raitelsberg: the project is intercultural, intergenerational (the parents and grandparents of the children are involved) and it encourages a love of nature.

The leader of the facility was supported by several children of the youth farm, who intend to produce a report about the event under the guidance of a media educator. They were right on top of things, equipped with trays and trying out their interviewing skills.

The programme was very varied and included musical performances by international artists, many of whom had made their home in Stuttgart years ago. The youth choir of the Ghanaian community of the Gospel Forum, the music ensemble Sphärenklänge, traditional country music from Brazil, the band Intune with its international line-up, and the wonderful girls‘ ballet group from Natalie’s Dancing School not only inspired the audience but were living examples of the motto: „unity in diversity“.

They were all performing for a good purpose and at the end we made a collection for the AKI Project. Also the district representative of Stuttgart-East as well a several active and former members of the board of advisors for the district attended to support the event, as did many UPF helpers who baked cakes, prepared buttons to sell bearing the slogans: „I Love S-Ost“ and „Peace Starts with me“ or offered to write artistically the names of the guests in Japanese.

In the interlude, there was much lively discussion and new friendships forged over refreshments. I would like to take the opportunity to again warmly thank all the guests, helpers and entertainers for a truly wonderful benefit event and a great second start into the New Year 2020.

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