Archive for the ‘War Child’ Tag

The stick-passing game

This is a great game. I first learned it from my friend and colleague (and all-round inspiring human being) Eugene Skeef. It was during the year I worked in Bosnia with War Child. A group of us had driven out to a town called Ljubinje, in Republika Srpska. This town was extremely isolated – situated near two inter-entity borders, so people there didn’t have a lot of freedom of movement. There was a very motivated and energetic drama teacher there, so our team went out to work with him and his students and give them some support in building a creative and peaceful life.

Eugene led the workshop. He asked all in the group to go outside and find a stone. It needed to be a stone that was small enough (and large enough) to fit comfortably in a hand. Smooth stones were preferable, but not essential; ideally the stones would have a certain robustness too, and not fall apart on impact.

Everyone went out and found a stone to their liking, and came back into the workshop room. Eugene got us all to sit or kneel on the floor in a circle, with our hands on our stones in front of us.

He then explained how the game works:

On a given count, everyone passes their stone to the right. They have to place it on the floor in front of the person on their right. They then pick up the stone that is now in front of them (placed there by the person on their left). Continue reading

Vale Luciano Pavarotti

Big Man

Big Voice

Big Heart

He is known mostly for his magnificent voice, but there was more to the Big Guy. Pavarotti raised money for War Child through his annual Pavarotti and Friends concerts in Modena, and then through subsequent CD sales. Money raised by Pavarotti funded the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina (where I worked through 1998), and the Children’s Village in Liberia.

And such a rich, beautiful, warm voice! He lived his life with utmost generosity I think. An inspiring contributor who touched people’s lives.

Though, War Child didn’t perhaps repay that generosity (see this article and this one here). I believe the music centre and Children’s Village projects are now looked after by War Child Holland. The charity seems to have overcome its scandal and has a strong profile in the UK and Europe. Let’s hope it is more accountable these days, some years on from the corruption scandal.