Refugee Project

Dear LPC family and friends,

Sixty-eight years ago Natalie Peterson and Pavey Hoke were planning their first summer camp. World War II had recently ended, and struck by the effect that the war had had on people, Natalie and Pavey came up with a plan to bring together young people from different countries: a summer camp designed to build trust and international understanding. The plan was to provide a safe environment for children to get to know each other, respect and appreciate each other’s cultures and backgrounds, and learn to work and play together in different settings.

And so it began.

Fast forward to 2017

Countries and communities we LPCers live in are experiencing the effects of violence and war happening in other lands. Europe is experiencing the arrival of refugees in large numbers; both fear and compassion are showing their faces amongst the people and leaders of the receiving countries.

During the past two Christmas Conferences, there has been recognition of the turmoil the refugees are facing as well as the ugliness that has been displayed by many in the countries that are hosting them. In conference circles and during table talk we have discussed the parallel to LPC’s original mission and the need for improved international understanding.

As you may have heard, Luethi Peterson Camps is organizing an LPC Project Camp for Refugees for the summer of 2017. As a matter of fact, it will begin on the same day as the first LPC camp, August 1st !

We feel a project that introduces refugee children and experienced LPC-ers to each other in a camp setting will further support LPC’s mission and the original intentions of Natalie Luethi Peterson, and seems especially relevant in light of the current events in the world.

We are planning to invite 8 refugees and 8 experienced LPC campers. Our goal is to have all participants benefit from this project. For the refugee children we are providing a safe and friendly place and an opportunity to interact with other children in a positive way. For experienced LPCers we are providing an opportunity to get to know the child behind the label refugee or asylum seeker and to develop a better understanding of their situation. As with our more traditional camps, we are hoping that all participants will take home the values, of compassion and understanding, and carry these values back to their own community, perhaps in leadership roles.

The project camp will be 12 days (August 1 – August 12) in the country house Rosalupi in the northern part of Tuscany. Besides special focus activities it will include activities of a traditional LPC camp with singing, dancing, cultural exchange, language, daily sharing of chores, games, crafts, nature walks, etc.

The project is being organized and implemented by a group of directors, Andrea Place (high school teacher), Michiel Blumenthal (artist and working for various small cultural organizations), Mark Jordans (psychologist working with War Child non-profit), Katia Verreault (dance therapist and also working with Refugee Company in the Netherlands) and Micky Meme (anthropologist, ethnoclinic mediator working for Centro Studi Sagara with migrants). In addition, we will have at least one Arabic speaker (Yara Said, a Syrian national who is currently living in the Netherlands, has already agreed to be part of this project).

Please read the Rosalupi Spring newsletter

 

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