Community is a way of belonging. Members of a community experience a sense of belonging to a place that they also believe belongs to them. Sometimes it is really a physical place where people reside but often a shared purpose, or an interest brings people together. What’s important though is that that when people come together they enjoy a sense of connectedness and contentment.
InterNations reaches out to expatriates with the assurance, “Wherever in the world life takes you, our InterNations Communities help you feel at home.” It is interesting how strangers from diverse backgrounds can have a shared identity. Strangers from various parts of the world identifying with each other, valuing the importance of community and seeking to contribute to the place they call home; even if it is temporary.
Elsa Lillford arrived from Melbourne last Saturday and on Tuesday, she was in our classroom guiding our children to produce decorated key rings, pencil cases and tote bags for sale at Fairground our fund-raiser slated for Saturday, 3 September at SCAPE. The children got to choose and keep the items that they liked but we still amassed a healthy inventory.
This school holiday month, over 40 children from 2 different neighborhoods have been volunteering their talent to create craft for our fund-raising activities. The raw materials were sponsored by East West Artisans, a social enterprise run by John Davis who coordinates the volunteering activities for InterNations in Singapore. John tells us that he has had the happy problem of turning down volunteers for our art and craft sessions as there were just too many, but it also means that he is confident of support when he offers other volunteer opportunities with our children to his members. He has also encouraged his members to sign up as regular volunteers with us.
So, these holidays our children got to meet people from America, Australia, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Spain and Vietnam. They have not gone on a trip to see the world but through InterNations, the world has in a small way come to them. When community is a hospitable place, both visitors and hosts enlarge their experience of the world.
Enjoy your week
One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller