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Stuttgart, Germany—On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, about 120 guests and friends of UPF celebrated at a musical benefit.

At the January 25, 2020, gathering, local UPF leader Karl-Christian Hausmann proposed a toast. He suggested that in the new year we follow the example of Saint Francis of Assisi: not only seeking blessings for ourselves but also trying to become a blessing to others and the neighborhood. “So many people among the almost 60,000 inhabitants of Stuttgart East, for example, engage themselves for the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations or do good for others,” he said.

Some find their motivation partly in the traditions of the great religions, or they receive a strong impulse from their original mind, Mr. Hausmann said. One of the goals of this benefit event, he said, was to bring people together and in doing so to inspire and support each other. 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 establish a new home for some bee colonies. There were three reasons why UPF chose to support this playground: The project is intercultural and 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 said they will 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 program 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 all were performing for a good purpose, and at the end we made a collection for the playground. The district representative of Stuttgart-East as well as several active and former members of the district’s board of advisors attended the event, as did many UPF supporters who baked cakes, prepared buttons to sell bearing the slogans “I Love Stuttgart East” 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 were forged over refreshments. UPF-Stuttgart again warmly thanks all the guests, supporters and entertainers for a truly wonderful benefit event and a great “second start” of 2020.

Translated from German by Catriona Valenta.

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