The first ever WoChiPoDa (Welt-Kinder-Gedichte-Tag) celebrations in Germany were held on 1st October 2016.
The day’s programme aimed at bringing fun and play in creating poetry through language, rhymes, rhythm, sounds, beats and costume.
Participating children were encouraged to free their creativity through poetry and drumming sessions. The presence of a creative corner added fun with drawing, colouring and storytelling.
The little ones who eagerly participated in the activities of the day showed off their creativity and love for the arts through individual poems, language exchange, painting and music. Each child was opportune to present a message, praise or song for their parent or guardian or just present a poem they wrote themselves or brought with them.
“Poems are fun,” said 8-years old Sharifa Aschoff, laughing after her presentation.
Laticia Kolbow, 8, expressed her love for poetry in German. “Gedichte sind toll,” she said.
“Gedichte macht Kinder kreativ,” said the 10-year-old Lavinia Jolie Rath.
For Tumaini Triebel, 8, poems are more than just fun. “Gedichte sind interessant. Poems are interesting,” he said.
The event was both creative and fun for the children as well as the parents who participated throughout by also joining in the recitations, singing and drumming.
“I would love to take part in this event every year because even as a parent I enjoyed myself very much,” said Halima Triebel, a parent and one of the organisers.
The organisers of WoChiPoDa are grateful to the parents and organisers who gave their time and energy to make the event a success, especially Clare Ashiruka and Sarah Kim.
“Finally, our special thank you to the little ones, our greatest assets, who made the event truly memorable,” they said.
World Children’s Poetry Day (WoChiPoDa), founded by Gloria D. Gonsalves, is an initiative aimed at instilling the love of poetry in young people. Celebrated on the first Saturday of October, it is a day dedicated to children’s poetry written by themselves.
Such a day of entirety to children’s poetry is important for children to learn and experience poetry in a fun way other than school curriculum or what is written for them by adults.
Additionally, poetry has the potential to contribute towards the Goal 4 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is Quality Education. Poetry can contribute to relevant skills of reading and writing. WoChiPoDa as an initiative is one potential tool to contribute towards this global goal.
For more information, visit the WoChiPoDa website (available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili and Spanish).
By Diana Mac Omolo, Author of ‘Love Comes to Munich’
Photos by Sarah Bomkapre Kamara, Editor-in-Chief, Sonne Magazine