Whether it be at the well, at the market place or in the katimavic (community igloo): what matters is getting together. Photo: humedica/Maren Walter
What an igloo is for some, a well might be for others
While people in Germany meet each other at the market square, in an urban park or in the privacy of their own homes, the Inuit – the indigenous peoples of arctic central and northeast Canada as well as Greenland – gather in their community igloo, the so-called katimavic. It represents a meeting-place where people can talk to each other and share their experiences with each other.
This is also what the event called katimavic is all about. People from Germany and other countries are invited to this meeting where they experience some days of community with other, disabled and non-disabled, people.
These ecumenical meeting days are held in the south of Germany every two years. In the past year, the meeting took place in Ludwigsburg, where the participants experienced and celebrated this sense of community for four days. Whether catholic or protestant, physically or mentally disabled or not, does not matter here. What matters is that people get together and do not focus on the differences but experience what they have in common.
About 120 people with disabilities were among the guests of katimavic 2012 that took place in Ludwigsburg. Even weeks before the actual date, the team of organisers led by Brigitte Regler and all the participants looked forward to the event with keen anticipation. They also thought about ways to use this meeting for a further good cause.
“Living water” was the central topic of this year’s katimavic, which was discussed in several speeches and small group activities that were planned and carried out both by disabled and non-disabled people with great commitment. The life-giving liquid was also the point of reference for the donations that were collected by the hosts of the event.
The final amount of 2.000 euros was composed of a part of the church service collection as well as a part of the proceeds of the “night owls’ hangout”: “For those who like ‘hanging out’ late at night we sell drinks, snacks, sweets etc.”, reports Gerhard Mayer, who has lived out this idea of community for 11 years already and is one of the organisers of katimavic in Ludwigsburg.
“We simply increased the prices for these items a little bit and donated the surplus money. The idea was well-received by our guests!”, he adds, enthusiastic about this memory. Hans-Peter Rothe, who had taken care of a group of children during the event and played games with them revolving around the topic of water, nods, happily.
It is their commitment and their joy about being together that characterizes the people of katimavic and makes it a special event both for participants and organisers. Their honest and heartfelt enthusiasm also manifested itself when they travelled to the humedica head office to hand over their donation. This enthusiasm will make it possible to build and maintain a well in Ethiopia by means of the collected money.
At this point, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the team of organisers, Brigitte and Veronika Regler, Hans-Peter Rothe and Gerhard Mayer, on behalf of all the donors and participants of the event. When the Inuit gather in their katimavic, people in rural areas of Africa might get together at the community well, which will soon be built thanks to the katimavic donation.