Why We Started
Safarni believes that the strongest uniting factor is human connection and empathy. This comes from immersing yourself in someone else’s reality. While some of us have the option to connect with “the other” through traveling, for much of the world this is not an option. Thus, Safarni aims to provide its activities for children with no access to travel and little opportunities for authentic contact with diversity.
If you open a newspaper, the majority of the tragic headlines all stem from a lack of “connection” with the other. Our aim is create a framework for intercultural connections, thus building a generation of global citizens in the neighborhoods where you would least expect it.
Safarni Intercultural Children’s Workshop
Safarni is an intercultural children’s workshop that teaches children about other countries and cultures by providing them with the opportunity to meet, eat, sing, and dance with people from all around the world.
We have developed a program that brings the travel experience to children who do not have the opportunity to travel. We do this by facilitating events that allow children to meet and immerse themselves in different countries and cultures, without ever having to leave their neighborhoods.
Safarni organizes day-long programs where we take imaginary, multi-sensory, trips to other countries. We only travel to a country with the guidance and companionship of a foreign friend. So, for example, on “Brazil day” 2-3 Brazilians come to represent their culture. Safarni passports in hand, children board an airplane simulation (a room) and “fly” to Brazil. After landing in “Brazil” our Brazilian guides show and teach us local dances, games, sites and cuisine. After a day of fun while discovering the culture of our new friends, we take a “flight” back to Cairo. The children really enjoy this mix of fun, discovery, adventure, and friendship.
We believe that dancing together is more uniting than a handshake. Friendship is stronger than a peace treaty. Love is more uniting than an open border.
We believe that exposure to diversity is directly proportional to the acceptance and celebration of diversity. Our mission is to create opportunities for intercultural emotional connections to blossom, thus creating a generation of active, inclusive world citizens no matter the background.
Safarni aims to tackle xenophobia and intolerance by providing a context for people to share authentic experiences with “the other”. All over the world, there exists a natural tendency to fear what one doesn’t know. These tendencies are augmented by a poor educational system, political instability, financial instability, and other societal constructs, which make interactions with diversity infrequent and non-impactful.
What We’ve Done
During the past two and a half years, Safarni has been designed and refined to create a framework where intercultural connections blossom. The children that we started with who at first didn’t want to play with Christians, now have friends from multiple religious backgrounds. Our children who at first did not know where Egypt was on a map, now have a general understanding of the Earth’s diversity and a greater appreciation for their own culture.
We have done more than 200 travel days. There are hundreds of children who want to participate in Safarni. There are many local organizations that want Safarni days for their children. And, most importantly, there is a world crisis stemming exactly from the issues we’re targeting.
What We Need
To continue to do Safarni, we need to hire full time facilitators so that Safarni can be done consistently. Our goal is to have 1,000 children experience a Safarni travel season by the end of 2016. A Safarni travel season consists of 5 travel days to different countries, and one concluding ceremony where the children review what they have learned and present it to their local community and family. Allowing each child to participate in an entire season enables them to fully understand that diversity exists in all corners of the earth.
We believe that there are people in this world that are as passionate as we are about creating a generation of global citizens and peacemakers. Will you join us?