The Magic of Community
[This is a guest post by Grace Spaulding from Kaleidoscope. If you want to write for Qwerky, please email us with an intro: email@example.com]
Community is such a loaded word. It evokes different things for everyone: for some, visceral memories of vulnerability and sharing hard times together; for others, nightmares of roommates who left dishes growing in a petri dish-like environment (me at times, to be honest!); and for others still, memories with people who have now become some of their best friends. Living in community is never easy, but it it is always meaningful, always significant, always worth it, and it can always be fun if done right.
Community is a central pillar of the work we do at our non-profit Kaleidoscope. We run week-long programs for kids who are growing up outside their country of nationality, mostly because of their parents’ work. These kids grow up in lots of different kinds of circumstances: sometimes they attend international schools with other foreigners, sometimes they’re homeschooled in the middle of the jungle, and sometimes they attend school with nationals, speaking the language with a native accent, only the color of their skin or passport cover giving them away. Each of their communities is quite unique from that of their monocultural counterparts.
Our vision in working with these kids is to help them surmount the difficulties of growing up cross-culturally and equip them to not only survive but also thrive as children living in the increasingly global village we share. The like-mindedness that brings us together is based on the feeling that we perpetually stand out, for better or for worse; knowing how hard hellos can be and how much harder goodbyes almost always are. We come from all different cultures, and together we make one that we share.
When a bunch of Kaleidoscope participants and volunteers come together for just a few days, we always end up building our own particular kind of community unique to that time and place, whether it’s in Bali, Cyprus, Colorado, or Tunisia. We always wish the week would last just a little bit longer. This longing is part of what makes what Qwerky is doing so exciting to us. We know that when the right groups of people come together with the specific goal of building relationship, something special almost always happens.
The difference between Qwerky and Kaleidoscope’s brands of community is the fact that Qwerky is committed to building real-life, geographical coliving locations where people can come together; that is such a dream of ours here at Kaleidoscope, and we are so happy to see groups like Qwerky making it a reality in which people can pursue their dreams alongside each other, sharing good food and real conversation without having a screen between them.
We believe that beautiful spaces are essential for facilitating community. We believe that delicious food has the power to bring people together in a way that almost nothing else does. We believe that when people come together with the explicit purpose of supporting one another, the magic of community happens. And we believe fully in the mission of Qwerky Coliving to combat the loneliness epidemic of our age through shared experiences and great times.