Dear Jelling…from Billund!

Updated: Jul 5, 2018

“Are we going to sleep today?” “Almost… we are going to dream today.”


That’s one of the first conversations I heard when children from the International School of Billund and Billundskolen entered the auditorium of Billund Centre.


The children were surprised to see a lot of pillows laying on the floor of the room, waiting to be coloured and filled with drawings from the activity of the day: ‘Drømmerejse’.


Welcomed by soft music - that some of the children found funnily “scary in an exciting way”- they closed their eyes. The lights were switched off and the journey began:


“Today you are going on a fantastic adventure across the sea.

You are an explorer finding new land.

Before you leave you need to pack. You get your bag and have to think about what you might need for this journey.

What do you need to make you feel safe, warm, comfortable? What makes you feel at home?”


When the children opened their eyes, they started to draw, with colourful markers, their dreams: straight onto the pillows where their heads had been. This workshop was focused on trying to imagine which elements and which belongings we need to have around us in order to feel comfortable, safe, and at home.


Excited by the idea of becoming adventurers on the sea, the children in Billund sailed the wave of fantasy, crossing over to magical islands. Their dreams included finding erupting volcanoes spewing out money and crazy dragons dealing with the cats which owned the islands (pretty elaborate, no?).


The Belong project is working with different schools in different towns. On Tuesdays we are in Billund with the International School and Billundskolen and on Wednesdays we have the workshops in Jelling with the Red Cross School and Jelling Friskole. During the most recent workshops, the children from these two towns have had the opportunity to get in touch with each other by exchanging video messages and postcards. Reader, do you remember the pictures we took as reporters of Billund two weeks ago? (see post “cartographers and reporters on adventure”, 16th May)


Those pictures taken by the Billund Belong reporters with disposable cameras, have been developed, and the children wrote messages on the reverse of those images for the Jelling schools.


This activity has helped to facilitate a cross-cultural and multidimensional dialogue between the kids. It is a quick and easy activity but one which shows that by coming from, for example, Denmark, Spain, Afghanistan, Australia or Iraq does not make us different. We are all children who learn and grow and develop in the world. We communicate and we realise that we have shared interests. Our only difference in this project is how we paste together scrap materials (coffee beans, plastic papers, glitters, etc…) to make our creations.

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© Photography by Lotus Photography, Ambra Molinari and Culture Shift

© 2018 Culture Shift