Delegation of the European Union to Liberia

EU Celebrates the Day of the African Child with "Legends of Liberia"

19/06/2017 - 19:58

On Friday 16th June the European Union held an event to observe the International Day of the African Child at Mary Help of Christians Catholic High School in New Matadi, Monrovia.

EU celebrates the Day of the African Child

Speaking at the occasion, EU staff Elizabeth Lanzi Mazzocchini noted that the European Union wished to celebrate the day sharing with the children story-telling based on the tales contained in the EU sponsored reproduction of the 'Legends of Liberia', a book collecting orally transmitted stories from all the tribes of Liberia. The book with illustrations done by Liberia-born European artist, Luca Bai Varaschini, depicts Liberia's rich diversity, arts and culture.

Some 125 school children from grades 4 to 6 took part in the lively programme facilitated by EU staff and youth animators drawn from several communities. The animators told stories from the book and supported the children in reflecting on the meaning of some of the traditional tales of Liberia's ethnic groups which speak of wisdom, caring, friendship, sharing, and greediness, among others. The animators also dramatized one of the stories "The Discontented Spider", very famous among children of rural communities in Liberia.

Captivated by the stories they had listened to in small groups and imbued with the mental-pictures these inspired, the children set their imagination free by drawing their own illustrations and later came together to reflect on some of the teachings contained in the tales. Illustrator and graphic designer Luca Bai Varaschini also answered many of the children's questions about his life in Liberia as a child, arts, publishing and more.

The European Union Delegation donated copies of the book "Legends of Liberia" to the school library and the youth animators as well as coloured pencils, crayons, and other drawing materials to the children of the school. Each child walked away with a copy of the EU Delegation sponsored "Colouring Liberia" booklet, encouraged to keep reading, drawing and discovering the Legends of Liberia.

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