"Fête de la musique – A feast, not only for your soul"

Article by Patrycja Perek, traduction française Kate O' Dwyer, traducción española Diego Beamonte
21 June 2011

Some people say that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well…I checked this a long time ago and I know it is true. But what I did not realize until now is that a good recipe for chicken curry can also help raise environmental awareness.

Although it may sound absurd, and probably many of you will ask – what does chicken have to do with global warming?-, I assure you that despite appearances, there is a connection. Visitors to the annual music festival , Fête de la Musique, which took place in Geneva from 17 to 19 June 2011, are convinced of this. For many of them, it was an opportunity to listen to great music while strolling around the city. But for ICVolunteers, it was one of the most important weekends of the year, a time when hard work brought about extraordinary results.

"For ICV,  it is a moment when people can get to know about us and it is also a fundraising opportunity,” explains ICV's Executive Director. 

ICV was invited to Parc des Bastions, where, alongside other non-governmental organizations, it presented its activities and offered Geneva’s residents the delights of the Carrefour du Monde because, let’s be honest, people were hungry and not only for good music. For three days, ICV’s booth was buzzing with activity. A team of forty volunteers informed visitors about ICV’s projects, cooked food and served drinks.

Wonderful and tasty aromas lingered around the booth, deriving from the Lebanese and Thai dishes. 

"I do not want to be mean, but looking at the booths next to us, during most of the time, we did have the longest queue, with decorations, music, and food from the Carrefour du Monde, and lots of people from all over the world. It was a very inviting booth” – says Ben Dixon, one of the coordinators. 

Delightful smells and delicious food brought over 2000 guests to our booth. Serving this many guests with a team of volunteers was a big challenge requiring almost military precision, to ensure every single element worked like a Swiss watch. Of course, with such intense work, there were a few mishaps along the way. You will not satisfy everyone, especially when people start waiting in queues. But the ICV team did not lose its cool even at very stressful moments.

“There was a challenging moment on Saturday. With rain coming down, an extremely long queue about 50 meters long and the prospect of waiting up to 45 minutes, some visitors started to get impatient. Quickly, one volunteer suggested giving people free drink samples. So there we were, handing out samples. It was a great idea and real fun, because people were not expecting it. They were so pleasantly surprised and it gave us great satisfaction. It was just fun.” -  explains Ben Dixon.

Our volunteers worked very hard, but their spirit never diminished. Viola Krebs relays how very proud she was of all of the volunteers.

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