Rolf’s Evening Of Storytelling To Raise Funds For The Ukraine

Dumfries based Storyteller Rolf Buwert has organised an event to raise funds for the people of Ukraine.

An evening of storytelling, traditional Scottish and European, with some contemporary stories. Stories to make you laugh, to make you cry, and make you think.
This is a charity event raising funds for the people of Ukraine.

You can also donate to Rolf’s Just Giving Page here



March 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Dumfries Baptist Church Centre Gillbrae Road, Dumfries

Book Online at eventbrite



DGWGO went along to meet up with Rolf to find out more about the fundraising event.

Rolf told DGWGO “This is a storytelling event in aid of Ukraine. We all have seen the news it’s terrible. It’s frightening. Why why is Europe doing this? And we all do what we can to make it better to try and alleviate the suffering that these refugees have. Those who fled and those who are staying there.”

“Poland has been fantastic taking on so many people. But it costs money and it’s its food, shelter, all the things we’ve seen about in the news. And we do what we can to support. If we’ve got money, we can do money. If if we’ve got it to the time and we can drive to Poland with a minibus full of food to blankets stuff for children, babies, dogs etc then we can do it. But a lot of people can’t.”

“What I’m doing is storytelling. I think how does that help? Well for me because my ancestry is German both my parents came after the war from Germany. Their country was wrecked. This was a beautiful country and the Scots were extremely welcoming and generous so they made this their home. So basically I’m the son of two refugees. So I feel for the people in Europe who’ve been displaced. My grandmother had to walk from Danzig, which is now called Gdańsk, to Berlin towards the end of the war. So Gitzan stories. So I’ve got some feeling for the pain that they’re going through. Just walking out with nothing.”

Grimm Fairy Tales

“So how does storytelling help? Because my ancestry is German my mother would tell me the Grimm’s fairy tales and they are pretty grim. But because of that, you’re hearing stories which are educational. They teach the difference between good and bad. That the goodies should always win, be wary of the witch, don’t buy an apple from a witch at your door. You’ve been warned. And these stories are international. And when I was thinking of some stories to tell I was going okay what’s some European stories mainly Ukrainian stories. And one of them popped out and it’s a story which I picked up when I was in Bangladesh. And I was going this is a worldwide story. Now Bangladesh the borders moved. The Ukraine the borders moved. We get really upset about national borders. People are people that no matter where you are. So the Russians are saying no that Ukrainians are are are our people but leave them alone.

“Why fight over it? Why kill each other? So through storytelling, these are from many generations ago from cultures from a nation that had different borders. The Ukraine is older than Russia. So Russia are invading parts of Ukraine saying that is part of our ancient territory. Well, the Ukrainians have more right to say well we want that bit of Russia back because we were bigger. Our main city is even older than Moscow. Even older than your cities. So national borders are not that important.But what is important is that we treat each other nicely. We don’t pick on people because of their race or colour and our nationality. And through storytelling, you can say we are all one people. The culture is really really important. So it’s not what the Russians are doing now. It’s not what we’re although it says important it’s not what we’re doing to help the Ukrainians now. It’s what our previous or six or seven generations did not do to break down nationalism. I’m proud to be born in Scotland in Dumfries. I’m a proud Doonhamer. But I’m not going to fight anybody over it because I’m proud to be German as well. And then define what’s Germany.

“Well, Dumfries was a few years ago. It’s 800 years of Dumfries. Germany’s only about 180 years old. Made up of all sorts of different countries.Where the national border does not matter. Your neighbour’s your neighbour. Treat people nicely. And that’s what storytelling is.”

Stories to make you laugh, cry, and think.

So this storytelling event is here at the Dumfries Baptist Church Centre. I’ll be telling 12 stories and in the best fairy tale traditions of the traditional fairy tales. Not everyone lives happily ever after or otherwise. But then there’s one or two stories where the traditionally the characters would die and I go no, no they will live. There’s traditional Scottish, there’s European tales, there’s Ukrainian tales, there’s Russian stories, there’s ones which I’ve made up myself about Haggis hunting and every word’s a real word, therefore, it’s a real story and you decide whether it’s true.

So storytelling is really really important and I would say for your culture for, it’s maybe sounding a bit grand but for world peace, yeah tell stories to show that people are people that we all have the same hopes and aspirations and we all realise that the good guys should win and the baddies should lose and in the Ukraine that’s our hope that this is over as soon as possible and the good guys win and they can get back to their homeland because these people who are marching with nothing just what the clothes on their back maybe a rucksack walking many many miles to Poland. They want to get back to their homes. They’re just like you and I. We haven’t had war in Scotland for centuries but that could be us. So you know I feel for them. So I’m doing my little bit and if people could come to this storytelling session that would be fantastic.

The entry is free. Give what you can because there are some people who have lots of money. Some people have very little. Give what you can spare because these people who are coming from Ukraine have nothing. They’ve left everything. Their Bank systems are destroyed. Their cash is destroyed. Their jobs are destroyed. All the goods they’ve worked for for for years it’s all gone. We’re doing alright. Despite the recession. We have a roof over our heads. We’ve we’re guaranteed a warm meal today. We’ve got some money in our pockets. We’re doing okay. We can spare a little bit. So if people can come to this I’ll have a bucket for cash. Put your cash in there. That immediately then goes to Disasters Emergency Committee and all the people who are taking mini buses with clothing and food that’s great. But there’s some things which cash is very useful and that’s what the storytelling evening is about is.

Come be entertained. Be thoughtful about the stories. Give us some cash and another side of the eastern side of Europe people will benefit from that and you’re doing your bets which will be fantastic. So the more people we can get the better and the more donations you can give that’d be terrific.

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