Benefit Concert Update:
World Connection Delivers 11.7 TONS of Rice and Millet to Musicians in Mali
World Connection’s May 2013 benefit concert event and photography show generated support that delivered 11.7 tons of rice and millet to Malian artists and their extended families.
The event featured photographs of faces, places and musicians of Mali. As well as performances from Big Blue World, Balla Kouyate, Boubacar Diabate and the World Connection Band, June Lapointe & Keith Kirkpatrick, and poet and performer Ayisha Knight.
At the end of November 2013, the last of the bags of rice and millet were distributed to the members of the orchestra at Bamako’s School of the Blind in Mali’s capital. Thanks to the support and generous contributions from individuals like you, we were able to alleviate some of the most immediate suffering.
Please consider contributing and supporting World Connection. Our work directly affects people in need.
The following quotes represent the overwhelming response from the recipients.
▪ “The rice came at the perfect time… a time when many artists don’t have anything. It’s like it dropped down from heaven. It’s touching that people living on the other side of the world, our artist friends, are thinking of us.”
▪ “It’s when times are difficult that you know who your real friends are.”
In one case the situation was so bad:
▪ “I have nothing. Even my wife has left me because I don’t have money and work. Thank you.”
Paul Chandler, World Connection’s partner responsible for the distribution in Bamako shared the following:
“Djelimadi Tounkara (guitarist with the Rail Band of Bamako and with Afrocubism) said that the rice came at a really good time…when he really had nothing at home. Many said they were shocked and touched that we thought of them during this difficult time. They said that we did something for them as artists that their own country didn’t do. Most of the responses were like that.”
Again, many thanks for helping our Malian musician friends and their families. Please continue to spread the word about World Connection’s efforts to alleviate some of the most immediate suffering in the harsh realities of Mali today.
Stay tuned for future projects and benefit concert events.
Encourage others to donate and spread the word.
Details of May 2013 Benefit Concert and Ways to Support
The evening’s entertainment included Big Blue World, Balla Kouyate, Boubacar Diabate and the World Connection Band, June Lapointe & Keith Kirkpatrick, and poet and performer Ayisha Knight, as well as photo exhibits of the past 15 years of World Connection’s community projects and musicians in Mali.
The Armory gallery hosted the month long exhibit documenting World Connection’s projects in Mali, as well as in Guatemala. The show featured photographs of Malian musicians, scenes of village and urban domestic life, and the beautiful people of Mali.
Interested in hosting the exhibit? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate here:
Background Information on Mali
For an analysis of what transpired in Mali in 2012, please go to Bruce Whitehouse’s blog, and specifically read The Floating Hippo, April 15, 2013 post.
Currently in Mali there is a ban on performing music even at weddings which is how most of the musicians earn their living. This means that there is no way for these people to feed their families. The goal of this benefit is to provide 50 kilos of a combination of rice and millet to the musicians and their families to help meet a basic and immediate need.
Once the ban is lifted, instruments and equipment that were destroyed by the extremists will be replaced so that musicians can once again provide for their families with their craft.
World Connection is working together with a Bamako-based organization instuments4africa, that has been collecting data on displaced musicians, has an established presence in Mali and has already been assisting musicians who are in dire need.
For additional background information:
- Overview of Events in Mali
- The Day the Music Died in Mali
- Give Mali Back to Malians
- Bridges from Bamako
- Mali music ban by Islamists ‘crushing culture to impose rule’
- Turmoil in the Sahara
- Voices United for Mali – ‘Mali-ko’ (Peace / La Paix) – English subtitles
- Voices United for Mali – ‘Mali-ko’ (Peace / La Paix) – Français sous-titres