Kevin Brown writes:
If you came to our Jubilee fundraiser for Mali back in May, then thank you, thank you, thank you. You helped us get the cash together to construct a much-needed maternity ward near the capital Bamako. It was worth the hangover.
We love to throw these parties. We like seeing you lot with smiles on your faces and we like dressing up. Most importantly, they go some way to making people’s lives in this small part of west Africa a little bit better.
When we first started working out in Mali it was due to a mutual friend of ours, Ballo, who you can see in the video below. He’s a teacher, fixer and philanthropist who was our connection to the schools system out there. We helped build some classrooms and improve the lives of a small collection of students.
Since then, we’ve hooked up with the Mali Development Group to implement the maternity ward project and our money can be put into a bigger pot to affect even more change in the area. We plan on having more fundraisers this year, so please come to those and throw a few quid at the raffle when harangued. We ask very little of you.
Sadly, things in Mali and the surrounding countries aren’t great at the moment. 18 million people urgently need food and water in West Africa’s drought-struck Sahel region. Our small domestic endeavours are quite insignificant when put into the broader political and economic context. At the very sharp end, it’s a humanitarian crisis and at a domestic level this has fundamentally changed the fabric of the local culture we have come to know and love in the capital.
It may sound insignificant, but on a grassroots level, some of the culturally rich music clubs in Bamako have closed as people can’t even afford food and water nevermind a beer and a sing-song. We’ve given you load of opportunities to have a beer and a sing-song over the past four years. So perhaps you could help them out?
A quick request. Please watch the video below with Damon and our friend Ballo. On this glorious summer day, perhaps you might find it inspiring and be moved to help them in some small way. There’s even a website here, www.sahel2012.org. Mali has been a second home to some of the siblings, so your time would be muchly appreciated. Hard sell over. As you were.