Expand the Band

Why hello,

I don’t usually ask for much, but in this case I believe it is a good cause. One of the reasons why I believe Peace Corps has a good thing going is that its service work is flexible. We as volunteers have been asked, within loose project guidelines, to find areas of true need in the communities that we are placed and then with the help of the local population to develop programs and strategies to meet those needs. We come in with very little agenda other than to help where we are able. Therefore when Mam Lebogo, a teacher at the lower primary, approached me about helping to expand their church’s brass band, I was intrigued. After many discussions about the intent of the band, how it works and why they want to grow I can honestly say this is a wonderful way to meet a dire need in rural South Africa that was fully developed by the local community but can be made a reality by support from folks just like you. Below is the statement of purpose for the project.

“South Africa has the highest number of HIV positive individuals worldwide. In rural areas, there is a severe lack of opportunities for children and youth to develop a routine of healthy, life-giving behaviors. In April of 2007, a church in rural South Africa received a donation of a single pre-owned (and rather beat-up) trumpet. This single, potentially insignificant donation started a chain reaction leading to the active creation and promotion of a youth band. The congregation has since pulled together what little it has to purchase a replacement for the original trumpet. Upon hearing of the dream, the local musical instrument dealer donated a second instrument to the cause. With the band gaining momentum, the congregation, through much hard work and sacrifice, raised nearly $3,000 U.S. dollars to purchase 9 additional instruments to date. Each musical instrument is shared by a cadre of children and youth, and therefore 9 instruments currently serve a band of twenty-two youth. The congregation has hopes to expand its reach by adding 11 new instruments to the band, helping to provide a positive opportunity to over 30 additional at-risk children and youth.”

Many of the youth that are currently involved in the band journey to the church to practice up to 3 hours every day. Why, because they love the music and they want to use thier gift to give back to the community, no one forces thier involvement. This is just another way that we can open doors of opportunity to those who sometimes feel surrounded by hopelessness.

The church is hoping to raise $4428.66. Please consider helping. 100% of your contribution will go to the purchase of the new instruments and therefore 30 more youth will have an opportunity to experience the power of making music.

You can donate here using the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) Website. It’s fast its secure and it allows you a way of keeping track of your donation for tax purposes.

Thanks, Benjamin