Yearly Archives: 2010
We all know the great work that Comic Relief do every year throughout the world but it wasn’t until my daughter worked for them that I realised how much they impact society. They are also one of the few charities where 100% of what comes in goes straight out to their projects.
On a hillside, high above a ravine lived a small boy and his family. There home was a very ordinary wood shack surrounded on three sides by trees. Life seemed very boring to this young boy and he dreamed of excitement and adventure. Often he would sit on their wooden porch late in the evening and watch the valley below, change colours as the sun went down. On the other side of the valley was another building and on certain evenings there would be an amazing sight, a miracle would happen, the house would explode with amazing golden windows. He would sit and dream about who lived there, how special they must be to live in such an amazing place. Read More
There are many who believe that music can influence society. One such lady is Malian born Oumou Sangare (check out her profile http://www.africanmusiciansprofiles.com/oumousangare.htm ) sometimes referred to as “The Songbird of Wassoulou.” Her songs have spoken into woman’s rights, child marriage and polygamy. The track below “Yala” is a song that hit the dance floors of Mali and criticises young people who roam late at night in search of pleasure – forgetting their traditional values.
This next clip from Romania is a gypsy band called VAMA feat. Ralflo. The songs calls for justice for the Roma gypsies who are living in France and speaks into a French policy of President Sarkosy’s for Roma people to leave France. One line in the song says “Hey, hey Mr. Sarkozy. Why don’t you like the gypsies?”
Another aspect of making a difference with music is when a people group encounter some type of disaster. Rigzin Dolma is a Tibetan singer who brought out a song after the terrible earthquake in April last year dedicated to the victims. It was originally a poem that was posted after the tragedy and Rigzin put a melody to the poem. A very rough translation is … The sudden disaster, separated my beloved brothers and sisters. Dead and alive. You suffer my sorrow physically and I feel your pain heartily. My beloved brothers and sisters, our hearts will always be together.
Lastly check out this inspirational French artist …. who followed his heart into the unknown. Take time to be inspired.
Sitting on the slatted wooden flooring covered with a beautiful woven mat … we looked out from the tall stilted house we had come to visit towards the nearby river. We had stepped into another world – a community who’s lifeblood is entangled with that of the Mekong and it’s tributaries, in all it’s wonder and treachery.
For 3 months of the year during monsoon season the river rises many feet and our hosts home becomes an island on stilts. The dug out canoe becomes the vehicle of choice for travel during this season and food comes to your doorstep – fish that is! When the waters recede the fields are perfect for growing rice.
The last couple of days we have been recording tracks at a radio station called Trans-world radio with the smaller children from the orphanage. I couldn’t but notice one small girl who has a huge smile on her face as she sings. Six weeks ago she was on the streets and now with CCAM’s help she is having fun with newly found friends …. the only signs that remain of her street existence is the colour of her hair, still a shade of red at the ends due to past malnourishment. Another few weeks and her hair will be completely jet black once again.
The legacy of a regime that killed so many in Cambodia in the 1970’s still rears its ugly head today. Distrust of country rulers and looking after number one is very evident even in the mundane and ordinariness of road travel. Driving licences can be bought on the black market filling the roads with unskilled drivers. Beautiful new traffic lights at major intersections with large glowing numbers count down to red and green changes, yet this is adhered to by some and largely ignored by others causing chaos on the roads.
It is prohibited to ride motorcycles and tuk tuks without helmets, another law that is flouted by many. When caught by police they are fined but because of the widespread corruption amongst officials this is mostly pocketed – I asked one person if they believed that there were any good policemen and after thinking for a moment they said “Sadly none”.