Playing a song of hope for Zimbabwe

February 23 2018

A Music and auction night to raise money to build a new classroom for pupils in Zimbabwe will take place on Saturday March 10 at Redland Parish Halls.

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A Music and auction night to raise money to build a new classroom for pupils in Zimbabwe will take place on Saturday March 10 at Redland Parish Halls.

The star attraction is the Zimbabwean mbira player Chartwell Dutiro – who is a favourite at World music festivals across the globe – check him out on YouTube for instance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZlfsm5yrJk.

 The event is jointly organised by Trevor Thompson and Simon Bright, a Zimbabwean with long-standing links to the area. 

Trevor Thompson says: “Come and share the love in the amazing new space at Redland Parish Halls.  

 “It’s a time of hope for Zimbabwe after decades of heart-breaking underinvestment. In partnership with Rotary Club (here and in Zim) we are building a new classroom for Boroma Primary School in beautiful Masvingo Province. Boroma educates 800 pupils on less than $1 a day per person, with one computer and too few classrooms.” 

 Simon Bright made a return visit with his wife Ingrid and friends Trevor and Liz Thompson to Boroma school last year. He found the teachers still being creative by making teaching aids out of cardboard, plus an active parent teacher committee who asked for help with materials to complete a classroom and bring in computers. The numbers of children at the school have exploded because Boroma is one of the few primary schools in the area and now teachers are taking turns to teach outside because there are not enough classrooms.  

Simon says: “Encouraged by Mugabe’s removal from power in Zimbabwe, we wish to invest in the future by helping with education. Our plan is to raise at least £5,000 to support the community to build their own classroom and we have found a charity that will install reconditioned computers into this rural school, (including software and training) for £50 per computer. We are also looking into a cultural programme to stimulate the playing of the traditional Mbira thumb piano, starting them young at Boroma Primary.”  

The event will have live Jazz with Round Midnight, a Mbira performance with Zimbabwean, Chartwell Dutiro, dancing to African Grooves, plus a cash bar and snacks.  

You can view and bid here on some very funky promises for the auction online and on the night (e.g. silver ring-making workshop, dinner for two at Lido, Twitter lessons, Pembrokeshire cottage, architect visit to your house, socks knitted to measure). If you have an auction idea, contact Trevor as soon as possible at trevor.thompson@bris.ac.uk 

 There is no formal charge, but a donation of £12pp would be appreciated. Tables can be reserved for groups of 4 - 8 people. Book via  Eventbrite.