Evening of music Feb. 18 provides education for girls in Kenya

As part of an ongoing exchange between the Shuswap and Akonjo Village, residents are helping enable girls to complete their education.

Playing for Africa: Murray MacDonald of One Camel Short is back on the entertainment slate to support Kenya’s Akonjo Village on Feb. 18 at the SAGA Public Art Gallery.

In the Shuswap, going to high school is free and accessible to most young people of both genders. Not so in some communities in Kenya.

As part of an ongoing cultural exchange between the Shuswap and Akonjo Village in Kenya, Shuswap residents are helping enable girls to complete their education, girls who otherwise would not. In Akonjo it costs about $600 per year for girls to finish high school, and girls are generally not encouraged to do so.

On Saturday, Feb. 18 an evening of music and dance will be held at SAGA Public Art Gallery to further the Canadian/Kenyan cultural exchange and to raise funds for the youth empowerment project.

This will be the fifth consecutive year for this event, which once again features a wonderful selection of world music and dance.

Murray MacDonald of One Camel Short, one of the organizers and entertainers, has visited Akonjo Village.

“I think the Akonjo Project is really worthwhile – all monies raised go directly to Kenya to projects that happen in the village,” he says. “I saw how people live, and saw the need for the kind of help we can give. I also feel we can get working on cultural relationships and can get a lot out of it ourselves. We have a lot to learn – there’s a lot to learn from African culture. As a musician that’s one of my interests, and it’s been good for me to be part of this.”

Cathy Stubington, artistic director of Runaway Moon Theatre, and Jimmy Ouma Okello, who lives in Akonjo Village, met several years ago in Kenya. The exchange grew out of their friendship and work for social change.

Okello came to the Shuswap last year when he participated in several projects including a large-scale theatrical production focusing on water. In Akonjo, projects from the exchange have included a sewing project whereby girls are provided with sanitary pads so they don’t have to miss school, youth health educators visiting area schools, football (soccer) tournaments for girls, a water awareness project, youth farming projects that have produced cash crops, micro revolving loans for women, and the scholarships that have allowed girls to complete their secondary school education. One girl is now in her second year of nursing training.

MacDonald says he finds all the projects worthwhile, but the secondary school education for girls is the one which particularly impresses him.

“If the girls stay in the village, they’re more likely to get married and start having children at a very young age… School breaks the cycle as well as giving them the opportunity to follow their dreams.”

One Camel Short consists of MacDonald and Dick Owings, who perform world music – African, Middle Eastern, South American, featuring a blend of guitar, violin, vocals and percussion.

Also featured will be Popoleko Singers, who sing a haunting blend of a cappella Balkan music.

Dance instructor Kristy Christian will perform Middle Eastern dance, while local group O Nosso Amor, will blend in spicy music from Brazil. For more active audience members, One Camel Short will lead a dance from Akonjo Village that Jimmy Ouma Okello taught when he was here last year.

Doors to this celebration open at 7 when the public can bid on silent auction items and enjoy delicious desserts. Entertainment starts at 7:30 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Video: Shuswap Search and Rescue help injured mountain biker

North Vancouver woman falls on trail in North Shuswap

Police request public’s help after cat shot in North Shuswap

Chase RCMP seeking information, small calibre bullets lodged in shoulder of pet

Hornets take home gold at Interior Spring League Playoffs tournament

The tournament consisted of seven teams from Kamloops to West Kelowna

Letter: Residents urged to vote for kitchen for Outdoor School

Voting goes until June 23 to receive $100,000 for South Canoe

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mainly sunny

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of showers tomorrow across the Okanagan

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Beloved South Okanagan baker dies

Beloved baker Ben Manea died suddenly on June 15, bakery to operate for one final week

Knife-wielding man robs South Okanagan pizza shop

RCMP are looking for the suspect who was wearing a ski mask

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

Rockets ready to take flight at upcoming NHL draft

A handful of Kelowna’s best could hear their name at the draft starting Friday

Leave your dogs at home, they can’t take the heat

Kelowna police responded to six reports of dogs left alone in hot cars this month

Okanagan College’s Women In Trades Training program celebrates 1,000 students

Since 2009, WITT has trained approximately 100 women each year

Arrested suspect connected to string of Okanagan robberies

Man arrested after failed robbery at Enderby store may be involved in four other such crimes

Most Read