Motherland Rhythm Community


What is planned for 2014. We have learned a lot about our biosand water filters and are looking ahead to scale and expand our CLEAN WATER project. In addition, we will continue our ongoing support of the urban youth school fees, elderly women's garden and emergency medical assistance. We will review the school house in Sangbaralla village to check for repair needs as well as the Youth Center. We will also check to see if there are wells which require repair work. We are thrilled to expand our small solar projects which includes giving out single light solar units to families which was a project spearheaded by Dylan Skau. Dylan was going to be celebrating 10th Birthday and asked that his friends and family join him in this project instead of purchasing gifts for him. As news traveled and people learned about his project his donations increased! This year we will be begin delivery of these units. We have been astounded by all the efforts by our donors and supporters. A group of like minded individuals can accomplish big changes and we have proven that!

2013 was another amazing year for Motherland Rhythm Community Programs. The highlight of our year was our 7 weeks last summer in Guinea, making biosand water filters. Thanks to our committed supporters and Lake Forest College students Jesus Ayala, Jr. and Matt Cunliffe who won the Davis Foundation's Projects for Peace Grant!

We were thrilled to learn that two of our youth we sponsor in school in Conakry, Guinea (a boy and girl) entered University this past fall! What an accomplishment! We are so proud of them and grateful to their sponsors in the US!

Other activities have included: numerous scholarships to various individuals for workshops and classes; Free Monthly Community Drum Circle Jams; Drum workshops and presentations for Schools at all levels, After School Drumming Programs; Cultural Presentations at parks, schools and community centers.

Thank you so very much to our sponsors and parents who funded these programs. The more we know about the world globally the more connected and harmoniously we live with one another.

Be sure to mark your calendar for 2014 Benkadi Benefit!

  • Saturday November 15, 2014 6:30pm (Round Lake Beach, IL)
    14th Annual Benkadi Benefit
    Performances and snacks

    Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center

    An Evening of West African Music
    No Cover Charge/Donations Accepted

    We're so excited to share with you the video we created of our Benkadi Project Senuyaa Initiative in Guinea this summer. The video is basically our 7 weeks of work compressed into a 10 minute video. Thank you to everyone who came together with us to work on this project!

    Last years Benefit helped us continue our work with providing biosand water filters for families in Guinea. Our goal was to make 20 biosand water filters helping 200 individuals have access to clean water. Thank you for helping us pass our goal!

    We were able to make 22 biosand water filters this past December and January! The families were so happy to receive their filters. The exciting news is that the families who have had their filters since the summer of 2013 reported DRAMATIC improvements to their health since the use of the filters! There are still many families in need of a filter, they visit the site where we make them to see our progress and stop our local workers to see if we're in production.

    This is all great news as word of the filters success has traveled around! In March 2014 Peace Corps volunteers visited our site and met with our local Project Liaison Fode Camara who showed them how the filters are made and they visited with families who have the filters. Hopefully this inspires more biosand filter projects in Guinea!

    The April 20, 2013 benefit was specifically for our "Senuyaa" Initiative. (Senuyaa means Purify in the Malinke language) Our Benefit raised 40% of the funds we used last summer for our project. We made biosand water filters for 42 families serving 420 individuals.

    Our endless thank you to Jesus Ayala and Matt Cunliffe (who worked with us as an intern project manager). Jesus and Matt won the Projects for Peace Grant at Lake Forest College offered by the Davis Foundation. This grant helped us kick off our Senuyaa Initiative "Purify" BioSand Water Filter Project and funded 60% of the project last summer.

    Click here to see our Open Letter on the Senuyaa Initiative

    Our Benkadi Project continues to support communities in Guinea, West Africa. Highlights from this year include; making 64 biosand water filters for families out side of Conakry; paying for medical services; and continued school and emergency medical support for individuals.

    Be sure to read one of our past Benkadi Project Newsletters for more information on our work over the past 10 years.

    Thank You So Very Much...
    to all of our supporters. If you would like to join our community, contact Helen Bond at 847-543-0708. Donations payable to “Motherland Rhythm Community” are most appreciated.

    "...I've had a lot of fun learning the West African Music, but more importantly, I've learned a lot about the culture of West Africa. I am a retired school teacher who always emphasized to my students the value of learning about what life is like in other parts of the world.....I have read any number of books about other nations, but there is no substitute for direct contact with someone from a different culture."

    Marilyn Gruber
    Round Lake Beach, IL

    "Helen is a very open, intelligent, and generous person. She believes in making the world a better place and she is doing it a little step at a time. ........Her motivation for all this is not personal gain ...... it is in her nature to believe that we all need each other in order to make this world a better place for all in which to live."

    Maria Manterola
    College of Lake County
    Grayslake, IL

    "I think that Fode's comments sent a very powerful message about the importance of education and embracing other cultures. Many of these children (and adults) had never heard the traditional rhythms of West Africa's Guinea, let alone met anyone from Africa. The two of you definitely got our audience's attention with the drumming and the sharing of instruments."

    Claudia Freeman
    Superintendent of Cultural Arts
    Jack Benny Center for the Arts
    Waukegan Park District, Waukegan, IL

    "Awesome!!! It's so amazing to see people of all ages, abilities and disabilities with families and alone arriving for these events. Some with their instruments and others with none. Many have never done anything like this before. It's great to see all of these people coming together and having fun as a group!!!"

    Monica Marr
    Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center
    Round Lake Beach, IL

    "...Your contribution to this youth leadership program has been a valuable experience. The group has not stopped talking about your skills and the educational information you shared. In addition to the instructional component of the workshop, you raised everyone’s consciousness regarding global oppression and economic disadvantages. The youth were mesmerized by Fodé’s drumming and his kind gentle spirit."

    Jane Hunter
    Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center
    Gurnee, IL

    "Helen has an amazing ability to work with all ages of kids and to reach them at their own level. The students are all engaged in the traditional West African music that she teaches. At first the students come in and they are a little apprehensive of playing the drums. Helen puts them at ease immediately and the students are playing and enjoying the music within minutes.......The students learn how to express themselves with the drum, work together as a unit to make music, listen and follow directions. Most of these students do not have any musical training and Helen is able to bring them together and make beautiful music."

    Katy Barnett
    Prairie Crossing Charter School Teacher
    Grayslake, IL