Congratulations to our Executive Director, Helen Bond who won the 2015 Jack Benny Arts and Humanities award!
What is planned for 2016. 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 are now working on an additional project - making Universal Nut Sheller's with the support of the Full Belly Project. In Guinea peanuts are an important cash and nutritional crop. Like our Biosand Water Filters the Universal Nut Sheller is made with concrete using a mold. Typically what takes 5 women all day to shell peanuts can take 1 hour with the Universal Nut Sheller(UNS). One UNS can serve a village of 2,000 individuals and is expected to last approximately 25 years. We plan to start distributing these filters at the end of 2015 and 2016. They will have a huge impact by improving agricultural economic standing and food stability as the families will be able in increase their peanut crops keeping more for themselves and allow them to increase production for market. We are in need of funding towards this effort!
To date we have made 275 Biosand Water Filters which has allowed us to provide 2,750 individuals with access to clean water. We are so grateful for the support of our donors. A group of like minded individuals can accomplish big changes and we have proven that!
Other stateside 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 2015 Benkadi Benefit!
Saturday November 14, 2015 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/Free Will 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!
Our Benkadi Project continues to support communities in Guinea, West Africa. Highlights from this year include; making 275 biosand water filters for families out side of Conakry; paying for medical services; and continued school and emergency medical support for individuals.
Thank You So Very Much...
to all of our supporters. If you would like to join our community, contact Helen Bond at helen@MedusaDrums.com 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."
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."
College of Lake County
"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."
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!!!"
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."
Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center
"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."
Prairie Crossing Charter School Teacher