A fantastic event featuring music and activities is being held at the Buttermarket in Shrewsbury to raise money and awareness of recent sitiuations in Africa.
Food shortage crisis:
Across nine West African Countries, the UN estimates 15 million people are already affected by severe food shortage (twice the 7.2m population of Greater London).
The situation in Mali is perhaps the most complicated, it has been violently halved in size, as its northern half (an area larger than France) was seized by rebel Tuaregs and extremists during a surprise coup d'etat in April.
At least 170,000 refugees fled for sanctuary in makeshift camps, straddling the country’s borders. The remaining population; often too poor to afford fuel or fares to leave, have been left very exposed to the rebels mounting human rights abuses and starvation.
Very few aid agencies are still able to operate in these conditions. Oxfam, The Red Cross and Unicef are three that are still delivering food and medicines and developing longer term aid solutions.
Africa Calling is being held to raise funds and awareness for these agencies on July 8. It will be a family-friendly day and night festival with a vast array of world-inspired activities including from 10am to 6pm:
1. Guest chefs will do interactive cooking demonstrations throughout the day, with tasters for all guests. Plus, a tea salon with teas and tea-making rituals from around the world.
2. Desert tribesmen from The Sahara and Rajasthan will be performing throughout the day, including The Endless Journey from Niger and The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band from India.
3. Music workshops
4. African, Salsa, Tango and Cajun dance workshops throughout the day.
5. A children’s art competition, face painting and hair braiding.
6. An Indian Fakir showing off his incredible sword swallowing and other skills!
7. Toddlers Sahara sand-pit play area
8. Nomadic Children’s Library destined for African Schools
9. An African Film festival which will show films never seen before in the UK, a unique gift from The Director of the Festival of the Niger.
10. From 7.30pm – 11.30pm, a World Music inspired gig, marking the welcome revival of the popular Jazz and Roots Club scene, including Folk, Desert Blues and Reggae acts, with a big finale from Senegalese 6 piece band, Diabel Cissokho.
Eco artist and Send a Book to Mali Charity Director, Wren Miller, has brought the Africa Calling event together to support the Climate Change and war affected people of West Africa. A dedicated team of people are offering time and expertise to help her to make the day a success. Wren says:
"Some of the poorest countries in the world - Mali - Burkina Faso - Mauritania and more, have been terribly affected by this drought and political turmoil, leaving 12 million people on the edge of starvation, I wanted to do something that would say - we are listening. I'm all for positive action and by acting now we can prevent a disaster.
It's going to be a very positive and special day, supporting people through celebrating the gifts of music and art, food, fun and enjoyment."
Angie and Graham Breakwell of Access All Areas, the Shrewsbury based World Music agency, have been giving enormous support to the planning and programming of this event, sourcing a selection of eclectic international artists to re-create the heady atmosphere of the much-missed Jazz and Roots Club – a night The Buttermarket hopes to revive as part of its regular line-up.
Tickets are available online via Seetickets.com, from participating venues (visit www.thebuttermarket.co.uk), and the organisers on 'Friends of the Buttermarket Jazz and Roots Club' facebook page.
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