Friday, March 20, 2009

Yet again I have to apologize for the very long time since my last posting. My global organization Listen for Life has been extremely busy, focused on a number of projects on three different continents, but I would like to tell you about just one of them at the moment.

As most of you will recall, January 2008 was a nightmarish time of post-election violence in Kenya. A member of Listen for Life's advisory board has been a highly respected youth leader for years in Kenya, and we heard from him first hand about his mother being chased from her home in the rioting, and running - with her next door neighbor - from the torch-brandishing youths of conflicting tribes, who were told by warlords that they would be paid for each home that they burnt. While the two women were trying to escape into the woods, her neighbour was shot with an arrow and his mother had to keep running. She hid for days and eventually our friend was able to collect enough funds to charter a small plane and ferry her and many other women and children of that village out of the area. His mother only recently returned to her home but there is nothing left and the situation is actually much worse for everyone there, now, than it was before the violence. Before, people from the various tribes lived and worked together but now there is distrust, animosity, and lack of peace.

He therefore came to Listen for Life some months ago and asked us to come to Kenya and set up a project there, because he is convinced that the very best way to make a permanent, positive impact in this situation is through music.
Listen for Life has therefore teamed up with another organization called the World Youth Alliance (WYA) and the deputy director of that global organization is in Kenya. Together we have planned what we believe to be a very worthwhile project of great potential and power: at specific youth events of music and dance, scheduled for late April and early May, we are bringing together the youth and leaders from the 7 principal (previously warring) tribes and we are flying in professional media producers from Listen for Life in USA and Europe. They will then teach workshops for those gathered, about filming and recording their own native musicians - thus giving them a new job skill, potential employment, and helping to preserve their cultures, while at the same time giving them an activity that promotes peace, centered on the one common denominator: music. They will also help them to set up their own radio station and/or programming, in order to give the future generations of Kenya a voice for positive change rather inciting others to continue the divisive violence.

The WYA has contributed what they can to support and organize these unique, imaginative events which are scheduled to take place in 3 locations of Kenya over a 12 day period, but they contacted us recently saying that their funding source for the project itself had suddenly evaporated and they are now reliant on Listen for Life in the USA to find funding or donations from any individuals, groups, micro-lenders, corporations, etc (of ANY country), in order to cover the $8000 of budgeted expenses for all of the project and its three events - but if we don't find that funding THIS WEEK, they will be forced to cancel or postpone the events until a later time because we won't have time to get the Visas for the LFL production people to travel to Kenya to teach the workshops, and the WYA will also not be able to secure the venues for the music and cross-cultural sharing and dialogue that has been set up as part of this important project.
Meanwhile, as I have been getting the word out in Kenya about the scheduled workshops, we have had wonderful offers of other locations and regions of Kenya that would like to host the events at a 4th location during the same time period. So far, over 200 youth from all over Kenya are signed up to attend the workshops and events. Keeping in mind that in Africa, a "youth" is traditionally someone up to age 35, and the potential for impacting both current and future generations with this potential project, becomes quite evident. If we end up having to postpone the events, then I will believe that was meant to be, but for now I am sharing this with everyone just in case some of you feel that it should definitely take place NOW and want to be involved in some way or know someone who might be able to help. If so, please get in touch with Listen for Life (which is a 501c3 organisation) immediately ! The website is or you can email me ( or the Executive Director, Andy Anderson, at THANKS!

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