Guest blog by Jake Roberts


At the Hokoyo benefit for Tariro, held on November 6th in Eugene, OR

This week, I’m posting a guest blog entry by Jake Roberts, a senior at South Eugene High School in Eugene, OR.  As part of the youth marimba band Hokoyo, Jake recently helped organize a benefit concert on behalf of Tariro.  His post is a wonderful inspiration to others who may be thinking about how to contribute to Tariro in their own communities.  Here is Jake on the recent benefit:

After hearing that Tariro’s budget had shot up, because of the closure of public schools, I had a realization. Until this point, I had never taken it upon myself to fundraise, and instead just played as part of someone else’s schemes for making money. As I was thinking about the implications of this change, I had a moment of realization – what if it didn’t happen? What if Tariro didn’t pull $40,000 out of a hat, and kept their students in school? I realized that something had to be done, and that because nobody had stood up to take this challenge on, I would myself.

Hokoyo had been talking for a while about retiring our name, and moving onto other things. We thought we should end our era deliberately, and not as a result of people leaving. We did not want to finish a random concert, and come to the realization that the performance we gave was in fact our last. It needed more recognition than that. I sprung the idea of ending our name with a benefit for Tariro, and we agreed it was a wonderful mix of a good cause, and, as sinister as it sounds, manipulation of our fans. We figured we could get way more people to come see us at our last performance than a “regular” one. Why not harness this power for a good cause?

The benefit was far more successful than I had ever imagined. On final tally, (including $500 that Hokoyo had left over in our account), we raised $2220, one of the largest outpourings of support I’ve been a part of. Still, so much more is needed before Tario’s goal is reached. I highly recommend putting on a fundraiser. Even though I’ve never taken something on of this size before, I found it one of the most rewarding work I’ve done for Tariro.

Thank you Jake and all of the Hokoyo members for this incredibly successful youth fundraiser!  I would love to get more youth in the US involved with Tariro’s work, which provides a great opportunity to teach youth about HIV/AIDS, development, women’s education, and social justice.  Do readers have ideas on how to involve youth in greater numbers in our project to educate and empower their counterparts in Zimbabwe?


One response to “Guest blog by Jake Roberts

  1. Pingback: What makes a great benefit? | Tariro: Hope and Health for Zimbabwe's Orphans

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