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?