A Harambee Concert

 

Last Friday, Blood:Water had the tremendous blessing of partnering with two incredible bands—SHEL and The Railers—that came together to play a concert benefitting our partners in Africa.

For me, it was impossible to leave the night without feeling these two truths:

  1. The story of communities in Africa acts as a rallying force for those it touches with beauty, capacity, and dignity, as well as real challenges.
  2. The concept we often discuss at Blood:Water, “harambee”–the bringing together of all people contributing whatever they can, as much or as little, pulling together in support—is alive, and it is real.

The Railers opened up the night with a spectacular show. This Nashville-based group is composed of three incredible musicians—Jordan, Jonathan, and Cassandra. During their set, Cassandra shared her own connection to the African story, echoes of that rallying force. She read a journal of witnessing a community that did not have access to clean water on a trip she took to Sierra Leone. She used her personal story to challenge the audience to think about the privilege we have of never needing to consider how or where we will get clean water.

[Cassandra] used her personal story to challenge the audience to think about the privilege we have of never needing to consider how or where we will get clean water.

Dan, Blood:Water founder and senior development officer, followed The Railers’ set with a short presentation on the Blood:Water story and its interconnectedness with storytellers and musicians. Artists who bring to the table what they have, including their talent and music in a harambee-like way, allow countless others to rally together in support of the organization and, more importantly, the story of our African partners.

Dan then had the privilege of introducing SHEL, a band of four sisters who are not only dynamically talented performers, but also have quickly become important friends of Blood:Water. They have inspired us with their kind hearts and willingness to support our partners’ work by spearheading this partnership and this benefit concert.

We are so grateful for the incredible generosity that both The Railers and SHEL have shown us, and definitely recommend you check them out. Not only are they world changers, these bands are also ridiculously talented!