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Band Stand Opening on Kalangala

In March 2018 Brass for Africa officially opened “Jo’s Bandstand” in Kalangala on the Ssesse Islands in Lake Victoria.

Working with our partners Mlisada we launched a brass music programme for 100 of the children and young people on the island last year. This programme is partially funded by The Elton John AIDS Foundation and our aim is to use music to reduce the ravaging effects of HIV and AIDS on this community.

HIV infection is quoted at over 27% in the island, way above the national average of 7% in Uganda. Through music we can increase comprehensive knowledge of HIV to reduce infection and tackle the stigma associated with the condition.

We are delighted that the Collins family have funded the construction of the bandstand which now provides a safe, sheltered and lit space for the children to practice and perform. On saturday 24th March a grand launch was held with the children’s band and supporters marching from the local community centre to the bandstand for a celebration concert.

This is the speech made to the audience explaining how the Collins family have turned personal tragedy into extremely positive action.

Amanda Collin’s first heard about Brass for Africa in 2013 shortly after her father died. Her father was a keen musician and Amanda searched the internet looking for somewhere to donate his instruments, She found Brass for Africa. The Charity’s founder Jim Trott and Amanda met and discussed the work being carried out in Uganda and Amanda soon became a staunch supporter but not only through the donation of her fathers beloved instruments.

Amanda’s brother Daniel died of a brain tumour as a young man, his passion was computers and IT. In 2015 in Daniel’s memory Amanda funded an IT and Computer suite located at the Mummy Foundation in the Katwe Slum in Kampala.

Amanda’s brother in law was a haemophiliac which meant he needed regular transfusions of blood products. This was over 30 years ago when there was very little knowledge and awareness of HIV and AIDS and before there was effective treatment and ARV’s. Unfortunately he died from AIDS in 1984. His wife and Amanda’s sister, Jo, contracted HIV from her husband and also passed away in 1991.

Amanda and her family had been wanting to support Brass for Africa further, specifically tackling issues around children and HIV and they were delighted to learn that the charity had embarked on this ground breaking programme in Kalangala. In memory of her sister Jo and to support the young people of Kalangala in their stand against HIV and AIDS Amanda has funded the construction of Jo’s Bandstand, and she and her family hope that you will enjoy it and make full use of the opportunities being provided to the community.

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