Last week, London agency Brothers and Sisters held a Diamond Jubilee Knees UP with Dirty Soup and the Tiny Wallops to raise money in support of the agency's friends in Mali. We are pleased to report that a whopping £7,000 was raised. All proceeds from the night will go to building two new maternity wards at Kolondieba Hospital in South Mali.
To find out more about the project, please read below:
We spoke to Andy Fowler, ECD at Brothers and Sisters, who founded the relationship with Mali, to get the low down on this event.
LBB > Talk to us about your involvement with your friends in Mali? What is their story?
AF > We've had a relationship with Mali for a few years now. It all came about through my friend, Charly, who works for Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz). She told me how Damon was helping a Malian friend set up a teacher training centre in the capital, Bamako. I got really inspired by the whole idea of helping local people help themselves rather than going through a big charity.
Having been there myself it's hard to put into words what an amazing place Mali is. They say once you've been there you have 'Mali eyes', which means you see the world in a whole new way.
LBB > What does Brothers and Sisters hope to achieve by holding their Diamond Jubilee party, and how will the people in Mali benefit?
AF > We love putting on a party for all our friends at Brothers and Sisters. And we love doing a little bit of good while we're having fun. We are raising £8,000 to build a maternity ward for difficult births in a very remote part of Southern Mali. It will serve all the people within a 200 mile radius.
Every single penny taken behind the bar at the Village Underground will go to this project.
LBB > Is this a one off event or do you have a long-standing commitment to the people of Mali? If so, what is this, what are your plans for the future and how can people help you, help them?
AF > Over the past few years, we've helped set-up and fund a teacher training centre in Bamako and built a new classroom and supplied furniture for a village school that was in dire need. I hope this is only the beginning and we can achieve bigger things there in the future.
We'd also like to put on a live Mali music night in London, because their music is incredible and everyone needs to hear it.