Members of the Harewood Community Church have organized a concert this Sunday (Sept. 17) to raise money for orphans in Malawi. (Photo courtesy Oana Luca)

Charity concert will benefit heart-touching, far-off cause

Members of the Harewood Community Church are putting on a concert to aid orphaned children in Malawi

Members of the Harewood Community Church are putting on a concert with the goal of raising $5,000 to aid orphaned children in Malawi.

Event co-ordinator Oana Luca was draw to the cause after hearing a missionary friend describe the obstacles they faced in the African nation.

“My heart was touched and I wanted to help in some way,” Luca said, adding that of all the projects the church in involved with, this was one that was most in need.

“We have others that we’re working with but they’re quite big now, they are quite empowered, but this project needs a lot of funds and training so we thought that this is a worthwhile cause to invest and [be] involved in.”

The fundraising concert will take place at Brechin United Church on Sunday (Sept. 17) at 6 p.m. There is no cost of admission but donations are welcome. Luca said, “It’s already looking like it’s going to be a pretty vibrant concert.”

The show will feature folk and gospel music and will also showcase multicultural singing and dancing, including Chinese, Filipino and First Nation performers in traditional regalia.

“The message that we want to send out is that although we are all different, we can all come together to help support and enrich other peoples lives,” Luca said.

Organizers are hoping to support those in Malawi by raising money to specifically go toward food, clothing, farming and AIDS awareness and prevention.

“Fifty per cent of the population [in Malawi] is under 18 years of age, so it’s practically kids taking care of kids and there are only grandmothers left that are taking care of the children,” Luca said.

“Every year the number is increasing. Every year the kids are becoming orphans because of AIDS.”

Although this is Luca’s first time organizing a benefit concert, future shows are already being considered and expectations are ambitious.

“I’m hoping to bring awareness not only to Nanaimo, but also to Canadian society because here in Canada we have lots of resources and we are really not aware of what’s going on on the other side of the world,” Luca said.

“I think it’s going to be a yearly event. I am planning to do another one next year and the year after and hopefully there are going to be more people involved and more people coming to the concert as well.”

The fundraiser concert for Malawi orphans will be at Brechin United Church on Sunday (Sept. 17) at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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