To help Kampala Uganda streetkids make and decorate instruments from recycled plastic bottles and metal, and form a kazoo and drum marching band, led by a couple of bashed second-hand trumpets, and a 'drum major'. The marching band can then raise money by performing.
About the project
Ewan McVicar of Linlithgow was in Uganda in late 2014 to visit the Bridge Builders Uganda project he helped create and has supported for seven years. Formerly the Uganda work was done under the banner of Kids In Need (KIN), now it is Bridge Builders, a small organisation - one employee only, Robert Ekapu, and several volunteers - that works with streetkids, supporting and helping them while waiting for the moment when after counselling they decide they will leave the street and return to a family setting.
BRIDGE BUILDERS ONE ROOM 'OFFICE' AND WORK CENTRE
One of the elements of the work is music. Robert is a qualified social worker, but also a talented musician and music teacher. He has built and taught a Bridge Builders traditional dance and music performance group of present and former street kids, plus some from the local settled community, kitted them out with instruments and correct costumes for the various dances, and now they earn money performing.
On his last visit Ewan took with him a dozen plastic kazoos, left over from a schools project, and handed them out to young street kids who were being given some clothing in the grounds of Old Kampala Primary School. To Ewan's surprise they immediately formed themselves into a band and marched off into the distance, then back again - Ewan caught a few seconds of this on the above video.
When they were asked by Robert Ekapu to hand the kazoos back they said "No, we are keeping them."
Thinking on this experience, Ewan realised there is an opportunity here, to make a project that will engage with the kids, help enskill and socialise them, and make it possible for them to earn some money through performing.
We [Robert Ekapu and Ewan McVicar] want to form a marching band that is mostly kazoos played through litre plastic bottles (with the bottoms cut off to amplify the sound), but with a couple of second-hand trumpets leading and fixing the tunes, and drums and other percussion made from scrap plastic and metal - jerrycans used for carrying water, big cans that held cooking oil. etc. The kids would decorate their recycled instruments, and multi-coloured band uniforms would be made.
We need money to pay for the couple of trumpets unless one of you kind people can donate to us a brass instrument or two, the supplies of paint etc to decorate and transform recycled materials, and to design and make the band uniforms, to provide food and drinks at rehearsals, and to pay tutors to train the kids up.
Some sponsors who are not ofay with Paypal are choosing to send cheques direct to Ewan. We hope to do better than only reach our target and fund this initial project, any overfunding we get will let us build on and widen our approach, forming rubbish street bands in various Kampala communities, integrating street kids with local neighbourhood kids.