NGS livestream charity concert shines spotlight on global impact of COVID-19
To learn more about the charity's programme please watch >>>>> Charity Concert for Global Alliance for Peace
Newcastle Grammar School (NGS) students have turning their focus to the global impact of COVID-19, putting on a livestream concert to raise funds for African refugees impacted by the pandemic.
The Senior School jazz ensemble, Brass RaZoo, performed from 6-7pm on Wednesday 24 June, with the concert livestreamed via YouTube. Viewers were encouraged to make a donation to the Global Alliance for Peace, a Newcastle-based charity that is campaigning for peace and the rights of African refugees affected by war.
The money raised will go towards the charity’s programme called SHEFRA – Stay Home Emergency Food Relief for Africa, to help women and their families originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who are living as refugees in Nairobi, Kenya.
The charity concert was inspired by the School’s membership of Round Square, an international network of 200 schools that are committed to nurturing forward-thinking, global citizens.
NGS Global Studies teacher Mrs Samantha Jones said Round Square aimed to help students focus on the outside world, and included a commitment to ‘service’, so the fundraising concert was an ideal way for students to fulfil that aim.
“While our students have been affected by COVID-19, they haven’t faced the issues that people in other parts of the world are facing, like being unable to access food or education due to the crisis,” she said.
The livestream event was a first for the School, which introduced a raft of innovative measures to support students’ learning during the recent COVID-19 restrictions.
“This was a great opportunity for our musicians, who weren’t able to get together to play during the COVID-19 shutdown, to showcase their skills and talents for both the School and the wider community,” Mrs Jones said. “We hope viewers enjoyed the online concert.”
Year 12 student James Peters, chair of the Round Square student committee, said the media coverage of the pandemic had failed to focus on the suffering in many developing countries.
“Round Square teaches us to seek out, discover and embrace an understanding of different cultures and nationalities in ways that promote meaningful respect and understanding, and this event for the Global Alliance for Peace allowed students at Newcastle Grammar School to gain a meaningful understanding of the effects of COVID-19 felt by many others around the world who are too often forgotten.”
Global Alliance for Peace founder, Mr Jerome Rugaruza, whose children attend Newcastle Grammar School, fled violence in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, spending 15 years in refugee camps in Kenya before making his new home in Australia. He helped establish the charity to support refugees from villages like his own, so they could rebuild their lives and become economically self-sufficient.
“COVID-19 has been particularly hard for refugees in Africa,” he said. “In Australia, we are so blessed, so we have the opportunity to bless.”
The charity’s SHEFRA programme aims to keep women and their families functioning during at least one month of COVID-19 isolation, with funds raised going towards hygiene products, food delivery, rent, water and electricity bills for the most disadvantaged people.