I just recently received this email from a sister of a co-worker -
perhaps we can help...
Dear Friends and Family:
As many of you know, I am in my final months (only 4!) of a two year
contract as a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia. Before I go, there
is a project which I must make happen. I am currently working with
another volunteer to produce an AIDS awareness CD of Namibian
artists called NamibiAlive!, which will be distributed for free to
the 5000+ long-distance buses in Namibia.
So far it's been loads of fun...we've made new friends who are all
really good people as well as talented musicians. It's also been
tons of work...we're still full-time teachers, and our primary
responsibility is to our students. But AIDS is not just a problem
affecting our villages and our schools. One in five Namibians is
infected, and this amazing country is in serious trouble.
So we're taking our fight against AIDS from the classroom to the
highway (where the highest HIV prevalence rates are found), and
we're asking you to help. We have a talented group of artists on
board and great support from the media, but it will cost
approximately U.S.$10,000 to produce and replicate the CDs. We're
pursuing local sponsors, but the spirit of corporate giving is a new
concept in Namibia, so we're also looking for donations from the
If you are interested in collecting donations at work, school,
church, etc., I have attached a 'Change for Change' fundraising
flier for NamibiAlive. If you would like to find out more about the
project or make a direct contribution, go to
which showcases our new logo
(we're rather proud) and has links to our Paypal account where you
can make debit or credit card donations, and websites for Namibian
musicians, fact sheets for HIV in Namibia, general information about
If you have any additional ideas for fundraising activities or
questions about the project, feel free to email me directly, or use
our project email
Thank you, wonderful people! -Amy
Before I finish my Peace Corps service in December, I have a project
I want to make happen, and I'm hoping that you can help...if only to
give me feedback.
As you know, for almost two years I have taught English in a bush
school and lived on a traditional homestead, which has been an
amazing experience. I have done my best to educate my students
and 'family' members about AIDS-nearly 30% of the population is HIV-
positive. I feel like I have had some small successes...just last
weekend we took 12 students for HIV testing and counseling...very
cool. The problem is that AIDS is no small problem in Namibia.
So...my fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Dan Cwirka, and I came up with
a project that would reach a larger population than our respective
As volunteers, Dan and I are not among the more privileged driving-
class of Namibia, and along with the majority of the population,
when we want to go somewhere, we must try our luck in taxis that are
much like speeding time-bombs; or even worse, when traveling longer
distances, we allow ourselves to be packed into overcrowded,
steaming hot mini-buses called combis. Besides being uncomfortable
and unsafe (they easily tip over), you can rely on combis to blare
the same terrible CD for the duration of your
8-12 hour journey. Inspiration strikes!
Why not give all of the combi buses in Namibia (around 5,000) a CD
of good, local music with HIV and AIDS awareness messages from the
artists between tracks? This would be an especially effective tool
for AIDS awareness, because the messages would be coming from
musicians...very influential and respected individuals. It would
also target a group at high-risk for contracting and spreading HIV-
the combi drivers who are generally young, mobile and with
expendable income, not to mention the thousands of Namibians who
travel on combi buses every day.
Well, we've been pursuing this idea, and we have managed to get a
full track-list of established Namibian artists to agree to let us
use their songs and record messages for an AIDS awareness album we
are calling ALIVE!
Music with a Message. We've also gotten major media outlets to
support our efforts. It's been a very exciting month. What we
haven't done is get the funding to actually produce these CDs. The
production of a master CD is relatively inexpensive (around U.S.
$1,000) and the replication of 5,000 plus CDs will cost under U.S.
$10,000. We've put administrative costs, including promotion, at
around U.S. $1,000...Grand total, U.S. $12,000. No small amount,
but not wildly impossible either.
Ideally, we would get a mix of Namibian public and private sector
organizations to sponsor the CD and cover its production costs. We
are pursing this to the best of our abilities-we are still full-time
teachers who live in the bush...bad cell phone reception, a 2 to 5
hour journey to use internet, and a good 8 to 12 hours (on a combi)
from prospective sponsors'
offices. We are also on a tight timeline as our contract is
finished December 15, 2006. It is important that Namibians are
invested in the project, and as previously stated, ideally that
would mean financial investment, as well as artistic and promotional
support. But we feel that this project is important enough that it
needs to happen, regardless.
So...we are looking to use our connections in the States to help us
raise at least the initial money used to produce a master CD and
cover administrative costs (around U.S. $2,000). Any great ideas?
Possible leads? We are willing to try anything... fundraisers,
grants, gravelling...you name it. I'm sorry to have rambled on
so...it's just that this is an incredibly important cause, and I
have a hard time condensing the urgency and desperation of the AIDS
epidemic in Namibia into an abbreviated plea for assistance. Feel
free to pass this email along, and let me know if you require more
information (or information in a shortened form).
I hope this missive finds you well, and I look forward to hearing
from you soon. -Amy Taylor