SOS UK Ambassador Leee John and his band ‘Imagination’ held a series of concerts in Zambia in late September to help fundraise for the new SOS Children’s Village in Chipata.
In Chipata, in Zambia's Eastern Province, the high incidence of HIV/AIDS has left over 17,000 orphans. SOS Children has therefore begun building a new Children’s Village which will include 15 family homes for 180 children; the majority of whom will have been orphaned by AIDS, and many others by Malaria. There are almost no other facilities to care for lone children in this area, and certainly none that provide the children with a family for life.
On 1st October, Leee and his band performed live at the prestigious Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka. The evening included a 3-course meal and over 400 guests attended. Among the guests was the Zambian First Lady Mrs Thandiwe Banda, Government Ministers as well as the Deputy British High Commissioner David Pearce and his wife. Two renowned Zambian Artistes, Maureen Lilanda and Marsha Moyo, performed alongside Leee. Leee John’s electric performance brought the house down and the rendition of an old favourite – Illusion - got everyone on their feet!
The family show held on 2nd October at the Barclays Bank Sports Complex had a carnival atmosphere. Activities started with a performance by the SOS Children’s Majorettes accompanied by the Brass Band. A children’s play park which included water slides attracted children of all ages and helped raise funds for underprivileged children in a fun way. More than 1,000 people attended.
During Leee and the band’s one week visit, they took time off to visit the SOS Children’s Villages in Lusaka and Livingstone. In Livingstone, Leee took a tour around the Village and was very impressed with the neat family homes. He also visited some of the beneficiaries of the Family Strengthening Programme in the community. He was very impressed with the work SOS Zambia is doing in reaching out to the children and their families. During his visit to the Lusaka Village, the children put on a dance show for their visitors. Leee described it as "a touching experience". Both Villages were beneficiaries of generous donations of school stationery, toys and clothing which were kindly donated by Leee John and friends.
SOS Children are extremely grateful to Leee John and the Imagination Band – a total of £17,000 was raised from ticket sales, cash donations and in-kind donations from partners which will go towards the building of our Village in Chipata.