BLOG STORY – Part 2
HOW DJS UNITED TO HELP COMMUNITIES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO SURVIVE THE IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS
Our recent Set For Love live stream events were unique in bringing DJs of all levels together to fundraise for our emergency appeals during lockdown. Industry giants including Carl Cox, Eats Everything and Nightmares On Wax played a leading role. Not only did they stream a Set For Love – they were proactive in sending a message to aspiring DJs around the globe that they too could make a difference through DJing.
Thousands of DJs took part from over 80 countries. They each promoted their set to their friends, family and fans and asked for donations as part of this mega mixing marathon. Some were internationally known names, others were bedroom DJs, newcomers to mixing and even some who hadn’t done a DJ set for years came out of ‘retirement’. All were united by a common goal – to use their music to make a difference.
Together we’ve raised over £80,000 so far as a result of donations to Set For Love. The funds were donated as part of two emergency appeals we launched to help a number of our partner charities in developing countries. Our aim was to work with them to provide relief from the drastic consequences that lockdown was creating and to try to prevent the further spread of the virus. This was a campaign to provide the basics of survival – food, clean water and sanitation supplies – to the most vulnerable members of the communities we work with in developing countries.
Here in the 2nd part of our Set For Love blog, we share the story of exactly where those funds have gone and the lives that have been touched as a result.
Providing food relief and food security to vulnerable families in Uganda.
We’ve been working with communities in Uganda for several years, particularly in the rural Mpigi region. LNADJ has facilitated multiple projects here in the past, including funding the building of several fresh water wells. These save lives and greatly improve community life. We work in partnership here with organisations such as Drop 4 Drop and visit the region often, our last physical visit was in February this year.
As a result, we have strong relationships at the grassroots level. This meant that when lockdown took hold, we were able to reach out to our partners on the ground to find out how the communities we support were being impacted. We learned that many were in a grave situation indeed. In a place where people live hand to mouth day to day, they rely on their daily ability to work or go to market with their crops. The disruption to this routine left many literally going hungry in their homes.
Together with our Ugandan partners we embarked on a mission to feed 1000 rural community members in Mpigi District. We were particularly focused on helping the most vulnerable, who were selected with the guidance of community leaders.
Food relief was provided swiftly for 163 eldery persons, 206 orphans, 76 single mothers, 35 disabled people, 145 families affected and infected by HIV/AIDS and 83 other community members who had been badly affected by the lockdown – including teachers. They were given parcels to last 2 months that included maize flour, beans, sugar, soap, powdered milk, cooking oil and other basic essentials.
In other cases, families were left facing starvation because they were unable to go to market to sell their crops, leaving them with no choice but to eat their supplies. We provided 100 families with seeds and cuttings so they could replant and be food secure.
The feedback from the community has been powerful and moving.
As one elderly grandmother said;
“You have put a smile on our faces during these hard times. For now, we have something to eat. I restlessly turned around all night in the gutters of my bed with worry and questions. What will we eat?
I was always worried about my little grandchildren that they would die of hunger. I lost all my twelve children to HIV/AIDS, the last one 3 weeks ago and they left me with eight grandchildren to take care of. I am a poor old woman who can not do much to earn a living but I have to take care of all of them. It is a terrible time of despair all around the country due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now even a neighbor who would offer a little food has been handicapped by the pandemic, uncertain of tomorrow.
Before the pandemic, our daily routine was helping people in their gardens in exchange for food but since we are no longer allowed to move and the virus is more of a danger to people of my age, I’m afraid to go out and besides people are afraid of coming close to one another in the name of social distancing. Therefore no one is willing to give us work.
I am happy and joyful for the food supply and support given to my family. Thank you Last Night a DJ Saved My Life Foundation and all the DJ’s from Set for Love!”
Also as a result of Set For Love, three more fresh water wells are currently under construction in Uganda. Stay tuned for further news on those!
Making a difference in Indonesia to families living on SE Asia’s largest landfill site
In Indonesia, we’ve long supported the work of the BGBJ community centre. This initiative is based on Bantar Gebang – SE Asia’s largest uncovered landfill site where around 6000 tonnes of Jakarta’s waste arrives daily.
BGBJ provides education, training, assistance, food and fun for children who lack access to these resources. With education and skills training, they aim to provide alternatives for young people, giving them the tools and knowledge to break the poverty cycle and create a healthy and safe environment for themselves and their families.
Approximately 20,000 people are living within and around the landfill in extremely challenging conditions. Most of them, including children, were earning a very small income by collecting plastic, electronics and metals and selling them to the recycle companies.
Through liaising with our partners on the ground we learned that, since the COVID-19 case, many of those companies shut down due to the price drop of the materials and many waste pickers lost their jobs. Their families were left struggling to eat and as a result BGBJ embarked on a major outreach campaign.
This was an emergency situation and within days of the first Set For Love we were able to send funds to BGBJ. Their outreach programme provided weekly food packages to families living in and around the landfill. The supplies included 5kg of rice, 10 packets of instant noodles, 1L cooking oil, 1 box of chicken Serundeng, 250g salt, 1 box of eggs, 1 large tin of sardines and 1 box of tea bags 1 box. They also included 1 nutritious homemade meal 1 catered by “The Kingdom of BGBJ”.
For more information on BGBJ visit www.lastnightadjsavedmylife.org/bgbj
Giving extra support for special needs children and street involved children in Tanzania
In Tanzania we’ve provided food, sanitation supplies and extra health and safety education classes for Featherstale special needs children’s home and to families taking care of special needs children. These children were especially vulnerable to the risks posed by COVID-19, because of their underlying health conditions.
We also provided this support to Angelsgate home for street involved children and to Massai tribes caring for vulnerable members. These are projects close to our heart where we’ve already been working closely over many years, also in partnership with Share Tanzania.
Feeding starving families and providing urgent medical supplies in Nepal
Nepal is another location where we have excellent relations on the ground. For some time now we’ve been supporting the work of Chora Chori, a charity that rescues Nepali children from abusive situations, including those who have been trafficked into India for sexual slavery. The charity works to manage their trauma and reintegrate them with their families and communities.
Where family reintegration is not possible, they provide for children’s care, education and training until they can look after themselves as young adults. Chora Chori also support child rape victims, including ensuring the prosecution of child rapists.
Early into the lockdown we liaised with Chora Chori and they asked us to support their emergency outreach plan to get food and essential supplies to some of the poorest districts in Nepal. These included Lalitpur, Jhapa (the tea plantations in the East) and Dhanusha, a very poor District in south Nepal.
Working with our partners we were able to send food relief and sanitation supplies to communities who didn’t qualify for government relief as they are not classed as Nepali citizens – although they have lived in Nepal for generations. This was particularly the case in Dhanusha, where 75% of households have men working in India as migrant labourers. Or at least they were before the pandemic struck. Once the border closed there was no way of getting back home for these men – leaving women and children from these marginalised communities with no money, no food and no husbands/fathers.
The combined relief effort that Set For Love contributed to helped to provide food and supplies to over 25,000 people.
Our relief work in Nepal also centred on providing medical supplies for the rural mountainous region of Sahid Lakhan. We were informed by our contacts at Trekking Mart Foundation that help was needed in this area due to very limited medical resources. Money raised by Set For Love provided medical centres in this area with supplies of surgical masks and other forms of PPE, sanitizers and oxygen cylinders.
For more information on Chora Chori visit www.lastnightadjsavedmylife.org/chora-chori
Building a new community fresh water well in Mozambique
In the midst of this global pandemic, clean water is even more important than ever – to stop the spread of the coronavirus as well as water borne diseases. Yet sadly, we live in a world where 785 million people do not have access to clean water nearby and a staggering 2 billion don’t have access to proper sanitation. We’ve been working to build fresh water wells in India and Africa for many years through our ‘Have A Drink On Us Campaign’. We’ve built over 60 wells so far!
As a result of these trusted relationships – our partners at Drop for Drop asked for our help directing funds to help the people of Nicotossi in Mozambique. Our partners on the ground in Mozambique have been working tirelessly to combat the spread of COVID-19, by setting up hand-wash stations, training communities on how to best use their resources to fight the virus and providing masks/sanitizer to community workers and members for safety.
Thanks to the donations made through Set For Love, their new fresh water well is already complete and is providing clean water to 488 people. The provision of this permanent clean water source will benefit the community greatly, not only providing them with clean water for drinking and cooking, but also with the facilities to practice proper hand-washing and sanitation procedures. It will mean less lost school and work hours and a reduction in water borne diseases.
For more information on ‘Have a Drink On Us’ visit www.lastnightadjsavedmylife.org/have-a-drink-on-us
On reflection, we’re blown away by what has been achieved by Set For Love and everyone involved. We will continue to build on this wonderful concept into the future, bringing DJ’s together to make a difference through the sharing of music. Stay tuned for details of the next Set For Love event and how you can get involved.