The Vipingo Village Fund started life in a very small way in 2006 as an effort to promote education in the small community of Vipingo, just 40 kilometres north of Mombasa in Kenya. Founders, Peter and Carol Hardman, now trustees of the charity, were driven by the abject poverty that surrounded them on all sides and being firm believers that the only way a nation can progress is through education, they directed their energies into creating the ‘Future Hope Montessori School’ in the centre of Vipingo village.
With 28 students in 2008, the Vipingo Village Fund is a UK registered charity and has grown to accommodate over 120 children, all of whom are affected by HIV/AIDS in some way; Many are orphans who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. In addition to education it also provides medical care, food and clothing for the children; has a conservation arm, and runs sustainable community projects in the surrounding villages.
This year the Vipingo Village Fund launched the ‘Wales/Kenya Call & Response Schools Music Project’. Initiated by Welsh volunteer Sian Summers and musician Heather Summers (www.heathersummerswales.com) in association with the Pwerdy-Powerhouse Art & Community Centre and funded by the national lottery through the Arts Council of Wales, the program allows the students at FHMS to both communicate and collaborate with students in Wales via writing, playing and recording their own music. It aims to raise awareness of Kenya and HIV in Wales, as well as give the children the opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures. The songs are written by the children in English, Swahili and Welsh.
Sian Summers directs two students from the Future Hope School in Kenya
To support the project RØDE has supplied an NTG2 shotgun microphone along with a PG2 pistol grip to make the microphone easier to manipulate while recording.
“The RØDE NTG2 microphone is a fantastic addition to the Kenya/Wales music project. we are getting brilliant results recording and the children absolutely love singing into it! They feel like pop stars and all want a go!”
Inspired by Sian’s efforts, her mother, Heather, has begun compiling recordings of the children’s songs to make a CD. Proceeds of the CD will go directly to the charity to fund further programs at the school.
For more information on the charity, Future Hop Montessori School, or the ‘Wales/Kenya Call & Response’ musical program, visit www.vipingovillagefund.org