Con­cert clocks up 10 years

The Tribune (NZ) - - WHAT'S ON - RICHARD MAYS

Joshua Dann was just 14 in 2008 when he went along to hear for­mer Palmer­ston North Hos­pi­tal doc­tor Dr David Friend talk about his work in the African coun­try of Zam­bia.

Dann was moved to do some­thing to sup­port the doc­tor’s work, so he put to­gether a fundrais­ing con­cert.

Held at Cross­roads Church, it raised $1700. Nine con­certs later, Dann is pre­par­ing for the 10th an­niver­sary show.

‘‘I thought it was only go­ing to be a one-off thing, but peo­ple kept ask­ing if it was go­ing to hap­pen again,’’ he said.

‘‘Over the past 10 years it’s been get­ting big­ger and has turned into a re­ally fun night. We lis­ten to lots of mu­sic, eat lots of food and raise lots of money.’’

Last year, with the help of some size­able do­na­tions, $18,000 was sent to help the Mukinge Hill Mis­sion near the Zam­bian town of Kasempa.

Friend worked in the hos­pi­tal as well as in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, which in­cluded help­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in a vil­lage called Kikonkomene.

’’Pri­mar­ily, it’s lep­rosy. The peo­ple no longer have lep­rosy but they still suf­fer its ef­fects,’’ Dann said.

Many have lost fin­gers, parts of their feet, and have also been blinded by the dis­ease.

Dann said they had been largely left to their own de­vices, and their out­look was bleak if there were no fam­ily mem­bers to sup­port them.

Friend buys them ne­ces­si­ties such as cook­ing oil and soap, helps fix up and se­cure their houses, builds cook­ing shel­ters and digs drains to al­le­vi­ate the worst ef­fects of the rainy sea­son.

‘‘He helps pay for some young peo­ple from the area to come in and cook for them, so the money that goes there is help­ing sup­port the sur­round­ing vil­lages as well.’’

Dann, a ra­dio­g­ra­pher, and his sis­ter Rachel Dann, a reg­is­tered nurse, re­turned to Palmer­ston North last week from vis­it­ing Mukinge to see the work Friend does.

The David Friend Con­cert on Satur­day, Au­gust 19 fea­tures a wide va­ri­ety of fam­ily-friendly mu­si­cal styles and in­cludes a 13-piece funk band.

Adult door sales are $10, stu­dents and kids $5.

PHOTO: JOSHUA DANN

David and En­less Friend of the Mukinge Hill Mis­sion in Zam­bia.

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