Concert clocks up 10 years
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.
David and Enless Friend of the Mukinge Hill Mission in Zambia.