Twestival in Cape Town… Tweeters tweet for charity

Last night saw Twitter users around the world band together to support a worthy cause (charity : water …providing clean drinking water to 1.8 billion people that don’t have access to it). Tweeters from over 100 countries around the world gathered in their various nations to share, learn and discuss with eachother. Capetonian Tweeters gathered at Doppio Zero in Cape Town city centre for an evening of wine, pizza slices and informative discussion.

The evening kicked off with several presentations including a talk by Eran of Springleap on social media marketing and several beautiful performances by Cape Town’s own social media-made performing artist, Verity (also the MC for the evening). Watching interesting videos, chatting with other Twitter users about their experiences, watching Marcel the incredible corporate magician perform incredible sleight of hand and generally having a lovely evening are just several of the experiences had at last night’s Twestival.

Thanks must go to the organisers of the Cape Town Twestival, as well as to the global Twestival co-ordinators, for doing such an awesome job of organising the evening, spreading the word and raising funds for charity : water. Here’s to the next global Twestival and to creating global awareness of global issues faced on a daily basis by billions.

Christel House SA – A Tweet-up for a Cause

This Saturday morning past saw a group of tweeters, press, teachers and school-kids arrive at Christel House SA in Ottery for what was truly an eye-opening experience. We planted trees on the school grounds, sharing in the construction and landscaping of what is truly an incredible institution. The Christel House school is an institution that provides education and nourishment to under-privelaged youths (grade RO to Matric) from the surrounding areas. The school bus fetches and returns the children daily, as well as the dining hall providing nutritionally balanced nourishment to the students. We had the opportunity to share in the construction of the brand new Christel House school premisis, as well as a walk-through tour of the grounds and the incredible fascilities the school is offering to it’s students.

Costing in the same bracket as an average public school in South Africa, it is a wonder why more schools have yet to adopt the Christel House SA model. With two sports fields (including a cricket pitch), lush fertile grounds, spacious classrooms, a vegetable garden for each classroom and a host of other fascilities, Christel House SA provides a place where students want to be, to learn and to develop.

The Field Band Foundation – Education through The Arts

Music and the arts have always been a topic close to my heart. Having grown up being a musician from a young age, I have felt the positive impact that music, performance and the arts in general have had on my life and development. Watching a passion-filled performance, whatever it may be, always strikes a chord (for want of a better phrase) within me.

Giving selflessly of oneself is a rare and precious gift for the person or people receiving it. Sharing a skill with or making time for someone, even a few minutes, could have a significant influence on a person’s life, both for the giver and recepient. Helping a child learn to read, smiling at a stranger and asking how their day has been, sharing your lunch…all of these things are small, yet impactful, selfless actions.

While browsing through The Trust’s website, I came across a charity organisation that combines both of the above- educating under-privelaged youths in music and the arts. Knowing the influence that music had on my personality, confidence and overall approach to things, this charity comes close to my heart. This charity is The Field Band Foundation.

The Field Band Foundation’s core mission is to influence personal growth, education and development through social interaction, music, dance and the arts, all of which are fun and exciting activities that take place outside of the conventional classroom. The arts are fun, inspirational and can act both as an individual stimulus or as a collective collaborative project, creating a social platform for youths to meet, interact with one another and put aside their heartships to have some fun.

In and amongst this, the participants learn a new skill, be it an instrument, dance style or other art form. All of the above are, as mentioned above, either solo endevours or highly connected collaborative works. Music, in particular,  is an artform that, when collaborated on, is structured and solid, while still being loose and fun and the same time. The feeling of making an instrument really talk (not just make noises) is a feeling like no other I have ever experienced…other than the sound of an instrument, played by someone else, that is really talking…I mean, really talking!

The work that the Field Band Foundation are doing is really second to none. Everyone deserves at least the chance to try. The FBF are providing a platform for youths to seize this chance and gain an invaluable life skill. I am so glad I found this charity and have been able to find out more about the incredible work they are doing for the youth of South Africa.

Learning an art form, instrument or performance skill is, in my opinion, an invaluable developmental stage in one’s life. It is never too late to start learning, so if you feel you’re past your sell-by date on learning an instrument, think again.

Have you had the same or similar experiences with the arts? Please share your experiences in the comments below. 

Beedle the Bard – Tales for Charity

“The Tales of Beedle the Bard”, by J.K Rowling, is a recent addition to the popular Harry Potter book series by the same author. In the Harry Potter series, Rowling tells the story of a young wizard, destined to take part in one of the greatest battles between good and evil that ‘Muggles’ (non-magic folk) have ever known. Toward the end of the book series, young Mr. Potter comes into the possession of a book of magic fairy tales, written by one Beedle the Bard, a Yorkshire-born man (we are not certain of his magical lineage, as his life is greatly shrouded in mystery) who lived during the 15th century. This is that very book. The book of tales, passed down through the ages, from one magical generation to the next.

The five tales documented in “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” tell stories of courage and valor, as well as carrying morals and messages behind them. The main difference, however, in comparison to ‘Muggle’ tales, is that magic carries a more positive trend, as apposed to evil, cackling witches, brooding over a smoldering cauldron.