Do you Speak Djembe

The colours, aromas and flavours of Africa.  On Friday evening, all Le Rosey lived to the beat of the continent where humanity originated.  Our four Roséens from Rosey-Abantara finished their week with us; they brought our Swiss Roséens something special with their simplicity, their vision of a peaceful and harmonious world, their enthusiasm and their ambitions.  And it was entirely in character with their stay that, after a wonderful open-air dinner in the spring sunshine, our African friends read out their poem dedicated to peace between different people and cultures.

Then all gathered together, with 500 other friends, in the Rosey Concert Hall for a gala evening devoted to African music, with the proceeds going to the ChaCha swimming team created by Theodora, a 15-year-old Roséenne who presented her project with these words:  “We are the Swiss ChaCha team and we plan to be the first Swiss women’s team to swim the English Channel — a distance of 50kms when the effect of currents is factored in,  a water temperature of 16 degrees, a busy shipping lane full of jellyfish — but a challenge we are determined to meet whatever the odds. Our aim is to help two million women, many of them younger than us, who suffer from obstetric fistula and who have no access to treatment — although only a short distance away from some is a hospital that can cure them and change their lives.  There are 800 people here tonight.  If everyone were to donate just 30 francs, we could cure 40 of these young women.  Help us so that this condition can be eliminated in our lifetime.”

There was a warm round of applause for these generous and committed young women.  And then the musicians brought the concert hall to life with 900 djembés played by an enthusiastic audience, clumsily at first but with increasing skill, following the rhythms set by the musicians and singers whose warm and vibrant performance was rewarded with a standing ovation.

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