The Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation, an international humanitarian and development organization dedicated to caring for children orphaned by AIDS, civil warfare, disease or other tragedy in developing countries around the world, will soon begin construction of a musical village in Ada, Ghana. The musical village will incorporate a school and medical clinic that will allow orphaned children to live in the village, grow their own food and sell surplus food to neighboring villages. All proceeds will go directly back into the BBSCF musical village, where the children will receive a classical education that includes a focus on African drumming, dancing, art, and tribal history.
Beginning in 2006, Brigitte Poublon and Bobby Sherman sponsored a daily musical workshop that teaches children the art of drum building, singing and tribal dance located in the poorest neighborhood in Accra, the capital of Ghana. That assistance eventually progressed into a desire to provide a shelter for these orphans and street children where they could fully have the benefit of art, music, education and health. Today the program includes a daily feeding and tutoring program for street children in Accra and Ada. In 2011, the Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation was officially formed and plans to assemble the village were set in motion.
To realize the extraordinary vision, last year the Foundation committed to and succeeded in acquiring 5 acres of land in Ada, a rural village some 3 hours drive from the capital. The Foundations COO/CFO Kerry David and CEO Josh Roenitz, met with local chiefs to purchase the land and procure the support of the tribe to commence with the musical village. Two local Chiefs, Nene Tsatsu Pediator and Nene Ahaviatse, even performed a libation ceremony, a centuries old tradition to bring good fortune and peace to the land and its inhabitants, upon completion of the sale.
“Over the past six years Bobby and I have watched this dream of ours come to life through the efforts of people worldwide. The progress that has already been made and continues everyday is encouraging beyond belief,” said Brigitte Poublon, co-founder of The Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation.
Additionally, over the past year BBSCF has opened an office in the USAID building in Accra, made it possible for over 2000 students across the U.S. at 7 schools to participate in drumming and Africa awareness programming, and provided orphans and street children in Ghana with mosquito nets to prevent malaria; toothbrushes along with dental hygiene instruction; shoes and clothing; and over 4000 meals as part of the daily feeding program. BBSCF has also covered fees to allow students in Ghana to take their final exams for High School.
Last month it was announced that GreenHouse Holdings, Inc. was selected to provide project development and program management for the musical village. GreenHouse Holdings, Inc. will help ensure that the village will be completely self-sustaining within 5 years and that power for the 5-acre facility will be generated from renewable resources using solar and wind.
“We are honored to be a part of this project,” said Russ Earnshaw, President of GreenHouse Holdings, Inc. “Providing sustainable housing and energy solutions in austere regions has always been a focus of our company and we can’t think of a more worthy cause than supporting the Foundation’s goal to improve the lives of these amazing kids.”
Additionally, Perkins+Will has agreed to provide pro bono design expertise for the musical village.
“The architectural firm Perkins+Will is honored to donate design services to support the development of the BBSCF Musical Village in Ada, Ghana,” said Perkins+Will Social Responsibility Initiative leader Kelly Schnell. “The project’s visionary goals align with the firm’s commitment to social responsibility, as Perkins+Will understands the power of the built environment to address pressing social needs. The donation of professional services will be provided by the international firm’s Seattle office.”
BBSCF is also pleased to announce that they have established partnerships with The Bobby Sherman EMT Foundation (BSEMT) and The Continuum Center for Health and Healing, an initiative of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
To meet some of the children participating in the workshop and to find out more about The Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation or make a donation please visit: http://www.bbscfoundation.org or visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bbscf.