One African Village: Kouya Sidia

2020

February

One African Village: Food for Everyone, Every Day (FEED)

Sayon called to say that he just finished building the small store to store the rice for the One African Village: Food for Everyone, Every Day (FEED) project. Thank you so much to all of the friends of Sayon and Kouya Sidia. We could not have done this without your generous and consistent support.

In the photo the store is the building to the left of the house, complete with a veranda to keep rice and people dry in the rainy season.

2017/2018

July 1

One African Village: Food for Everyone, Every Day (FEED)

We’ve got a place to allow you to make an online gift (just scroll down a bit once you get there) for any project we have going to help people in Sayon’s home village of Kouya Sidia. The project in the photo above was established after a long conversation with the chief of Kouya Sidia who consulted with the heads of families who live there.

We hope to use the funds raised, to create a way for the village to establish a ‘store’ that will provide food for EveryOne, EveryDay. At the same time we are exploring how a cooperative effort among the people of Sidia could support the project successfully.

If you are moved to do so, please make a contribution here. Every amount large or small is a tremendous help as it costs less than $2/day to feed a person in the village.

If you wish to contribute by mail, please make a check or money order out to:
Sayon Camara Drumming with the letters OAV (One African Village) in the subject line and contact us here, so that we can provide a mailing address to you.

Ko barika. Thank you so much.

February 1

On January 3, this year, we arrived in Kouya Sidia to the exuberant greetings of the villagers who are absolutely delighted to have been blessed with not just one, but three new wells in December and January. We are so grateful to the hundreds of you who made it possible. I wish we could bring the direct experience we had to you, of the generosity that expressed the very deep and lasting gratitude the villagers of Kouya Sidia demonstrated through their endless outpouring of thanks, kola nuts, prayers, enormous amounts of rice, cows, sheep, chickens, fish, porcupine, oranges, papayas, potatoes, koro tia (a type of groundnut which is boiled, after which the shells are cracked open to eat the nut inside), peanuts and of course, festivals rich in drumming and dancing to celebrate! Countless thanks to all of you. It is such an honor for all of us to be part of a project like this.

These photos show some parts of the process and the celebration!

2016

December 8

We are absolutely delighted and grateful too the many people who made it possible to complete fundraising for a second well and pump to be built in Kouya Sidia! Thank you so very much. Stay tuned for updates!

November 19

We are down to the home stretch!

September 30

Only $3,700 more is needed to complete fund raising for the second well and pump in Kouya Sidia! Please consider helping us to reach our goal of making healthy water available to more of the people of Sayon’s village. We would love them to get it this year. Our goal to complete fundraising is November 15, 2016.

2015

School

To our delight, when we arrived in Kouya Sidia in 2014, a brand new, beautiful, three room school sat on the large field that accomodates the hospital. While the grounds are not completely finished the school has been equipped with new desks and is being used to educate the children of Kouya Sidia and the sending towns of Simbun, Duoko, and others, leaving the former school house to decay at it’s location farther down the same path by which the new school is reached.

New school in Kouya Sidia, Sayon’s village, 2014

The new chief of Kouya Sidia seated between the former chief and their younger brother.

Light, Water

Beginning in 2014, the village appointed a new chief, Mamady Conde, next younger brother of the former chief, Yosay. We are saddened to hear of Yosay’s passing and fortunate that his successor was every bit as welcoming, loving and wise as his older brother. We have confidence that he will serve the village well. Sayon and I met with Chief Conde (Sotikemo, the respectful Malinke for the chief of a Malinke village) to ask him what the most pressing needs of the village are. He gave us two items.

We were able to address the second item immediately – the need for lighting in the community religious center – with a solar lantern.

The primary need is for a second and if possible, third well and pump for the village. In the five month dry season which runs roughly from February through July, the wait time at the current pump to draw well water is far to long to allow the work of growing food, cooking and washing to be kept up with. The long lines at the existing pump cause women to give up waiting and to look for other sources of water, such as in rivers that may or most often may not, have clean water. Consuming unclean water causes health problems. The villagers know this but water is scarce. We know how important clean drinking water is for good health, not to mention when living under hot conditions near the equator.

We would like to help the people of Kouya Sidia have a second well and pump. The village is now 1,200 people strong so you can see that this second well and pump is needed. The estimated cost at the current exchange rate as of February 2016 is about $12,500 (the village is remote and getting the equipment to drill a well to it is a serious challenge on roads that are unpaved and classify more often by standards in developed countries as ruts and gullies). We are setting the intention to raise $11,000 for the new well and pump in Kouya Sidia by November 30, 2016. Can you help us? Every bit helps whether it’s $1 or $1000. If you would like to be part of Sayon’s effort to help his home village, please do!

Thank you every one! Mission accomplished. The well is in!!!

Sayon talks to the women of Kouya Sidia as they wait their turn for water at the first pump and well in the village.

About Sayon

Sayon Camara is an extremely talented djembefola with an intimate knowledge of the music for all the drums of the Malinke culture and an impeccable sense of time. Whether experiencing Sayon as a teacher or performer in classes, at workshops, celebrations, schools or other events, Sayon will take you places in drumming and traditional Guinean music that you didn’t know were possible and will do so with contagious joy. He is comfortable teaching and performing in any setting, for adults and children (whom he is wonderful with!) alike. He has been instructing workshops and classes in Guinea for fifteen years as well as being sought after for many celebratory occasions, both private and public. He has experience working with people from all walks of life, from many different countries.

In addition to his first CD, Sayon Barana, and second CD, Nyenema, Sayon is currently working on a third one. Prior to producing his own CDs, Sayon played on five of Famoudou Konate’s CDs, world renowned djemebefola from Guinea.

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