WE ARE THE PLANT,
GUINEA IS THE SOIL AND
YOU ARE THE WATER
Through the years and in the process of developing our communications, we came up with this catchphrase: “We are the plant, Guinea is the soil and YOU are the water.” It encapsulates the basis of our continued relevance so let’s look at it a bit closer:
We are the plant
Many foreign organizations working in Guinea have means, personnel, and an agenda… that is not necessarily rooted in local realities. In contrast, our initiative is born from local activists, namely Momo Sylla and Veronique Lamah, engaging with local street children and their families.
Our continued existence is fundamentally owed to the commitment of the students, teachers, and administrators who persevere day-after-day, year-after-year despite the less-than-ideal conditions.
We are rooted in the community, we provide music teachers (our graduates) to other schools, perform concerts and plays with awareness raising messages concerning health and other salient issues.
Thanks to your help and our work, the seed of the idea was planted, has grown and flowered.
Guinea is the soil
We are rooted in the deep and rich traditions of Guinea, a cultural powerhouse that 60 years ago demonstrated to newly independent Africa how to handle culture with a system of local, regional and national dance companies and orchestras that allowed the best talent to rise.
At the top, the Ballets Africains, the national dance company that toured the world and which, to illustrate the power of its influence, during their extended residency at New York City’s Apollo Theater in the late fifties, inspired the great trumpeter Miles Davis to conceive the seminal “Kind of Blue,” a masterpiece now widely considered to be the best jazz record of all times.
YOU are the water
A very important notion in that part of the world is that of the “sacrifice”, something personal that you give freely. It can be something big, a car, a house, or clothes, or money, a service you perform, or something very small like giving seeds to the birds. It is a gesture of love that is received as a tangible manifestation of the divine.
With that in mind, while your monetary contributions are obviously absolutely essential they also are emotionally and spiritually profound because they manifest that you care, that the world cares, and that our work is important which fills our hearts with the determination to persevere.
Despite the modesty of our project, we have achieved meaningful realizations such as bringing up a new generation of traditional flute players and musicians, one of whom, Abdoulaye Camara, is now the flutist-soloist for the Ballets Africains.
This extraordinary result belongs to you as much as to us, as it would not have been achieved without your love and support.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
This project is sponsored by the non-profit organization Hibiscus.
Sylvain Leroux, 601 East 11th Street #3B, New York, NY 10009