In the last several weeks the tragedies of the Myanmar Cyclone and Wenchuan earthquake have shaken Kunming residents into giving what they can to help their neighbors who have fallen victims to natural disaster.
Seeing how impoverished many of these areas were prior to their respective disasters is a reminder of how many areas in this geographically varied and ethnically diverse part of Asia are in need of all kinds of assistance – even without disasters.
This Friday night at The Hump Bar, a free evening of music will be held to benefit the only school in the small Tibetan village of Jiabe (佳碧). The benefit show was organized by Kunming resident Matthieu Lelievre, who first visited Jiabe – his fiancée's hometown - four years ago.
Located in a Tibetan area of northwest Yunnan, Jiabe has a population of 130, with 30 primary school students. Remote and impoverished, the town is located near the Lancang Jiang, the headwaters of the Mekong River.
"The village used to be the county seat of Yunling until 25 years ago - they had all the facilities there," Lelievre said. "Then there was a flood which destroyed much of the village, especially government buildings."
"There was no damage to the one school in the village, but the government moved to another village, and the school hasn't changed since then - it's a 30-year-old building in pretty bad condition. When I saw it, me and my fiancée thought it would be nice to do something so that the children get a better study environment."
The benefit party at The Hump Bar is aimed at not only raising cash to renovate the school, but to also recruit volunteers to teach Chinese and English to the students of Jiabe village, Lelievre added.
Starting at 9 pm, the benefit show will begin with a Tibetan musical performance featuring performers from Makye Ame Tibetan restaurant. Afterward, entertainment will include a performance by The Tribal Moons plus DJ sets by Fan (formerly known as DJ Christian) and Lumberjack Jon.
All performers will donate their normal remuneration to the school and The Hump Bar has pledged to donate 30 percent of bar sales from the evening. A donation box will also be present for those who want to donate directly. Admission to the benefit show is free. For more information, call Matthieu Lelievre at 13708732507.
Update: Matthieu Lelievre contacted GoKunming and said the benefit raised 5,000 yuan for Jiabe's school He also requests that anyone willing to teach Chinese or English at the school contacts him at 13708732507 as teachers are urgently needed there.