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November 15, 2011 > Benefit concert aids Malawi Water Project

Benefit concert aids Malawi Water Project

By Nisha Patel

On Saturday, November 19 the South Bay Community Church (SBCC) in the Warm Springs district of Fremont will be holding a benefit gospel concert to raise funds for Malawi's Clean Water Project (W.A.S.H.). By "adopting" the village of Chikwina/Mpamba, the church has partnered with World Vision's $50 million, nationwide project W.A.S.H., and is aiming to raise $10,000. The goal of the Clean Water Project is to help communities in Malawi achieve sustainable access to safe water, maintain improved sanitation facilities, and educate the people on more effective hygiene techniques. South Bay Community Church has been a part of a ten-year partnership with World Vision for such projects, and has made significant improvements to the lifestyles of the native people of Malawi.

Church members have made two trips to Malawi within the last few years. During the most recent visit in 2009, SBCC sponsored the village for which they built a community center for the local people. This community center has been used for a myriad of purposes, some of which include a voting facility for regional elections, storage areas for AIDS workers, a health care center and recreation center where seasonal functions are held. Head Pastor Bryan Murphy, who was on the trip, recounts, "Since the last visit, it is wonderful to see that [the community] is food secure." There are now fish ponds, small farm animals, crop harvests, and enough resources to feed the whole village.

Through efforts of "microlending," the village has established small businesses, which include juicing businesses and fish farming, all of which help sustain daily needs. Within the ten-year partnership, South Bay Community Church has adopted 200 children in Malawi and has also been giving an annual contribution of approximately $15,000 per year.

Local artists and choirs will be performing at Saturday's concert; most artists have either donated their time to provide the entertainment or have drastically reduced their fees to make their acts more cost-efficient for the church. Featured will be selections from: Derrick Hall & Company, Allen Temple Men's Choir, men's ensemble "Purchased," Hip-Hop artist "Zeal," vocalist Janice Davis and the SBCC Choir. The benefit will start at 5 p.m. with a social hour, followed by the concert from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. During the gathering time and intermission, the church will be selling original handmade clothing items from one of the Malawi village's businesses.

South Bay Community Church had a benefit concert in 2008, during which $10-15,000 was raised for World Vision's projects in Malawi. Church members hope to make this year's event a success as well, since all proceeds will be going directly towards the cause.

Malawi Benefit Gospel Concert
Saturday, November 19
5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
South Bay Community Church
47385 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont
(510) 490-9500
Tickets: $25

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