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Archive for January, 2008

Low Cost Housing Project

We are happy to announce the placement of our first intern to work with the Namibian Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF). Intern Michael Beare will be working with the Namibian Training Authority’s Training Management division to assist COSDEF’s current low-income housing initiative. The project’s main aim is to enable young adults from disadvantaged communities, via training, to become economically active and to simultaneously alleviate the shortage of housing in such communities through participating in the actual construction of houses (mainly in the informal sector).

This project is turning the concept of providing disadvantaged segments of the Namibian population with environmentally sustainable housing into a reality. While engaging unique modern technologies, such as energy efficient human waste recycling systems and solar panel heating and lighting systems, the project maintains a community-driven training focus and encourages local economic growth.

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Beare, a native of Columbia, Maryland, graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia in 2007 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Religion. While attending university, Michael spent two summers working as a supply and operations coordinator for the Appalachia Service Project, a small non-profit that provides sustainable home-repair for families living under the poverty level in southern Appalachia. His building experience ranges flooring, weatherization, foundation repair, roofing, plumbing, framing and electrical wiring.

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In conjunction with Kenny Gilmore, Promote Africa is co-producing an album and recording a documentary in Malawi from June-August 2008. Gilmore, born in Kenya and raised in Malawi, released the album ‘Ngati Mafunde’ in Malawi in January 2006. The title-track remained on top of the Malawian billboards for four months in early 2006, giving Gilmore immediate recognition in Malawian recording circles. This upcoming summer, Gilmore and Promote Africa plan to record a follow-up to ‘Ngati Mafunde.’

According to Gilmore, “I want to make an album of strictly traditional material ….Having been raised in the region, I feel strongly that the musical heritage is being lost and needs to be preserved and promoted….I want to get a varied compilation to accurately photograph different styles and want to focus on secular individual musicians and small groups.”

A Promote Africa production assistant will accompany Kenny in Malawi this summer, helping with recording, production and film as the project progresses. In the meantime, Promote Africa’s new UGA Music Business intern, Christine Job, has been assigned to the project to organize distribution channels for the album’s fall release throughout southern Africa.

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