By Ram Khatry, Sydney
29 October 2016
As Nepalese communities across Australia prepare for their upcoming biennial mega-event called Nepal Festival, few world-class artists have performed in the picturesque country town of Mullumbimby to raise funds for Rebuild Nepal, an initiative that works with grassroots level organisations in earthquake-devastated Nepal.
Led by American-Australian singer-songwriter Toni Childs, the team of well-regarded performers rocked up Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Saturday night to raise funds for rebuilding activities in the South Asian nation where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake claimed nearly 9,000 lives in April 2015.
According to a social media post by Crystal Castle, over $38,000 has already been raised tonight. A further fundraising campaign is on through MyCause where people wishing to contribute can still do so.
Tonight’s event is the second Rebuild Nepal Benefit Concert; the first was held only a month after the tragic event of last year – raising tens of thousands of dollars overnight.
Sacred Earth, Grammy nominated Dave Stringer and Tom Thum also performed alongside Toni Childs on Saturday evening.
Ms Childs, the singer of Don’t Walk Away (a Billboard Hot 100 hit in the United States in 1988), is a known Nepal-addict who happened to leave the Himalayan nation only days before the earthquake.
Following the earthquake, she teamed up with her Byron Bay friends to raise funds through one thing she does best – music, concert, performance. Last year, the Because You’re Beautiful singer exchanged few electronic messages with southasia.com.au during which she expressed how heartbroken she had been to see the country she so much loved laid to waste.
On April 10th of last year, Toni Childs and her band “embarked on an amazing music trek in Nepal” where they debuted her new album, It’s All a Beautiful Noise on Annapurna’s Poon Hill.
According to the artist, it was the first ever event at 10,000 ft which was made possible after a trek of 11 days (April 10 to the 20th) on a small portion of the entire Annapurna Circuit. The trekking musical entourage was led by two guides and 25 porters who carried everything required to effect a performance atop Poon Hill – generators, electric guitars, keyboards, amps and so much more.
Rebuild Nepal partners with local Nepalese organisations to bring essential medical, food and shelter to remote communities and villages affected by the disaster.
“The focus for funds raised this year will include school rebuilding, as well as support for a damaged Buddhist nunnery, high in the remote Everest region, along with assistance for Friends Of The Himalayan Children, and more,” Rebuild Build organiser said on OZTIX.
The tickets for this year’s concert were priced at $65.
Below words sum up the singer’s attachment to the land of Buddha:
“Leaving Nepal on a high note, it would turn out we left 36 hours before the first of two devastating earthquakes would hit, leaving us all gutted with concern and bittersweet feelings for our trip and the Nepal Crew we left behind. It took us quite a few days to hear news from our beautiful Nepalese trekking friends. Hari at Life Dream Adventured who organized our trek was the first to make contact, and then our guides Sabin and Ob. We were told that most of our porters were accounted for, and waited patiently to hear what had happened to the ones who lived near the epicenter. We kept our fingers and toes crossed. In the end, everyone one of our Nepal crew we’ve heard from lost their home, place of business, and villages, but happily they survived and their families are safe.”