Michael Eavis, Glastonbury Festival founder, is a patron of Children’s World International and, since last September, The Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA), so it made lots of sense to get in touch! It’s a match made in the very real world of the day-to-day lives of children who are born into and growing up in situations where ‘childhood’ can often be out of reach due to the legacy of trauma and chaos.
Children’s World International run performance-based activities in schools and communities around the world that have been subject to conflict, trauma or natural disaster. Performance, fun and participation are used to improve morale within young people and to encourage hope for the future. The charity was founded in 1999 by Arabella Churchill in response to the war in Kosovo and has since run tours in the community in Aceh, Sumatra, Sri Lanka and Thailand in South East Asia, and Uganda and Northern Ireland. Bhopal is next.
The Chingari Trust Rehabilitation Centre (one of two free clinics in Bhopal funded by the BMA), situated in one of the most severely-affected areas of Bhopal, was set up for children born with deformities and disabilities due to the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster and the ongoing water contamination. The Children’s World International visit to Chingari will provide invaluable learning and fun experiences for all those affected by the ongoing disasters: children, survivors and wider parts of the Bhopali community.
Both charities have a strong presence at Glastonbury Festival this year: Children’s World International will be running bars and cafes in the Circus & Theatre field to raise funds for their visit to Chingari; and not far away, in the Leftfield, the Bhopal volunteers will be inviting festival-goers to join the BMA workshops, re-using plastic bottles and bags, to create a Bhopali Sculpture Garden. The BMA also has 80 volunteer litterpickers on site who’ll be doing one of the most hardcore jobs at the festival: the morning shift on the Pyramid Stage; in previous years the BMA litterpickers have raised over £27,000 in total; this should top £40,000 by the end of this year’s festival.
We look forward to building the link at the festival and also being a part of the 30th Glastonbury Children’s Festival in Glastonbury at the beginning of August. Thanks Michael! This partnership is already blossoming.