We are focusing our efforts on:
1) providing clean, safe drinking water; 2) medical assistance through our clinic; and 3) rebuilding damaged buildings – in that order.
The Joe de Becker Music Academy began as an abandoned building that was just a roof with incomplete walls. Inspired by the music in the hearts of the students - and by the commitment and love of Headmaster John Tanu, the Academy is now a center for creativity. The builder, Tula Ram put his creativity and heart into the construction and I put my creativity and heart into design. Our first engineer, Tabore put his creativity and heart into learning new recording technologies. Karen and Jone at Naqaqa Giving Foundation put their hearts into obtaining everything that’s used at the Academy, and Ryan, a computer specialist 5000 miles away, put his heart into locating, ordering, and preparing the technology we use.
Koli put his heart into singing and writing the music for our first recording, Full Speed No Brakes, and I put my heart into those lyrics. Harper Simon put his heart into producing the song and doing a guitar solo. Famous singers and composers from all around the world heard our first songs and put their hearts into encouraging us to continue. Beautiful singer Julia Fordham put us in contact with her nephew, Max, a record producer and engineer, and he traveled 10,000 miles from England to set up the best equipment and teach us new skills. The men who built the first building long ago (some of whom are no longer living), who didn’t even know that someday beautiful music would fill it up, they put their hearts and time and labor into lifting the heavy stones for the original walls. The people who hold the key so that the equipment can be safe put their hearts into keeping the key.
My point is that many people you may never meet or see gave their hearts so that this Academy and recording studio will remain a place where creators are encouraged to create, and able to create.
Though it’s possible the Music Academy might generate some money someday, its primary purpose is to fully fund students interested in expressing themselves through music, performance, and lyrics. If money is generated, most will go to the creative people who opened the gates of their talent and performed and created the music that people wanted to pay for. A percentage will go to continued funding of the Academy, to other charitable uses, and to St. Bedes College.
-Gavin de Becker, founder of Naqaqa Giving Foundation