Article – On A Mission

Apr 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Press

“On A Mission”
Written in the Loz Feliz Ledger, December 2006

Silver Lake Resident Jane Drew Works To Build An Orphanage In West Africa
By Michael Locke / Silver Lake Correspondent

Jackson Browne, Silver Lake resident Jane Drew and Habib Koite at the Ghettogloss Gallery Silent Auction benefiting the Mali Fala Fund for an orphanage and school in West Africa.

Jackson Browne, Silver Lake resident Jane Drew and Habib Koite at the Ghettogloss Gallery Silent Auction benefiting the Mali Fala Fund for an orphanage and school in West Africa.

SILVER LAKE – Listening to traditional music from Mali, an impoverished country in West Africa, Silver Lake resident Jane Drew felt compelled to act. “I only have to listen to the music and I am taken there,” she said. “One day I just picked up the phone and called the Malian Embassy in Washington and asked for help in locating an orphanage in Mali.” The embassy spokesperson gave Drew the contact she needed to reach the Association Pour la Sauvegarde de L’Enfance an orphanage for 160 children.

The orphanage is made up of six rooms, four smaller storerooms and a nursery for 21 babies, ranging in age from three weeks to two years. Currently, according to Drew, the nursery has two sets of twins, one set of triplets, two to four babies to a crib and “one little guy who was found in a trash bin a week earlier.”

At her 50th birthday party, Drew, a diminutive English woman, shared with her friends her vision of bringing hope to the orphanage, and asked not for presents for her, but to help her raise money for the orphanage.

Her birthday wish took a big step to reality when, in October 2006, Drew took her first trip to Mali with $6,500 she raised at the birthday party. The money was used to buy critical supplies including baby formula, cooking oil, rice and beans, medical supplies and some clothes and toys.

The trip also raised awareness in Mali. On the second day of her arrival, the Mayor of Bamako (the capital city of Mali) came to meet her along with the press and local television crews. Local village chiefs agreed to donate two acres of land in the village of Kamale to build a new, larger orphanage. She met with popular Malian Musician, Habib Koite. Malian-born architect, Habib Sissiko (now living in Los Angeles) has also agreed to lend his expertise in designing the orphanage/school. In October, Ghettogloss in Silver Lake hosted a silent auction fundraiser for the cause. The event was attended by rock singer/songwriter Jackson Browne and Habib Koite. A benefit concert is in the works, hopefully for the Greek Theatre.