Activism, solidarity, volunteering at Manu Chao concert
10 April 2011
by Bojana Batinic and Beta Siebenmann
Some 2,300 people were treated to an intimate and energetic performance of Manu Chao’s latest studio project ‘La Ventura’. From the first drumbeat to the re-illumination of the house lights, the atmosphere was nothing less than energizing and uplifting.
In addition to creating music famous for blending languages and music styles, Manu Chao is also one of the most socially-engaged artists and activists drawing attention to social issues and promoting tolerance and solidarity.
As part of this nine-country Balkan tour, Manu Chao is donating the proceeds from tour merchandise to support local activists and organizations introducing positive changes to society.
In Sarajevo, this honour went to ‘DOBRO’ (‘Good), a local volunteer-run non-profit organization for individuals in need. Merchandise sold included promotional t-shirts and bags donated by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Field Unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The DOBRO Association representatives were astounded by Manu Chao’s generosity and support, and expressed hope that this will stimulate people to become more socially involved and active.
“All profit (from the sale of promotional merchandise at the concert) will be directed to the Dobro Fund,” said Nadira Kuhulj, one of Dobro’s volunteers at the Manu Chao concert.
“It is one of the Association’s mechanisms from which we allocate all money collected in a month to those who need this assistance the most, whether they require a medical treatment or are simply in very difficult economic situation,”
The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and UNV in Bosnia and Herzegovina are proud to have been offered the opportunity to play a financial and organization role in this event – which is part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers and the International Year of Youth.
The UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been working to improve the overall position of youth throughout the country, as well encouraging higher levels of youth activism in the local communities. In this context, the UN family used this opportunity to emphasize the significance of youth activism, civic participation and volunteerism for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Despite all the challenges youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina faces, young activists and volunteers can and do take an increasingly large role in positive changes in society. They are engaging in humanitarian actions, environmental projects, cultural events such as this one, and are working together with authorities to solve problems that directly affect them.