Benefit concert to raise money for Ugandan motorcycle ambulance
On Friday, the University of Oregon Students for Global Health Club is hosting a benefit concert to raise money for a rural Ugandan village. The club is working with a Ugandan organization called the Kigezi Healthcare Foundation to raise $5,000 for a motorcycle ambulance.
The concert will be held at 385 E 19th Ave. Its lineup consists of local Eugene bands Illaquips, The Sunday Bump, The Heads Up and Spiller. Raffle prizes include gift cards to Dutch Bros, Pegasus Pizza and Cafe Roma. A guided hike to the top of a desert tower in Utah is also included in the raffle.
The club first became involved with the Kigezi Foundation after club member and event organizer Camryn Long interned in Uganda with the foundation last year.
Long, a UO senior majoring in human physiology, met the organization’s medical director and founder, Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo. The doctor has worked closely with people in the region to help improve overall health. The staff has helped provide thousands with accessible medical, dental, maternal and child care.
“It’s truly an incredible organization,” Long said. “[It] has made a world of an impact on the general health of the Kigezi region.”
Anguyo came to the UO last year as a guest lecturer and spoke with the Global Health Club. His goal was to organize a fundraising event in Eugene to benefit the clinic. After hearing the doctor speak about the amazing ways his clinic helps the citizens of Southwest Uganda, Long and the rest of the club jumped on board.
“That region is very rural and is highly populated,” Long said. “Sometimes the nearest [hospital] is 18 miles away. This ambulance would really help them.”
Club member and concert co-organizer Lindsey Carmen loved the idea of a benefit concert because she says it’s easy for college students to forget that people are struggling around the world. She understands that it’s not always easy to find a way to help people who live on the other side of the globe.
“Our motto is think globally, act locally,” Carmen said.
Along with this benefit concert, the Global Health club has hosted several bake sales and started a Crowdfunding account to raise money.
“We didn’t have a huge turnout for the bake sale, so we need a big turnout this weekend,” Carmen said. “The villagers down there really need [the ambulance].”
The Ugandan benefit concert is currently the club’s main priority, but they are always working on some sort of fundraising event. Later this month the club is hosting a 5k run to raise awareness for a nonprofit called Partners in Health. The Boston-based organization provides affordable healthcare for low-income families around the world.
The run will take place on Sunday, April 30.
Long says work like this can often prove to be exhausting, but it’s also some of the most rewarding work she’s ever done.
“The more effort you put into it, the more you get out of it and the more opportunities you get to help people out,” she said.
Long’s mom — who worked with low-income families around the world — was the first to inspire her to think more globally about issues of poverty and health care. Since coming to UO, Long has spent time volunteering in India and Uganda. Joining the Global Health Club was a natural fit.
“Global health is something that I’m super passionate about,” Long said. “I just think that it’s really cool to take a step back from our personal problems here at UO and think about the entire globe for a second. It’s really awesome to be part of a community that has the same perspective.”
But as Long know’s, passion alone doesn’t save the world. Long’s club uses concerts and other events to fund their ambitious projects.
“This event is a smart way to raise money, raise awareness and raise spirits at the same time,” Sunday Bump’s alto saxophone player Lee Burlingame said. “It is important to support events like this, where the funds raised will be used wisely to make a real positive impact on a community in need. We can’t wait to rock it!”
A $3 donation via either Venmo or cash will grant people entrance to the concert. The donation also serves as an entry for the event’s raffle. Those who aren’t able to attend the event on Friday can still support the cause. Online donating is available under the Kigezi Healthcare Foundation page on youcaring.com.
Follow Zach on Twitter: @Zach_Price24
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.