LIVONIA — For the benefit of 50 individual children living in brutal poverty over 7,000 miles away surrounded by potentially life-threatening diseases and circumstances, a concert featuring The Yellow Jackets and other local bands will be held this weekend at Livonia high school.
Orchastrated by Joe Dimino, the former Director of Catholic Charities in Livingston County, the performance, entitled “Give Me Shelter” will comence at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon to raise money to facilitate relief efforts during his return to Kenya this November.
“Building a masonry dormitory, a dinning hall with a kitchen, creating appropriate bathroom facilities” are but a few of the simple innovations Dimino is seeking to acomplish during his time at two rescue centers in Mwea, Kenya.
The Joy Rescue Center and St. Michael’s Rescue Center are organizations that provide outreach programs, rehabilitation, shelter, basic survival provision, and reconnection with parents and family members to the outcast Kenyan youth.
“Some of these children are living, playing, and eating in what we would use for a tool shed” states Dimino, passionately and determined . “Kids range in age from 9 months to 17 years old; 30 are orphaned, 17 abandoned. 12 are HIV positive, a curse inflicted on them before their parents died. I meet Esther, a shy 13-yr-old HIV child whose classmates asked her to go to another school “so you don’t infect us””.
Dimino explains that the fundraising aspect of these projects is essential, since he recieves absolutley no funding from either the U.S. or Kenyan government for his humanitatianism. This lack of finance inevitably leads to deteriorated, disease riddled living conditions filled with malaria and pneumonia that prove often to be leathal for the children living with HIV. Child labor is a common occurance in this state of poverty and sickness, and adoption is but another illusion of western allure, especially for those who are HIV positive. “This concert is the first step” ends Dimino with hope, leaving the desicion to the conscience of the people of Livingston County.