|empower us to empower others|
drums for solar
Drums For Solar is an organization whose vision is to help empower small communities in West Africa with technology and education that will allow them to harness the power of the sun, an invaluable, unlimited natural resource. The people of these small villages have expressed a desire to embrace technology and modernization while preserving and maintaining traditional cultural identity. Through international networking, fundraising, and organizing with partners and supporters, Drums For Solar is working diligently to help West Africans move closer to self-sufficiency and economic sustainability.
Drums For Solar (DFS) was founded in 1999 by Sonoma County resident Bruce Alan Rhodes on his first trip to West Africa. His intrigue into the West African region’s culture first began in conversations with Senegal native, Coumba Toure. Toure, a student at New College (Santa Rosa) helped Rhodes plan a trip to Senegal, West Africa and arranged for him to stay with her family in the capital city of Dakar.
Rhodes was immediately captivated by their rich and vibrant culture and was profoundly affected by the delicate relationship the people of West Africa share with Mother Earth. He witnessed the deeply-rooted bond and balance that can exist between nature and society, and the dramatic contrast that can also exist in modern day culture. He continued this initial journey, eventually landing in Bamako, Mali where he met Sounkalo Dembele. It was here, with his friend Sounkalo that Rhodes, so inspired by his love for the global community and people of West Africa, created the project that is now known as Drums For Solar.
Today, Drums For Solar is comprised of a dedicated group of organizers, businesses, teachers, musicians, and supporters. DFS is working and partnering directly with public and private education providers such as Bio-Passion Organic Farming, Level Up Village (LUV), The International Rotary Club, Children's Humanitarian International (CHI), The Agricultural College of Mali and The Institute of Popular Education (IEP), who will be offering education in photovoltaic science and technology, free of charge to participating villages.
DFS is currently in full swing fundraising mode. We are presenting a call to community as organizers collaborate to raise funds! See events page for upcoming events including Drums for Solar West African Music and Culture benefit event in Santa Rosa in Spring 2017 (stay tuned!) and GoFundMe page (coming soon) to become a contributor to the campaign. Thank you for your generous support!
By building with respect to culture, we are able to collaborate on equal terms and work to share our humanity with the drum as a tool for sustainable community development.