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Youth pay tribute to Mother Earth through music

By Gil Harper, for World Alliance of YMCAs

(19 July 2010, Hong Kong) We are youth with a dream, was the powerful song delivered with electric energy by popular Ghanaian musician, Chemphe, and 40 YMCA youth from 15 different countries at the Tribute to Gaia public concert in Hong Kong yesterday.

Performing for a crowd of 1 200 at Victoria Park, the stage was shared with musicians from Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Chemphe recently teamed up with African YMCA youth to produce a song called Subject to Citizen, about youth empowerment in Africa, and brought the song to the YMCA International Youth Forum, attended by 400 youth from 68 countries. The focus of the Forum was on Striving for Global Citizenship, and Chemphe ran a workshop with the youth on peacebuilding through song, during which the youth practiced to perform the song for the concert.

“I hope to see young people really empowered, really able to be held up or accepted as citizens, and be part of everything that their particular countries, continents and, indeed, the world is about. The whole focus of the song is for us as youth to believe in ourselves, empower ourselves and our fellow youth to take action and make positve change,” said Chemphe, who has pioneered “Urban Life music,” a blend of rhythm and blues with local African beat and who was awarded as Peace Ambassador by the President on Ghana earlier this year.

“It was an amazing experience being able to perform with a star. I think that music connects all people, and it is like a global voice. Music is the best form of communication.” said Mirza Cruz, from Mexico City, on his experience singing with Chemphe.

Highly-acclaimed Malaysian singer-song writer Juwita Suwito was also a great hit with the crowd, with her particular focus on the environment. “Sustainable development has always been one of my priorities as a pop artist and a social activist. Performing here is a great privilege and opportunity to inspire youths from all parts of the world to make this a way of life.” said Juwita , whose album Brand New World was selected as the best local English album by the Malaysian music industry.

The event was organized by the World Alliance of YMCA alongside the 17th World Council of YMCAs and YMCA's International Youth Forum meetings in Hong Kong which will start from tomorrow to July 14. The World Council and Youth Forum are held in a different location around the world every four years, and Hong Kong has been designated the hosting city the latest session.

Media Enquiries
Gil Harper
World Alliance of YMCAs
Tel: 5167 9820
Email: media(at)ymca.int
Ms Anna Lee
A-World Consulting
Tel: 2864 4882 / 9150 1890
Fax: 2865 2559
Email: anna.lee(at)a-world.com.hk

The World Alliance of YMCAs is a global ecumenical, volunteer-led movement that works for social justice and peace, with a particular emphasis on youth. As a Christian-based organisation, we work with communities irrespective of religion, race, gender or cultural background, to ensure a more just social order and youth empowerment for a better future. Formed in 1844, and active in 125 countries with 45 million members, the YMCA is one of the largest and oldest youth movements in the world. www.ymca.int