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Preview: BNWLA Hostel Appeal

BNWLA Hostel Appeal

The Campaign Blog

Updated: 2014-10-04T18:41:49.513-07:00


BNWLA Fundraising Concert in Wales


Jules and her family organised a concert to raise funds for the BNWLA shelter home on Saturday January 12th. All 120 tickets were sold and the turnout was good, considering it was cold and rainy and everyone thought that the hall would be empty!
The evening kicked off with some children from the local primary school singing Food Glorious Food from the musical Oliver! Then Lorraine Barrett, Cardiff South Member of the Welsh Assembly, spoke about her work with the Bangladeshi community in Cardiff, most recently supporting them in their efforts to raise money for the victims of Cyclone Sidr.
Jules' nieces - Clara and Freya with their friend Clare - then recited a poem entitled Let's Help (which they had written specially for the event) about disadvantaged children all over the world. The first half continued with performances from Sound Women - a community singing group of which Jules' mum is a committed member! The interval was a time to sample chicken bhuna, vegetable bhaji, pilau rice and naan - provided by Penarth's own Bangladeshi restaurant, Jaflon.
In the second half Sound Women presented more songs from a diverse range of countries such as Mozambique, France and Bulgaria and got the audience participating too. The evening finished with a speech given by the Mayor of Penarth who stressed the fact that though Bangladesh might seem very far away, it was events like these that reminded us that we were one world and all connected.
After paying for the hire of the hall, food and decoration the event raised 1000.52GBP for the fund.

New Age Article


The appeal and its connection with music was mentioned again in the press this week - all valuable exposure. Here's the link...

Day trip to Gazipur


The BAG went to Gazipur this weekend, along with some of the kids from the current hostel to see the site for the new one. An article on the trip will follow soon in the Star Weekend Magazine. In the meantime, enjoy the photos! Click on the image below...

BNWLA Gazipur

Poster Boys


Signed posters were auctioned at the most recent of Andrew's gigs with Arnob - raising another 50 pounds for the cause! What price autographs?

Third BAG meeting



The BAG met again on Friday 28th Sept following our visit to the hostel. Lots of ideas for fundraising and awareness-raising for the campaign came out of this.

Members of the group have opted for various ways of supporting the appeal: by volunteering time to visit the hostel and carry out creative workshops; arranging for groups of students to go on an awareness-raising trip, and through developing a campaign short film. The appeal is also to be featured on Bangladesh's premier music website. Lots of energy and enthusiasm - we're expecting great things!

Also, BNWLA's own VSO volunteer Jenny (pictured, standing) is now part of the group, providing vital expertise and a key link to the organisation.

BAG visits the hostel!



The BNWLA Action Group (Oniket, Don, Anika, Lemo, Jules and Andrew) met again last Saturday to go on a visit to the hostel, so that everyone could be in the picture. We are meeting again on on Friday to discuss our impressions, think of ways forward and consider how we can strengthen our ties with BNWLA itself as we seek to build on the 7600 pounds we have already collected.



The gig was a huge success, and got rave reviews, and not only from us. We raised the profile of the appeal and made over 1100 pounds for the appeal. Already there are more dates lined up for Dhaka, as well as London and New York next year.

Click on the image below for a superb collection of photoagraphs from our good friend Arif Hafiz...

East Meets West

East Meets West Concert



Preparations are well underway for the concert now, with the help of sponsors Warid Telecom and Media Partners Channel i and Radio Foorti. Should be a great gig, and a pioneering musical event here in Dhaka. Proceeds will go to the appeal of course. Watch this space for photos of the event, coming soon...

BNWLA and BlueNote in the news



More press exposure for the cause from the pen of our good friend Anika Mariam Ahmed! See this article from this weekend's New Age....

Redesigned website



Check out the newly redesigned website at

Much smarter and more colourful, as well as easier to negotiate. Enjoy!

BNWLA Action Group



We have formed an Action Group made up of 6 volunteers from across the community: a film director, a radio producer, journalists, writers and students, to take this appeal to the next level. Immediate plans are for us to visit the hostel, and then collaborate on making a short film. Yesterday's first meeting, (with five of us present), got us off to an enthusiastic start. Watch this space for our next steps...

Live on Radio Foorti



BlueNote (see pic below) were featured on Radio Foorti this evening, talking in a 15-minute interview with RJ Fuad about our link to this campaign, as well as the presence of jazz for the first time in Dhaka. All good publicity...


More Jazz and Film



Last night saw another collaboration between BlueNote and Future Shorts. with an evening of jazz and film at the Nordic Club. Again well attended, raising another £30 for the appeal.


Playing in the Rain



We had another of our fundraising bashes at the BAGHA last night. Despite sheets of torrential rain, 89 people turned up for happy hour proving the old adage that no monsoon ever gets between a Brit and his/her pint. That's the spirit. And yes, we risked electrocution, but what does that matter when we raised another £200 for the cause...? Huzzah, chaps! (Pic by Mikey


BlueNote/BNWLA on YouTube!


Here is an excellent video made during one of our recent performances by a friend of BlueNote and the BNWLA Hostel Appeal, Mikey Leung. Mikey is a VSO and soon to be author of a new travel book about Bangladesh.

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Major fundraising event in September


We are planning a concert for September at the Heritage Restaurant here in Dhaka, aimed at raising 2000 pounds in an evening.

Arnob and Andrew will perform an evening of East Meets West fusion music. The event will be sponsored by Warid Telecom.





Last night was the first collaboration between BlueNote and the film company Future Shorts: an evening of short films and jazz at the Nordic Club. Great atmosphere, candlelight, and some excellent films, not to mention of course the superb music. We're likely to be doing one of these evenings a month now, with all proceeds going to the appeal. As the venue was quite small, and ticket prices were kept low, we made around £20, but it's a start...

Fundraising in the key of F



Great gig last night. Around 90 people there - balmy summer breeze, gins'n'tonics all round. What better setting for the cool sound of BlueNote? And besides, all proceeds from the tickets went to the BNWLA Hostel Appeal, making Tk 27,000 (£200) in one evening. Putting the fun into fundraising...

Thanks to Mikey Leung for the photo. His own website on life in Bangladesh is well worth a visit for excellent photos and writing. You can find him at

More musical fundraising


This week BlueNote are playing at the British Expat (BAGHA) Club here in Dhaka. The BAGHA have offered to donate all proceeds from tickets to the appeal. We're grateful for this very kind gesture.


They're also interested in future events which combine jazz and short films, which will come courtesy of Future Shorts, a London-based company with international chapters. Oniket, the local curator, came to know of our appeal and has offered to collaborate with us. Could be very interesting.



Since Jules arrived in Bangladesh she has been busy networking and following a number of fundraising leads. Ideas so far include approaching garment factories for boxes of seconds for sale at expat events and setting up a benefit gig in the autumn, and a number of people have stepped forward to offer help. All these things bubbling away at the moment. Watch this space.

In the meantime, money continues to come in from BlueNote performances, and the British Expat Club - the BAGHA, has agreed to donate all proceeds from our next week's gig.

Incredible Offers No 3


Our friend Farhad, founder of Ekushey TV, gave us a hundred copies of a coffee-table photography book with stunning pictures of Bangladesh, from his own publishing house. Last night we raffled 3 of them at the latest BlueNote gig and raised £40.

Great evening had by all


Our friend Aaref's party went swimmingly last night, not only providing BlueNote with their first public performance (see BlueNote blog for details) but more importantly raising £500 for the cause. Excellent food, outstanding music (of course), and great conversation. There was a really international crowd, with friends from Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Mexico, Spain and the US as well as Bangladesh and the UK. Salma Ali, Executive Director of BNWLA also attended.

We wish to extend our thanks once again to Aaref for organising such a superb event. When the great book of the Hostel Appeal is written, this will go down as a real milestone...

With Arnob live at the British High Commission


Getting more eyeballs for the cause, with more concerts lined up.

Click here for more excellent images by Snigdha Zaman of Ikon Photo, Dhaka. YouTube video to follow of Arnob and me rehearsing...

Ornob/Andrew/Nazrul Live at the BHC

Arnob to visit the BNWLA Hostel


Arnob, the star of the Bangladesh music scene, described by many as the finest musician of his generation, has agreed to visit the hostel with me. We've recently begun to collaborate musically (see the BlueNote blog for info) and are playing a concert tonight for the British High Commissioner. Photos will appear here soon. He is unquestionably a musical genius and it's a privilege to be able to work with him.

As I've got to know him, I've also seen he has a strong social conscience. He immediately offered a percentage of tonight's fee for example to the hostel. So when I suggested coming, he agreed straight away. We'll perform our new set for the kids, and they will in turn put on a song and dance show for us. This will bring huge publicity to the hostel - as his presence will guarantee media attention. Salma Ali (head of BNWLA) is delighted. A couple of TV interviews with any of us will further bolster the cause.

Music News


Meanwhile, over at BlueNote, there have been some interesting developments which will certainly keep us in the limelight and help bring attention to the cause. Click on the link (bottom right on this page) to see the growing list of gigs plus news of an extraordinary collaboration in the making.