In April we held the first Tek Ura fundraiser, to enable the life transforming work at Tek Ura to continue. The event was sold out a week before the date, a real success for our first fundraising event of this kind.
At ‘Urban Roots’ café in the Blok, we hosted a jazz evening with music, drinks and food. In the afternoon, kids gathered for a jazz workshop where they developed a piece of music under the expert tuition of Chris Carter, a volunteer teacher in Tirana for a couple of years and Matt Carter, his son - a jazz pianist who has performed at some of the flagship jazz venues in the UK.
The piece of music created at the workshop kicked off the evening and we heard violins, ukuleles, drums and guitars, all coming together to produce a beautiful composition. Following this, we moved on to the headliners. Theresa Paratone sang beautiful numbers with Matt and the band accompanying. The atmosphere in Urban roots was fantastic with all the audience loving listening to the music together. Matt then treated us to a jazz masterpiece – with the café captivated by his piano excellence and descriptions of the music.
We were incredibly thankful to all the performers for donating their time and expertise to raise money and the profile of Tek Ura. They gave up their Friday night to raise money to enable the work of Tek Ura to continue. Annie Dupree shared the reason behind the fundraiser, talking about some of the lives positively changed by Tek Ura, people like Toni:
Toni never went to school as a child - he never learnt to read and write. Even when he was asked to sign his name he would struggle to consistently make the same pattern on a page. Toni is a resourceful young man, willing to try his hand at anything, for a time he bought and sold pigs, shoes and working as a part time labourer.
He is now father, a father with the pressure to maintain a steady income. When Tek Ura offered him the opportunity to learn to read and write through our adult literacy program, he hesitated only for a moment. Not because he was too proud to sit in front of someone and say 'how do I write my name?' but because he knew every moment he was sitting a room learning meant less time out trying to find money for his family.
At Tek Ura we have had the pleasure of seeing his joy in finally being able to read, slowly but surely. He can now send a text message something he always wanted to do and he can now have some confidence in encouraging his own child to read and write.