Tag: Moseley

The Gift of Giving and Friendship

Today two young men from The Feast project Y4M (Youth for Moseley) visited the Sparkhill food bank for a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to food once it’s donated.

These young men from Moseley School, one Christian and one Muslim, joined forces to make a video encouraging others from their school to take part in a food drive that will start soon.

Not only were these two representing the Y4M after school club, but they were also representing their faith and looking at how they could work together to tackle poverty.

When asked why they were willing to give up a day of their holiday to help out they said:

“It’s important because not only is it written in the Qur’an, but it nourishes your own soul, knowing that you are making a difference. When you give, it removes your own selfishness.” said Bilal.

“I like helping people. I was always taught to respect people and the Bible says to do for others what I’d like them to do for me. It’s part of who I am. Being Tswana (from Botswana) that’s how we’re grounded – you just know someday, someone will need to help you.” Mandla said.

These young men have also become pretty good friends in the short space of time they’ve known each other. Having met in the after-school club (Y4M) just 3 weeks ago, they spent most of the journey to and from the food bank talking about their faith and their beliefs. It was so encouraging to hear them speak so positively about each others faith and to have them both speak so passionately about recent events in the media.

When reflecting on their day, Bilal said: “It’s kinda cool when a non-Muslim defends a Muslim because it shows the brotherhood between them. It touched me when Mandla said he knew that all Muslims aren’t like how the media negatively represents us at times.”

“Bilal called me a friend and a good guy – that’s something I don’t get every day, especially from a Muslim. It made me feel quite good about myself and about how other people from a different religion can still view me an appreciate me.” said Mandla.

Today I thought we were simply going to a food bank to see how food is collected, stored and distributed. What I witnessed, however, was a marvellous gift of friendship, exchanged between two young men of different cultures and different faiths.

Culture Shock Gets Moseley Rocking

There was dancing in the aisles, swaying in the pews and a standing ovation as Culture Shock brought their 90 minute set to a close with a Samba-ho-down bringing together the beats of Brazil with the twang of Country and Western. It was a fantastic performance which combined a blend of musical traditions from across communities and countries into a coherent and innovative sound that got the people of Moseley on to their feet.

Culture Shock was a one-off performance by eight of Birmingham’s top musicians who had spent the previous five days sharing their talents, skill and influences to create a unique musical narrative performed on the evening of their sixth day together. Musicians in the ensemble ranged from a trumpeter and a violinist to an Emcee, via percussionists, keyboards, guitarists and vocalists.

Each performer introduced their own piece of music and talked about the influences that shaped their music but each performance was shared and blended, giving the evening its unique flavour.

Before the main musical event the audience were welcomed to the free concert with a flavoursome fusion of delicous snacks provided by Indian and Lebanese caterers. The sun shone outside the beautiful St Anne’s church in Moseley as people mingled over meze and, as happens so often at Near Neighbours events, new relationships were made, new opportunities explored and new events planned.

There are plans for the ensemble to get together again and perform for the community at schools and local events. If you get the chance to hear them – don’t miss it. This was a group well-worth bringing together – so huge thanks from Near Neighbours to all the performers, organisers and to St Anne’s church for hosting the event.

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