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Vientiane Times

HDI Spokesperson Mary McBride Performs in Laos

March 30, 2012

Mary McBrideWell-known American singer and songwriter Mary McBride will bring her unique blend of blues, soul, country and rock music to Laos next week during a three day visit to the country.

During her tour she will perform at several concerts and also conduct a music workshop for performers in Loas. She will be touring Laos from April 2-4, with her visit sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI).

A special highlight for Lao music lovers will e a free concert at the Mekong riverside near the night market area, which is scheduled to take place at 6pm on April 3. the concert is open to all members of workshop at the School of Music and Dance for students of traditional Lao instruments. After their visit to Laos, Mary and her band will tour Vietnam where they will play at the International Culture Festival in Hue, as well as for survivors of UXO accidents and their families participating in HDI's victim assistance programme in Vietnam.

Mary's commercial and critical success has grown steadily with the release of each of her four albums. A high point was her musical performance in the award-winning film "Brokeback Mountain".

Mary has always made it in a priority to bring her music to poor marginalised communities throughout the world. During the tour for her 2010 album "The Way Home" she performed concerts at shelters for the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, and people with mental and physical disabilities.

Over the last year, Mary has been touring the world to raise awareness about poverty issues and support the Humpty Dumpty Institute's humanitarian programmes, with her travels taking her to Russia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia among other places.

Mary is excited to be visiting Laos for the first time and hopes to make new connections with music lovers in the country. She also hopes that her visit to Loas will lead to greater awareness of the assistance that HDI and the U.S. Embassy are bringing to the country.

Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided over US $11 million to HDI through the U.S. Embassy for assistance programmes to Laos.

Much of this goes to a school feeding programme which provides 18,000 children with a snack at school every day in order to encourage better attendance rates. The project also works with villages to provide water, latrines, and new school buildings.

HDI and the U.S. Embassy are currently undertaking a mushroom growing project in Khammuan province, which works with children and adults to promote mushroom cultivation. The aim is to increase access to nutritious food and to promote a sustainable, alternative source of income generation.

by Times Reporters