Song-a-thon for Gorongosa: Cyclone Idai Relief

Support aid efforts in Mozambique by sponsoring me to play a song for you!


The beautiful country of Mozambique was recently ravaged by Cyclone Idai, which experts deem one of the deadliest storms to hit the Southern Hemisphere. Entire communities, especially those on low incomes, have been completely destroyed, with casualties expected to exceed 1,000 individuals. Many families have lost everything. The country expects about $1 billion in infrastructure costs, and thousands of families are in desperate need of immediate food, water, shelter, and first aid.

This is a tragedy on a global scale, but it also personally hits close to home. Mozambique - and, in particular, its Gorongosa National Park - are near and dear to my heart. Gorongosa is a hub of astounding biodiversity, with a monumental Restoration Project: a coalition of scientific, community, and tourism efforts to rebuild the ecosystem and infrastructure of an area that had been previously ravaged in the 1970s-1990s by civil war. In recent years, scientific research and conservation, community outreach, and sustainable economic initiatives have been blossoming there thanks to the project's outstanding multidisciplinary team and community members in the park and its buffer zone. You can find out more about the park's story and the way its personnel are delivering aid to the communities in the wake of the cyclone on their website. 

By April 4th, I would like to raise $1000 for the workers and rangers who are making and delivering survival materials (i.e. food packs, clean water, shelter) to stranded families in the park's vulnerable protected zone. This money will go directly to the Gorongosa Relief Fund, where efforts are being primarily made to immediately save lives in this crucial period.

AND in addition to donating, you will receive something in return from me!

Here, I have linked a spreadsheet containing all of the songs that I know how to play and sing well on the guitar and piano, as well as slots for you to sign up your name and choose a song. I will play for you that song of your choice live, in exchange for a donation, which I'll monitor on GoFundMe. On Monday, April 1st, and Tuesday, April 2nd, I will be going live on Instagram and Facebook from 9:00 AM PST to 3:00 PST with my guitar. Pop in at any time you're available, and once I see your name pop up on the screen to show that you're watching, I will play your song for you. 

Donate any amount you wish. If you cannot livestream the set and would still like to hear the song, contact me directly at [email redacted] to arrange for me to play the song over the phone for you. If your donation exceeds $30, I will record the cover of your song and send it to you as an mp3 you can keep in addition to seeing it performed live. If it exceeds $100, I will personally write you a song about a topic of your choice and send it to you as an mp3 as well. 

Thank you for your generosity and appreciation of the wonderful, hardworking people of Mozambique and Gorongosa, and your willingness to help them prevail and rebound from this terrible disaster. Your kindness will not be forgotten in the park's undoubtedly beautiful future. 

For more information about the park:
  • Georgia Smith 
    • $190 
    • 31 mos
  • Elliott Cheu 
    • $50 
    • 31 mos
  • Carsten’s AP research class 
    • $10 
    • 31 mos
  • Paige Cooper 
    • $20 
    • 31 mos
  • Andrea Klemmer 
    • $40 
    • 31 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Ava Salzman 
Pasadena, CA
Ryan Kirkham 
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