This is a guest post written by Shernyse Lee, ONE’s UK Campaigns Intern.
Who doesn’t love a free festival? Who doesn’t love great music and food? No-one, right? Well, the Africa Oye festival on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June was the place to be. It’s the UK’s biggest festival celebrating African culture hosted in Sefton Park, Liverpool. I attended the festival with my campaigns colleague Tobi and UK Youth Ambassadors, Anna and Michelle.
The forecast predicted rain and wind but armed with our essential festival gear and optimism that the sun would come out, we set up our ONE stall and awaited the crowd of festival goers to enter the park. Once the rain clouds cleared, the sun came out, the festival began and a huge crowd appeared. The atmosphere was amazing!
“What is ONE?” and “What do you do?” were common questions of the weekend.
We had over 100 people sign the Just Say Yes petition calling on UK MPs to keep our promises to the world’s poorest, and our balloons and wrist bands were a huge success. It was great to see people excited and engaging with the work that ONE does.
People posed for some great #strengthies for our Poverty is Sexist campaign, and people wrote postcards asking David Cameron and George Osborne to attend the important Financing for Development Summit in July which will decide how much funding fighting global poverty will get. Anna and Michelle did a fantastic job and proved once again that our Youth Ambassadors are amazing.
People were very pleased to know local West Derby MP Stephen Twigg had signed the Just Say Yes pledge and we urged others to get their MPs to also sign. I hope to see fellow Liverpool MPs Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood), Louise Ellman (Riverside), Steve Rotheram (Walton) and Luciana Berger (Wavertree) sign the pledge very soon.
Africa Oye was a great festival with great people and great results for ONE. We hope to return next year! Thank you to the Africa Oye committee for putting together a great festival, the artists and talent for great performances, everyone who signed our Just Say Yes petition, wrote postcards or came by to learn more about ONE – and thank you Liverpool for a great weekend!