12-06-2016  8:00 am      •     

Eva Walker is not yet out of high school, but she's already dreaming big.
This year, for her senior project, Walker, 17, is doing her part to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
A musician who plays the guitar and drums, Walker is mixing her passion for music with her desire to help others. Her HIV/AIDS Benefit Concert will be held Friday, March 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Summit K-12 School, 11051 34th Ave. N.E.
The concert will feature various music genres such as R&B, jazz, rock, rap and funk. Walker will play guitar and drums and will have about seven acts featuring Summit students, as well as other students from local schools.
Walker credits three people, Griffin Joko Fugi Moto, Carson Reed Keeble, and Ben Shields with helping her through the process.
The event has taken Walker nearly half a year to pull together. She started planning the event in September with the help of friends who are also fellow musicians and want to spread the word about reducing the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
This will be the second benefit concert Walker has organized. The Summit K-12 Alternative School student became inspired to make change after Hurricane Katrina and hosted a benefit concert last year at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
The concert raised $550, which was donated to the Central Area Motivation Program to help a New Orleans family of eight move into a house here in Seattle.
"I watch a lot of stuff on TV about what's going on in the world," Walker said.
"I'm not one to sit back and just watch it on TV so I thought someone has to do something to reduce the spread of AIDS/HIV in Africa."
The money from the March 30 concert will go to Urgent Africa. Walker has teamed up with Atieno Kombe, president of Urgent Africa, a nonprofit that partners with village leaders in Africa to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for African children. The group's work incorporates education, health care, HIV prevention, cultural preservation, empowerment programs and economic development. Kombe also will speak at the benefit concert about orphans in Sub Saharan Africa who have lost family members to the disease.
"I really like Africa and when I researched it and I saw that kids and orphans over there were suffering after losing their parents," Walker said, adding that working with Urgent Africa has opened her eyes to the greed that sometimes overtakes Americans.
She said she sees that people here are more concerned with their image and collecting material possessions, instead of just being grateful for what they have. All they want in Africa are just the simple and basic things from life; healthcare, food and adequate housing, Walker said.
"When I see more people here concerned about having an iPod, their appearance, or Britney Spears shaving her head than what's actually going on in Africa, that bothers me a lot," Walker said. "Even outside the benefit concert, people still need to help, donate and do whatever they can to help others that are in desperate need. Kids are growing up as orphans with no one to look after them."
Tickets are available at the door and cost $7 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets also may be purchased in advance for $5 by calling 206-853-2463. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. For more information on Urgent Africa, call 206-853-4181 or visit www.urgentafrica.org.

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