The Hands Across Africa Festival and Expo is conceptualized as a cross- continent initiative, starting in Ghana on 23 July 2022. The objective and aim of this concert/expo series is to leverage the platform of music to:
Build a bridge of brotherhood specifically for cultural exchange and social outreach across the Motherland;
Foster collaboration between international and local artistes and help expand the professional network of our Africa counterparts.
Heighten the need for and the importance of non-state-initiated action to elevate the human condition and the development of local.
Generate funds to seed philanthropic endeavors for social good in the Motherland under the banner of They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO Foundation), with a focus on youth development, empowerment of women, education, health and the environment within these countries.
Hands Across Africa was inspired by the success of an outreach intervention - in Ghana in October 2021. This was a collaboration between Reggae Artiste and Philanthropist Taj Weekes, My Place Events and the Christian ministry Help Is on the way using music as a vehicle to bring the message of hope, together with very tangible support to Ghanaian communities. Out of this pilot, Taj Weekes, through his foundation TOCO has been inspired to establish TOCO Africa, to extend its mandate across the Motherland – that is to change the life chances of youth in general and at-risk youth in particular, through engagement and mentorship through sports, creative arts and other educational enrichment and support programs.
Given the level of need, the calls for partnership from various State agencies and the high level of interest from both artistes in country and high-profile international artistes, TOCO plans to develop initiatives in support of the education and the arts sector across the continent, hence the name Hands Across Africa.
The Social - Love in Ac/on
A series of one-day festivals comprising concerts and expositions will be staged in the countries on the Hands Across Africa Calendar. We will engage with several muzos in the industry to donate a percentage of every ticket sold from each festival. Our beneficiary profile will be primarily vetted non- profit charitable organizations, educational institutions that are impoverished and TOCO led or supported community- based initiatives that provide support and services within the local community.
About TOCO Founda/on
TOCO Foundation is a U.S. and Ghana based, not-for profit organization with a mission to raise awareness and address the issues that affect youth through advocacy and social support. TOCO’s broad focus also includes the Sustainable Agriculture, Environment, health and Wellness, Diabetes and Gender Equity. HANDS ACROSS AFRICA extends the geographic footprint of the TOCO Foundation which has been active throughout the Caribbean since its establishment in 2007, delivering social support and messages of hope to youth and vulnerable communities from Haiti in the North to Trinidad and Tobago in the South.
TOCO Foundation is endorsed by the Government of Ghana and the Government of Saint Lucia, the birth country of TOCO Chairman Taj Weekes. In February 2020, the Saint Lucia government conferred upon him, a double distinction, 1) that of International Goodwill Ambassador, for his notable philanthropic work, and 2) the Saint Lucia Medal of Honor (gold), the third highest distinction in the Order of Saint Lucia. Ambassador Weekes was previously
conferred with Saint Lucia Medal of Merit (gold) in 2017. He was also given Rotary International’s highest distinction, The Paul Harris Fellow Award, for service to the peoples of the world . Of his numerous accolades and distinctions, Ambassador Weekes is most gratified to have been appointed a Caribbean ambassador for children by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
H.E Taj Weekes Chairman