The members of Sierra Leone’s Refuge All Stars, the music group that was formed in 2002 in a refugee camp in the country of Guinea during the Sierra Leon Civil War, has dealt with its share of tragedy over the years. Sierra Leone was devastated by an ebola epidemic between 2013 and 2016, which prevented the group from touring and supporting the members’ families. The group has also been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even beforehand, the members were in financial dire straights, according to the group’s label Cumbancha.
Sierra Leone’s Refuge All Stars have turned to GoFundMe. Donations of $30 or more will receive a T-shirt featuring the 2005 documentary that spotlighted the group’s plight and raised its profile in the international folk music scene. The film was directed and co-produced by Zach Niles, who first discovered their plight. Cumbancha will also match all donations up to $2,000. Donations can be made at GoFundMe.
As a thanks to fans, Sierra Leone’s Refuge All Stars members Reuben M. Koroma, Jahson Gbassay Bull and Christopher Wagbay Davies, who are all in Sierra Leone now, released a new song called “Marriage Feeling.”