“Auntie, I’m gonna miss you, I feel like I’m gonna die from the storm… I feel like the wind is gonna take me.” This was the last message Simone Aïda Baur, based in Zurich, received from 7-year old Niomi in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). She heard nothing more for three days.
Simone met Ann Marie, Niomi’s mum, in 2009 shortly after moving to the BVI. Simone is an interior designer and Ann Marie was working in a furniture store and knew all about furniture. They quickly became close friends.
Eventually, Simone moved back home to Switzerland. But she stayed in close contact with Ann Marie and Niomi and visited them and her many other friends in 2016.
In September, as hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean, Simone watched helplessly from Zurich. She had lived through hurricanes when she was there but none this big.
When Irma struck, there was a communication blackout. Simone was reduced to tears. While speaking to her friend Simon, who lives near Lausanne, the pair decided to do something to help with the rebuilding of the islands and the lives of those hit by the devastation.
Three days after the destruction Simone started to get news via social media that her friends were OK. They’d hid huddled with their dog Koko in a closet behind a mattress emerging unscathed to find their home in pieces and the islands flattened.
Since then things have improved a little. Ann Marie and Niomi now have some windows. But they still don’t have electricity or running water.
On Saturday 2 December 2017, Simone, Simon Hardy and their friend Christian Hollitscher are hosting a rum and reggae event in Basel, Simone’s home town.
In addition to reggae and rum tasting, hosted by Simon who has a gift for all things alcoholic, there will be a presentation and a silent auction of hotel stays, brunches, dinners, interior design consultations, wine, artwork, things for the home, and fashion and beauty items.
Date: Saturday 2 December 2017
Time: 19:00 until midnight
Tickets: CHF 60 plus ticketing fee. Book here.
Includes: Entrance, welcome drink, rum tasting or 3 drinks or cocktails. Cash sales of additional drinks and food available.
Location: Launchlabs, Dornacherstrasse 192, 4053 Basel
Money raised will be used for cleaning up, reopening schools, supplying school materials, and putting roofs back on.
If you’re busy that night but would still like to help, you can donate via the ticket link above – leave the ticket number empty and complete the donation field. Alternatively you can send money here: ONE LOVE CARIBBEAN (CH) IBAN CH18 0022 5225 1151 98M1 M.