Music is a way of life for the people of Tarawa, a small island that's part of the Republic of Kiribati.
Rev. Przemek Kasprzak, a priest at the Immaculate Conception Church in Marlborough, spent three years doing missionary work on the South Pacific island. "Music for them is everything. They are extremely musical. I have never seen such a thing in my life" said Kasprzak.
Kiribati was also one of the last stops for Robert "Bo" Warren on his quest to visit every country in the world. "These children, music is part of their culture. It's one of the few ways they can entertain themselves" said Warren, who lives in Shelburne Falls when he's not traveling the world.
Kasprzak helped arrange Warren's stay on the island of Tarawa.
"I was entertained for the better part of a week. I was humbled by it because they have so little and yet they were giving so much to make sure I was properly greeted to the island" said Warren, who visited the local school while he was there "They were extraordinarily talented and it just seemed sad that such talented young people had no access to instruments."
Kasprzak said he brought a guitar and small drum with him to Kiribati during his stay and the drum was the only one on the entire island.
As Warren was leaving, the headmaster of the school asked him if he could help raise funds to get instruments for the children of Tarawa.
So when Warren returned home, he got in touch with Kasprzak to see if they could fulfill the headmaster's request.
"To get those instruments would mean a lot" said Kasprzak.
Warren set up a non-profit called the World Travel Learning Center to collect the instruments and also help finance the shipment.
"We're not necessarily looking for new instruments, we'd just as well have used instruments and if they come in the case that's even better because they're going to be shipped a long, long way" Warren said.
He says the biggest hurdle is the shipping cost and the logistics of sending a container full of instruments to a remote corner of the world.
"We want to make sure that the instruments get into the hands of those children," Kasprzak added, "that's why I personally will accompany those instruments."
It's part of Warren's new mission to bring people from around the world closer together.
"Music is something that we can all relate to, we can all understand, and really all appreciate," he said.
Cox Media Group