herald

Saturday 20 December 2014

Hansard joins actor Norton to help Kenyan village

HOLLYWOOD actor Edward Norton has joined forces with Irish singer Glen Hansard to raise funds for a conservation project with the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Dubliner Glen has raised enough to equip the remote villagers with a truck and is fundraising for a second vehicle.

The pair got to know each other after Glen and The Swell Season hit Oscar gold with their soundtrack to the movie Once.

Glen was encouraged to travel to Africa by the Primal Fear actor Edward, and said that once there he was inspired to raise funds to help out the tribe.

"Edward Norton is running this conservation camp for the Maasai Tribe in Kenya," he explained.

"Among many of the great people that we've come across in this whole madness of what happened to us after Once, there were a couple of people that stuck and became pals. I'm very happy to say that he's one of them."

The former Frames frontman has raised more than €54,000 for the project.

"We spent a few weeks with this nomadic people. Singing, eating, exploring," Glen said. "I visited the schools and health clinics, saw the amazing animals and attended a village community meeting."

The population of lions in the area is on the rise thanks to the scouts in the area, while schools were well attended and clinics were getting new doctors.

"What the community really lacked and asked for was a truck," Glen said. "I thought, 'how hard can that be?', but getting trucks into Kenya with its high taxes and then into an area that doesn't have access roads is a bit of a challenge."

Now Edward and Glen have been tweeting about the culmination of their efforts.

"We got one of the jeeps. It's in the village now. Thank you, thank you," Glen posted.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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