Band leader, Jhonny Mesquita, and his translator are visiting Aberdeen for the festival following a crowd funding effort by Neil Gordon of Subsea UK to help bring them to the city.
Steve Gibb, PR Manager at Balmoral Group, worked with the band in Rio and learned that it is very much a social project aimed at disenfranchised youths living in the city’s notorious favelas.
On his return from the event Steve contacted the Grampian Police Scotland Pipe band, also sponsored by Balmoral, to see if they had surplus equipment or clothing they could donate to Vieira as the Brazilians receive no funding and rely on donations to keep their project going.
Pamela Whyte, pipe major with the band, rallied to the cause and gathered a collection of clothing to donate to the Brazilians. She said: “We were thrilled to be able to help such a worthy cause on the other side of the world.
“When Steve told us the story of Vieira we were quite astonished and humbled that Scottish culture was having such a positive impact on these communities and were more than happy to help with this fantastic initiative.”
Jhonny and his translator are also being treated as guests of honour of the Grampian Police Scotland Pipe Band by being taken to the Scottish pipe band championships in Dumbarton to watch them perform.
Jhonny said: “Through Scottish culture we have reached the hearts of young people, getting rid of drugs, prostitution, marginality and showing them a promising future side of music and culture. The bagpipes have influenced the lives of many young people and teenagers in Rio de Janeiro.
“We have no sponsorship and rely on donations from friends who live outside Brazil to help with instruments, reeds, uniforms, etc. We have not had any financial assistance but we hope that one day this will happen so that we can reach many more young people with this social project.
“I wish to thank Balmoral Group, Neil, Pamela and the Grampian Police Pipe Band for making this trip possible and for their generous support towards the band. God bless our friends here in Aberdeen.”
Pic: Vieira band leader, Jhonny Mesquita, meets Pamela Whyte of Grampian Police Scotland pipe band and Bill Main of Balmoral Group