and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
25 young musicians from 8 countries came to Tbilisi, Georgia from April 1-9 for 'Music as a Common Language for Peace', initiated by the European Student Association AEGEE. Musicians without Borders' Laura Hassler and Lis Murphy joined to prepare the musicians for visits to refugee camps, where thousands of IDPs (internally displaced people) live as a result of the most recent wars in the region.
Over the past couple of weeks we have compiled the interim report for Rwanda Youth Music. Although sometimes it can seem hollow to present work with real people as statistics, it can also be revealing and important. The programme in Rwanda is an active one and extremely practical in its design. We work with young people who are living with HIV 6 days a week, using music with care and intention. Trained youth leaders have designed music programmes at 3 support centres; 1 trained music workshop leader is employed to work at our partner's children's clinic; outreach events happen twice a month, on-going training to enhance the youth leaders' skills takes place every week; we ran introduction trainings for a new group of youth leaders; and we have employed Rwanda's first music therapist to offer music therapy to vulnerable young people at our partner clinic. In practice this means that Musicians without Borders directly affected positive change for around 2000 HIV+ young people in Rwanda in the past year.
Following a generous anonymous donation, our Manchester based group of refugee and asylum seeker torture survivors, have held 3 recording sessions. By recording their own songs the group aims to raise awareness about their own experiences, and the countless experiences of countless other refugees and asylum seekers. The songs will be available to download soon. An account of one of the recording sessions from Musicians without Borders volunteer, Samira Mahmood, described how seeing one member "singing about something so close to her heart, and watching her emotional reaction was very moving".
Mostar Rock School did it again! Forming eight bands with a mixture of their students in BiH. They have practiced hard and long on their band assignments and are now ready to perform tonight in Pavarotti Music Center in Mostar. These bands will play covers and original songs. If you have any change to visit this great venue in Mostar, have a look at these marvelous bands tonight!