"When we start a workshop in a refugee center, many of us are strangers to each other. Yet, generally, within a few minutes we are playing together with the openheartedness of children. That’s the power of music – it bridges the divides of language, origin, cultures and customs. It can lift a weary heart and heal trust that has been broken. What a way to welcome new people to my country!"
- Franka, workshop leader
In honor of World Refugee Day and World Wide Music Day (June 20-21), join us in promoting access to music as a fundamental human right and a celebration of diversity, freedom and equality. The continuation of our work with refugees and war-torn communities depends on your support. Please give today, any amount helps.
One of the refugees from Burundi who we work with in Rwanda at Mahama camp told me:
“If our leaders in Burundi had an opportunity to be in these trainings Burundi would be one of the most peaceful countries in the world.”
This showed me how much people value Musicians without Borders’ trainings.
Musicians without Borders might not be one of the biggest NGOs in the world, but I am very sure that it is one of the most determined NGOs in the world, and as long as you’re determined you can do anything including the impossible. Size does not count for everything, but determination does. As long as you’re determined you can do a lot of things.
Let me take the example of the trainings we do to support different vulnerable people in order to support them and bring happiness in their lives and create awareness of their vulnerability. To the eyes of many, training simply means “teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies.” To me it’s a little bit different according to what I have seen in these past couple of years working with Musicians without Borders, as Project Assistant (Rwanda).
I have seen people coming from hell to hero; depressed youth becoming ambassadors of hope; refugees developing hope for tomorrow; orphans becoming the voice for the voiceless; and unhappy young people becoming sources of happiness.
Leadership skills, song writing, musical activities, outreach events and so many other things that we do in MwB’s trainings, are not only things that bring happiness and smiles to the faces of participants; it all brings people together to feel more connected and more of a family.
Imagine if every person in this world would know how to avoid conflicts, insecurity, poverty through a nonviolent approach and in addition imagine if everyone would be more open and feel the freedom of this world and feel the happiness around them instead of looking only in a negative way. Our training teaches people to look in a positive way and see all the opportunities they have around them by being creative – creating anything – and changing the lives of thousand people.
Peace, Ally Shyaka
In 2014 Allison graduated with a distinction from the University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He has been working with MwB since March 2014 as a translator, and in June 2014 was appointed Project Assistant.