“I am committed to put music for the community in my heart and soul; and be the source in sharing and giving all that I have learned and experienced the last few weeks. And by doing that I will make life a little bit better, lighter and joyful on this planet.”
“Next time a child makes a mistake try and celebrate that mistake with him or her. Then they will learn from that mistake. After you have celebrated their mistake sit and talk to the child, then the child will trust you, feel protected, loved, hopeful and important in the community.”
Musicians without Borders in Rwanda, and the Hove Junior School in UK, today linked up live for a cultural exchange. Children from the school were able to speak with Espoir and Ally, live from Kigali, and ask them questions about their work using music to support vulnerable children.
Over the past 12 months we have worked with a group of thirty young people from Burundi living as refugees in Mahama camp, Rwanda. A team of MwB trainers from Rwanda, Israel and the Netherlands have led them through our course of Community Music Leadership, to become leaders in their community using musical and nonviolent approaches. During this period, they stepped into the role, leading music workshops with an astonishing 35,000 young people in Mahama refugee camp.
Over the past 12 months, our team of MwB Community Music Leaders in Rwanda have facilitated 23 outreach events for young people living as refugees in Rwanda. They have worked at Kiziba, Mugombwa, Gihembe, Nyabiheke and Kigeme refugee camps; Nyanza and Bugesera reception camps; and in Kigali with the urban refugee population.
In May our team made the trip twice to Kiziba refugee camp, in the far west of Rwanda, by Lake Kivu on the border with DRC. They worked there with young students, facilitating music workshops to support the community and provide a new expressive outlet. We hope these workshops prove to be the beginning of a new initiative to increase access to music-making in the camp; establishing a permanent music space and program over the coming year.
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.