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home > About Us
About Us
About Us

Established in May 1999 by founder and director Laura Hassler, and registered as a charitable foundation in 2000, Musicians Without Borders is the world’s pioneer in using music for peacebuilding and social change.

Laura mobilized her network of socially conscious musicians to create an organization dedicated to using music to bridge divides, connect communities and heal the wounds of war. The organization’s first long term project, the Music Bus, brought music, dance and theater to children in Srebrenica and its neighboring towns and refugee camps.

Following the success of the Music Bus, Musicians Without Borders was invited to conferences and cultural events in Kosovo and in Palestine, which would later lead to two of its founding programs, the Mitrovica Rock School and Palestine Community Music. In the years that followed, Musicians Without Borders expanded to include programs in Central Eastern Africa, Central America and Europe.

Today, Musicians Without Borders engages with artists, social activists and communities worldwide. We share expertise as we work to enable musicians to be advocates, activists, teachers, and performers, with the message: War Divides, Music Connects.

Supervisory Board
Laïla Abid
Eduard Nazarski
Board Member
Leslie Snider
Board Member
Bertus Borgers
Board Member
Heba El-Kholy
Board Member
Pieter de Nooij
Board Member
Charmayne Sijm
Board Member
International Office
Laura Hassler
Founder and Director
Chris Nicholson
Program Development, Regional Program Manager East Africa
Wendy Hassler-Forest
Strategic Development, Regional Program Manager Western Balkans
Ilaria Modugno
Financial Manager
Meagan Hughes
Operations & Training, Director's Assistant
Anna Rose Swinkels
Office Support
Eefje Wevers
Communications, Program Officer Music Connects
Miguel Ortega
Regional Program Manager Central America
Bregje van Bemmel
Financial Administrator
Fabienne van Eck
Regional Program Manager Middle East, Trainer
Otto de Jong
Training Development
Amanda Koser-Gillespie
Curriculum Development, Program Manager Northern Ireland
Allison Shyaka
Program Officer Rwanda Youth Music
Maryana Golovchenko
ART27 Secretariat
Gail Babb
Safeguarding Consultant
Rinske Bakker
Lucy Little
Irma Kort
Instrument Fund Coordinator
Ed Holland
Communications Assistant
Myra Pieters-Engelkes
Wellbeing Advisor
Darren Abrahams
Wellbeing Advisor
Alejandro Arrate Fernandez
Chris Colleye
Rukengeza Espoir
Jose Pepe Garcia
Juan Garzon
Marion Haak-Schulenburg
Manu van Kersbergen
Sherwin Kirindongo
Kana Yves Nzeyimana
Jim Pinchen
Ryuko Reid
Gregor Schulenburg
Marijke Smedema
Emma Smith
Guus van der Steen
Christa Tinari
Hanno Tomassen
Zaynab Wilson
In Kind Donors & Sponsorship
Project Partners
Rwanda Youth Music Donors
Mitrovica Rock School Donors
Palestine Community Music Donors
Welcome Notes Donors

We have no vacancies at this time.

Reporting & Policies

Safety is a guiding principle that steers our work with communities affected by war and armed conflict: to ensure a safe space for everyone who participates in our programs.

The safeguarding of our staff and program participants is not only inherent in our guiding principles, but also informs the daily operations of our organization. As we work on a daily basis with vulnerable children and adults who are in or at risk of becoming involved in abusive, exploitative or dangerous situations, we are committed to safeguarding as a fundamental element of our organizational culture in order to protect the rights of our participants and to ensure their well-being.

At Musicians Without Borders, we ensure a culture of safeguarding through:
  • An appointed safeguarding team within the organization;
  • The implementation of a Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct;
  • Access to safeguarding resources and training for our staff, trainers and participants;
  • Assessment of our staff, trainers and volunteers for suitability for working with children and vulnerable adults through reference and background checks;
  • Ensuring that staff, trainers, volunteers and participants know the appropriate reporting procedure for safeguarding issues;
  • Protecting our staff and participants’ identity and personal information through secure data systems and informed consent processes;
  • Conducting risk assessments in advance of our program activities.

We recognize that safeguarding is a practice that needs to be given regular attention and we invite the feedback of our participants, supporters and stakeholders on the effectiveness of our efforts and practices.

If you have any questions or concerns in regards to safeguarding within our programs, you are welcome to contact Meagan Hughes, Designated Safeguarding Lead: [email protected]

Download our full Safeguarding Policy & Procedures here

Bullying & Harassment

Musicians Without Borders is committed to fostering safe, supportive work environments in which staff and volunteers can thrive and do their best work. We believe all personnel have a right to be protected from bullying and harassment of any kind.

This policy and the associated guidelines detail MWB’s commitment to safeguarding personnel, define what is expected of those working for us and lay out our procedures for handling incidents or allegations of bullying and harassment.

The policy applies to all those working on behalf of Musicians Without Borders including salaried staff, freelancers, volunteers, work placements, our supervisory board and local project staff employed by partner organizations. Partner organizations are required to sign up to this policy or provide an alternative that is based on the underlying principles and legal frameworks laid out in this document.

Click here to download the Bullying & Harassment Policy & Procedures


It is Musicians without Borders’ policy to conduct all of our work in an honest and accountable manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity. Our Code of Conduct promotes honest and ethical behavior throughout the organization, as well as provides a mechanism to report unethical conduct.

If you suspect that any bribery, corruption or other breach of this policy has occurred or may occur, you can lodge a complaint at any time to Laura Hassler, MWB Director (+31 (0) 20 330 5012 /[email protected]) or Meagan Hughes, Operations Coordinator (+31 (0) 20 330 5012 / [email protected]). Your report will be treated confidentially.

Make a complaint through our online form

Code of Conduct

All MWB personnel, volunteers, associates and guests are required to read this entire document
carefully, sign and return to Musicians Without Borders.


Musicians Without Borders (MWB) staff, trainers, volunteers, associates and guests understand that MWB works with people who have experienced the traumatic effects of current or recent conflict. MWB maintains zero tolerance for abuse, harassment and discrimination within its work and subscribes to equal and fair treatment for all individuals.

Our Code of Conduct provides the following guidance on what we expect of all individuals working on our behalf.

1. Respecting Local Culture and Values

 When traveling for MWB, please inform yourself of social customs regarding dress and appearance, contact (e.g. between men and women) in the public space as well as social rules around such things as courtesy, home visits, gift-giving, etc., and respect them. Please refer to your direct supervisor/program manager for guidance.

 Please do not ask questions, or start or join discussions about politics, religion, sex or personal relationships. These are usually the most volatile subjects and frequently extremely sensitive.

 Be sensitive to differences in material wealth – most of our projects take place in poor communities (don’t bring expensive electronic equipment with you, etc.)

 Do not inquire about people’s personal lives or histories, unless they themselves open the subject. Many people involved in our projects have painful histories and traumatic stories; respect their privacy to share these (or not to) on their own terms.

 Do not make any promises of future help or give anyone money; if you want to do something to support the local community or specific individuals, please refer to your supervisor/program manager.

2. Personal Behavior: Rock ‘n’ Roll allowed, sex and drugs are not!

Even though music can and should be fun, please remember that you are not on holiday or on your own time, but working in an MWB program. Therefore, please respect these rules:

 No use of drugs under any circumstances;

 Alcohol only where culturally appropriate, and where so, only in moderation- no drunkenness,
under any circumstances;

 No sexual activities with minors (under 18) or program participants;

 Behave modestly (e.g. no loud or raucous behavior).

3. Safeguarding Our Participants


 Treat participants with respect regardless of age, race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, disability or other status.

 Acknowledge the work of local partners and participants, and represent your own contribution honestly and modestly.

 Be aware of particular risks or vulnerabilities of participants and be aware of your position as someone with power or authority.

 Be aware of situations which may present risks (for example, being alone with participants, taking film/photo or interviewing for work purposes/reporting). You may only proceed if the situation is within the boundaries of this policy and after obtaining clearance from management and the participants.

 Plan and organize the work, workplace or visit to manage risks.

 As much as possible, be visible in working with or visiting participants.

 Foster and ensure a culture of openness to enable any issues or concerns to be raised and discussed.

 Ensure accountability amongst staff, trainers and volunteers to document and address poor practices or potentially abusive behavior.

 Talk to participants about their contact with staff and other participants, inform them about what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior according to MWB policies and procedures and encourage them to raise any concerns.

 Report concerns or incidents of participant abuse to the designated persons and authorities. Please refer to the designated MWB program manager to clarify the reporting procedure.


 Do not develop physical or sexual relationships with participants. Do not behave physically in a manner that is inappropriate (for example, fondle, hold, hug, kiss or touch participants in a culturally insensitive way) or behave sexually. Do not sleep in the same room or bed as the participants.

 Do not act in ways that may be abusive, exploitative, physically or emotionally harmful or act in ways which places a participant at risk of this.

 Do not spend time alone with participants away from others including taking a participant away from the project alone or having meetings alone. If privacy is needed, other staff member(s) must be aware and a door must be left open.

 Do not condone, or participate in, behavior of participants which is illegal, unsafe or abusive.

 Do not use corporal punishment or otherwise physically assault participants.

 Do not act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade participants, or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.

 Do not discriminate against, show unfounded differential treatment to, or favor particular participants.

 Do not let participants do domestic or other labor which is inappropriate given their age or developmental stage, which interferes with their education, or which places them at risk of injury.

 Do not allow a participant to be systematically neglected and do not fail to protect them from any harm that you are aware of.

 Do not abandon your professional distance by taking on a personal caring role such as by becoming a personal donor or a godparent.

4. Photographs & Video

 Do not take any photos, videos or audio recordings without the express permission of the program manager. You are however welcome to share any media that has already been shared on official MWB [or program partner] platforms.

 Do not make promises to the participant in return for photos/videos.

 Take images of participants that are dignified and respectful and that do not present them as victims, vulnerable or submissive.

 Ensure that images could not be interpreted as sexual or condone any other situation of abuse.

 Protect the safety and privacy of participants and their families by not using identifiable images in the media or internet, or using them in any way which reveals their location.

5. Representation

We are grateful for your participation in our work, however, please bear in mind that you are not authorized to speak on behalf of MWB unless given express permission by MWB’s director. Please refer press and other inquiries regarding MWB’s work to program managers, regional representatives or MWB’s director. When referencing your affiliation with MWB on social media and other public platforms, we ask you to convey a modest image (no references to sex, alcohol, drugs, etc.) and not make statements that endorse or denounce a particular culture, religion, or political orientation.

6. Anti-Corruption

It is MWB’s policy to conduct all of our work in an honest and accountable manner. We maintain zero-tolerance for bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity. As part of your role with MWB, you agree to protect the organization’s assets and resources and not use the organization’s equipment to view, download, create or distribute inappropriate material.

7. Sanctions & Complaints

Any breach of this Code of Conduct can result in one or more of the following actions taken by the relevant program manager, regional representatives or the director: a warning; an immediate termination of your stay at the project location; the withholding of part or all of any agreed-upon payments for your services; the decision by MWB not to employ or include you in its project work in the future; and, in the case of serious breaches, criminal prosecution. Any extra costs involved (e.g. earlier return flights, lodgings, etc.) will be your own responsibility and not covered by MWB.

If you suspect that a breach of this policy has occurred or may occur, you can lodge a complaint at any time to your direct supervisor/program manager or Laura Hassler, MWB Director (+31 (0) 20 330 5012 /[email protected]). Your report will be treated confidentially.


Information on Stichting Musicians Without Borders' Public Benefit Organization status (Dutch: ANBI status)

Stichting Musicians Without Borders

Chamber of Commerce registration number: 34107061

RSIN number: 809384322

Post/visiting address
Tolhuisweg 1
1031 CL Amsterdam

Email address
[email protected]

Telephone number
+31 (0) 20 3305012

Periodic Gift Agreement (Overeenkomst periodieke gift in geld)

Registering your recurring donation with a “Periodic Gift Agreement” offers additional tax benefits in the Netherlands. If you want to register your recurring donation, we ask you to download this agreement , complete and sign it digitally and email it back to [email protected] Alternatively you can print this agreement , fill it out, scan it, and email it back to [email protected]

We take care of the rest.

*Due to the current Corona crisis we are unable to access our office and are taking care of this process digitally.

Tax-deductible gifts

Read more information about tax-deductible gifts to Musicians Without Borders in the Netherlands here


Use this calculator for an example of your own tax benefits in the Netherlands.

Tax-deductible gifts for U.S. residents

For United States residents, tax-deductible gifts to Musicians Without Borders can be made through our fiscal partner, FOR USA

Musicians Without Borders’ Articles of Confederation

Statuten (Nederlands)

MWB Articles (English)

Mission & Goals

MWB Media Kit

Strategic Plan

MWB Strategic Plan 2020-2022

Annual & Financial Report

Annual Report 2020

Financial Report 2020

ANBI information form

Information form 2020

Supervisory Board
Laila Abid, Chair
Eduard Nazarski
Leslie Snider
Heba El-Kholy
Bertus Borgers
Peter de Nooij
Charmayne Sijm

Human Resources policies
Musicians Without Borders’ human resources policy is as follows:

  • The foundation is not affiliated with a collective agreement, but accepts the guidelines of the collective labor agreement (CAO Welzijn) in principle as a standard for determining salaries;
  • The ability to follow these guidelines is however dependent on the availability of sufficient (raised) funds;
  • In any case, the level of salaries will never be higher than as indicated in the collective agreement (CAO Welzijn)