El Salvador, the most densely populated country in Central America, suffered from a brutal civil war between 1980 and 1992. Almost three decades after signing a peace treaty, the country is still wracked by gang violence, poverty and inequality. Countless Salvadorans have been forced to flee their homes.
This history of systemic injustice and the ongoing legacy of violence left the population, youth and women especially, in vulnerable conditions. Many drop out of school, live in dysfunctional family structures and are at high risk of experiencing violence and isolation.
Soy Música was born in 2017, an initiative with the Salvadoran Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The program aims to foster a culture of peaceful coexistence through arts and music within the national school system.
Training for school teachers and community leaders
Soy Música began in 2017, as a collaboration between UNICEF, the Salvadoran Ministry of Education and Musicians Without Borders. Soy Música aims to build the capacity within the Ministry of Education in music leadership for peaceful coexistence.
This phase of capacity building took place between 2017 and 2020. During those years, Musicians Without Borders trained two groups of school teachers and community leaders to become the future trainer team in El Salvador. This process also produced a comprehensive training curriculum for music leadership, adapted to the local Salvadoran context.
In 2021 and 2022, the Salvadoran trainers hosted the first cycle of the local training program, with support from Musicians Without Borders. This first cycle trained more than 300 teachers on a national scale, who will go on to reach another 500 teachers and more than 8.000 students.
Soy Música in schools and in the community
Between 2017 and 2022, over a thousand school teachers and community leaders nationwide were introduced to the Soy Música methodology and its nonviolent principles. Thanks to this reach, Soy Música has become embedded in many classrooms and community spaces, opening doors and creating space for new initiatives for children and youth. The impact of the project is growing every day, empowering not only children and youth, but the school teachers and community leaders as well.
Soy Música on TV
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging mobility and students’ accessibility, Soy Música was invited to join the Ministry of Education’s Learn From Home initiative. Musicians Without Borders worked with local trainers to turn the principles and values of Soy Música into a children’s TV program. Soy Música has produced regular content for this initiative, and exponentially raised the outreach of the program by reaching thousands of children throughout the country.