The first place that comes to mind when we imagine classical music is somewhere far from impoverished neighborhoods. But Nairobi’s largest slums have blackened the notion through an initiative known as “Ghetto Classics.” The initiative is currently producing musical wonder kids through its laudable work. It allows young musicians from slums to learn and appreciate classical music.
Founded in 2009, Ghetto Classics foundation is an invention of The Art of Music Foundation, whose primary objective is to promote the appreciation and performance of music among poverty-stricken communities in Kenya. The initiative caters to over 300 children every week without charging a dime.
With the chance to acquire master skills as well as their exceptional talents, “Ghetto Classics” thinks they will turn the Ghetto children into professionals some day.
The organization consists of a brass band and string ensemble that practices every Sunday. Instead of wandering about the streets of the slums, the young talented children take their new classes very seriously – Another proof by ghetto children that they can pursue their dreams against all odds.
Their dedication has led to national awareness and appearances on TV, radio and state occasions. The publicity on the other hand is giving a leg up to classical music by making it more mainstream in Kenya.
Unlike 10 years ago, more Kenyans are getting involved, and classical musicians in the country are making a living out of performing, something “unrivaled”.
These children learning classical music in poor areas of Kenya depend mainly on donated instruments as well as proceeds from Safaricom Jazz Festival. But the initiative desire is to impart more on the children, instead of just giving them a used flute or clarinet.
They intend to provide a new life for the underprivileged children through granting them a new musical experience. So far many children testify to the goodness of the scheme.
The children revealed that they, with the help of the foundation, have been able to realize who they really are, the talents that lie in them and the sparkling future ahead of them.
However, it is not enough to leave all the work to this great initiative. The foundation needs more support and donations , factoring in the fact that the beneficiaries of this project live difficult lives, face severe poverty, hopelessness, abuse –physical, emotional, physical and sexual.
The kids need to be engaged in some useful skills to help them have a different life from what they have had before. More instruments need to be donated to this organization to help them carry out their charity work diligently. Plus more of this type of initiative could be introduced and embraced to help invest in more children from substandard areas.
The acquisition of musical skills don’t necessarily mean that the children will grow to become musicians. The new skills will help them stand out in whatever they grow up to become. We need to join hands and make things a little easier for these talented yet poor children.
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