At the beginning of 2017, Klarafestival team members joined forces with SOS Kinderdorpen, Fedasil, Rode Kruis, Croix-Rouge, Minor Ndako, Music Fund and UNHCR and together they put their noses to the grindstone to establish a valuable, structural project for the large number of child refugees in Belgium.
Currently there are about 4000 children and young adults in Belgium. Living in various shelters, local and/or private initiatives are given support for the well-known basic needs of BBB (bed, bath, bread) and schooling. In addition, they depend on the shelter for entertainment or anything to fill their free time. Structurally there is still nothing organised for these young people. This is what we want to change!
Because we, as a cultural organisation, are convinced that participating in art and culture is also a fundamental need and right, Klarafestival conceived, in collaboration with SOS Kinderdorpen, a structurally organised project.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, about 100 young refugees between the ages of eight and twenty-five living in Belgium were given the chance to learn to play a music instrument or to continue learning if they’d already been taking lessons in their home country. They take lessons in the music academy near the shelter where they are staying. The Sound of Home ensures the cost of registration fees and instrument rental are covered.
The reason the project is organised outside the shelter is to encourage the youngsters general integration and inclusion in their immediate surroundings. From the outset, an effort is made to make personal contact so that we can learn about barriers and needs/requirements so that we may best respond to these.
Every organisation contributes to the project from its expertise. The cross-sectoral collaboration is something from which we all derive rewarding experiences and knowledge. The partners support and strengthen the project with their own know-how.
The project will be continued in the future.
CHILDREN FIRST: countless children who are fleeing lack security, warmth, a home… This project focuses exclusively on children and young adults. The most important goal of the project is to ease the plight of children fleeing war.
INTEGRATION: These children arrive at shelters via various circuits like through the Rode Kruis, Croix-Rouge, Fedasil or the community OCMWs (the Public Centre for Social Welfare). They have now to build up their lives from nothing again. So we offer underage refugees the chance to make friends at the music school, beyond the shelter where they live.
CULTURE PARTICIPATION: refugee children are so busy just surviving that they rarely come in contact with art and culture. Nonetheless, art not only brings people together, it also has a therapeutic effect.