Who are we?


In early 2017, Klarafestival joined forces with SOS Kinderdorpen, Fedasil, Rode Kruis, Croix-Rouge, Minor-Ndako, Music Fund and UNHCR to provide easier access to music education for young newcomers in Belgium.


Currently, several thousand young refugees are living in Belgium. They mainly reside in reception centres or are otherwise accommodated by local and/or private initiatives. Besides material assistance (such as sleeping and sanitary facilities, food and clothing) reception centres also make sure that young newcomers can go to school. For their free time activities, however, juveniles are entirely depending on the reception centre. If the centre organises nothing, there is also nothing to do. This is structurally changed by The Sound of Home.

Convinced that art and culture are a basic right as well as a basic need to feel at home, Klarafestival took the initiative to ‘The Sound of Home’. With this scholarship, more than 100 young refugees each year get the chance to start or continue their music education in Belgium. The lessons take place in music schools close to the place where they reside. The Sound of Home refunds the tuition fee, the cost of renting an instrument and the teaching material.

If young newcomers can spend their free time in a meaningful way outside the refugee centre, social inclusion and social integration are encouraged. The Sound of Home attaches great importance to personal contact and tries to meet individual needs as good as possible. The different reception centres and music schools each support the project based on their own expertise. Cross-sectoral cooperation provides valuable information and experiences.

What exactly does The Sound of Home do?

The Sound of Home refunds one year’s tuition fee of a local music school, the cost of renting an instrument and your teaching material.*

* See ‘Terms’ for all conditions

The Sound of Home connects reception centres, parents, guardians and supervisors of young refugees with local music schools – and vice versa.

The Sound of Home endeavours to establish structural incentives for young refugees to participate in the DKO (Deeltijds Kunstonderwijs) and ESAHR (Enseignement secondaire artistique à horaire réduit).


Who can apply?

You can apply for The Sound of Home if:

  • you are between 6 and 26 years of age;
  • you have been in Belgium for no longer than 2 years;
  • you have entered a Belgian asylum procedure, you have a refugee status or a subsidiary protection status.
What does the financial assistance involve?

Number of candidates. The number of students that can be subscribed is limited. Subscriptions should be made before the 30th of September 2019.

Tuition fees. The Sound of Home has based its calculations on tuition fees asked by the DKO and ESAHR. However, tuition fees of private music school can be slightly higher. If this is the case, either the private music school has to offer a discount or the additional costs must be paid by the reception centre, parent or guardian.

Course materials. The Sound of Home will only reimburse the cost of the course materials on submission of a valid invoice.

Music instrument. If a music instrument is needed, The Sound of Home can refund, under certain conditions, the cost of renting the instrument for one year.

Who does what?

Involvement! Goodwill! Passion!

The parent, guardian or supervisor from the reception centre …
  • assists the juvenile in applying for The Sound of Home on the website;
  • organises the first contact with the music school;
  • accompanies the student to the first music lesson;
  • ensures that the juvenile attends the music lessons every week and safely returns home;
  • maintains contact with the music school;
  • motivates the juvenile to keep attending the music lessons;
  • contacts the music schools as well as The Sound of Home when the student drops out and participates in looking for a solution.
The music school …
  • does an intake interview with the juvenile and the parent, guardian or supervisor from the reception centre;
  • demonstrates flexibility with respect for the specific target group:
    • the student can immediately start with instrument or singing lessons without first having to study music theory;
    • there is a creative approach to language barriers;
    • there is empathy for the fact that newcomers are often still coping with trauma;
  • actively maintains the contact with the juvenile and the parent, guardian or supervisor from the reception centre;
  • agrees to look for solutions when a student drops out and is open to eventually accept a new student.

The Sound of Home — participating reception centres and music schools (2018/19)