240 FLUTES

240 Flutes depicts the transportation of donated musical instruments from our headquarters in New York to Cite Soleil School of Music and Timoun Yo Se Espwa Ayiti in Haiti.

Léogâne School of Music

We see art as foundational to social change; and we are moved beyond words when we see the tremendous effect music and arts education has on children living in areas emerging from conflict.

As Give Kids Your Instruments, our goal is to get musical instruments to kids who cannot afford them. As an organization, we are also involved in setting up songwriting and ensemble workshops, recording sessions, and creative learning environments for young people in underserved communities to explore and harness the power of music and art.

Cite Soleil School of Music

Local Haitians founded the Cite Soleil Music School in 2006 as an alternative to the violence that has ravaged Cite Soleil, with the philosophy of replacing weapons in the hands of children with musical instruments, using music to foster peace in Haitian communities.

In 2006, schoolteacher Marcel Jean started the Cite Soleil School of Music in Haiti to combat the trauma of poverty and gang violence with music and song. The Cite Soleil School of Music soon became the lifeblood of over 240 children.

School teacher Marcel Jean wanted to replace guns with saxophones.

Having grown up in Cite Soleil, Haiti, one of the poorest and most dangerous places on the planet, Mr. Jean wanted to encourage the kids of Cite Soleil to choose a better route. He wanted to inspire them with music. That’s when he came up with the idea to start Cite Soleil School of Music, the very first music school in Cite Soleil.

Yo Se Espwa Ayiti Orphanage

Timoun Yo Se Espwa Ayiti (Children Are Haiti’s Hope) Orphanage in Carrefour is home to a dozen children who lost their parents in the earthquake of 2010.

We visited Timoun Yo Se Espwa Ayiti (Children Are Haiti’s Hope) Orphanage in Carrefour to meet the beautiful children who lost their parents in the earthquake of 2010. We gave them their own flutes and their excitement was priceless.

THE KIDS
THE STAFF

Method:

Give Kids Your Instruments believes that kids need music, especially those growing up in crisis areas, because music helps to heal from trauma.

Our objective was to bring a shipment of musical instruments to the music school.

In 2014, we used Indiegogo to launch a crowdfunding campaign called Sing Soleil to raise funds to transport the shipment of musical instruments and document the project.

Result:

We visited Timoun Yo Se Espwa Ayiti (Children Are Haiti’s Hope) orphanage in Carrefour to meet the beautiful children who lost their parents in the earthquake of 2010. We gave them their own flutes and their excitement was priceless.

We sat down with the staff of Haiti Scholarship Association and discussed the numerous projects they are involved in: from the primary schools and music school to the feed-a-kid-a-day program and annual medical check up program that HSA coordinates.

We visited Cite Soleil to examine the outreach center and construction projects taking place.

Unfortunately, prior to our arrival, the children and faculty of the Cite Soleil School of Music were held up at gunpoint by local armed gang members and the initial musical instruments were confiscated.

In order to keep the kids safe from such gang activity, the music school was moved to Léogâne, outside of Cite Soleil.

We successfully brought 240 flutes to all the 240 kids at the new music school in Léogâne, along with 20 extra musical instruments for the music school itself, including: trumpets, a saxophone, an accordion, some violins, a guitar, and an array of African percussion.

Conclusion:

Haiti is a place of extremes. We visited some of the saddest places imaginable and some of the most beautiful places imaginable. But what we noticed more than anything is the strength of the Haitian people, the pride they have for their country, and the unwavering aspirations of young people.

This project may have been about bringing 240 flutes, but the trajectory is to foster sustainable and creative community initiatives in areas emerging from conflict.

Haiti Scholarship Association

We sat down with the staff of Haiti Scholarship Association and discussed the numerous projects they are involved in: from the primary schools and music school to the feed-a-kid-a-day program and annual medical check up program that HSA coordinates.

Over the past year, as Marcel and I have become friends, I have accumulated 20 instruments to donate to the school itself – as well as over 240 flutes for all 240 kids connected to Marcel Jean, director of Haiti Scholarship Association.

We are in the early stages of creating a partnership between Haiti Scholarship Association and Give Kids Your Instruments and it is important for me to travel to Haiti to see the school for myself and assess how best we can work together.

1. Instruments:

Clearly, these kids also need food and medical attention, and you cannot eat a saxophone – but a saxophone can help us in less visible ways.

Music helps us deal with the dissonance in our lives. The simple act of blowing through a saxophone creates a safe space to reflect upon and express oneself, and this in turn strengthens our sense of self-reliance and feeling of belonging.

The kids at the Cite Soleil School of Music create a community of support for each other and this inspires and motivates them in the present and impacts the cultural life of Haiti in the long run.

 

2. Create Partnership 

By creating a partnership between Give Kids Your Instruments and Haiti Scholarship Association, we will be able to help project manage the music/arts program at the new school in the bamboo settlement being built in collaboration with Haiti Renaissance and the MIT architecture department

3. Document Project  

My goal is to develop accountability with the local community and transparency with the international community.

This will be the opening chapter to a documentary about the effect of arts education in areas emerging from conflict and the importance of art in cultural development.