Campaign unsuccessfully ended on: 18 Jul,2014
The association started teaching music in Qalandiah refugee camp in 2006, in the premises of the women center of the camp. Qalandiah refugee camp is a very difficult place to live in, in front of one of the biggest checkpoints in the West Bank, where weekly confrontation takes place between Palestinians and the Israeli occupation army. Children conditions of life are very difficult in this camp, and this is why AK decided to go and work there, in order to give those children an outlet, a new way of expression, as well as help them cope with their daily difficulties.
It is also very important that AK moves to the camp to provide the lessons to the children and not the opposite, which would systematically prevent most of them to go for music lessons outside the camp, and for several reasons.
Today AK teaches music to 40 boys and girls from Qalandiah camp, aged from 7 to 18 years old. Those students have full scholarships to learn music with Al Kamandjâti. Moreover, the association borrows them the needed instruments and materials so that they can attend their weekly music lessons (30 minutes of individual instrument lessons, 1 hour of group theory lesson, and extra ensemble work such as oriental ensemble, orchestra, choir or chamber music), as well as practice at home. They also perform regularly in front of their peers and community, as well as in several concerts organized by the association or other associations in Palestine.
Unfortunately, the women center used since 2006 and until now by AK is not appropriate for the music lessons: first of all, there are not enough rooms for the lessons; indeed, only 3 rooms can be used as classrooms – which limit the number of lessons that can be provided to the students, and thus limits the number of enrolled students as well. Then, the center is not well isolated, which means that from a room, you can hear the sound coming from the other rooms, and which creates bad learning conditions for the kids who cannot concentrate on what is happening during their lesson. Moreover, as the center is initially a women center, sometimes, the rooms are not available for the music lessons: indeed, the women need sometimes to use the material in the sewing rooms, which prevents us from providing the music classes. The presence also of the sewing material in the teaching rooms makes it dangerous for the children to have lessons there; indeed, they could hurt themselves touching the sewing machines and material. And finally, there isn’t an appropriate space in the center for concerts: indeed, during the academic year, the students are frequently required to perform in front of their peers, parents and community; and the problem in the center is that there is no room that can fit 50 persons for example, in order to attend a students’ performance.
This is why AK started to work on finding a solution to this problem since several months. And after several meetings, the popular committee of the camp agreed to help us: indeed, there is an empty floor in the same building as where the current women center is (and thus where AK teaches music currently), and this floor belongs to the popular committee of the camp too. This floor was previously used as leather factory, but the factory closed and the floor remained unused since then. So the popular committee agreed to dedicate this floor to Al Kamandjâti Association in order for it to provide music lessons to the children of the camp. This floor has an area of approximately 222 square meters and is an open space.
What We Need & What You Get
So in order to be able to go on providing our music program in Qalandiah refugee camp, AK needs new adapted and healthy premises which would enable the children to have a proper space where to experience and practice music, far from their daily difficulties and lives. So we will use the money to contribute to the rehabilitation of the floor where the music lessons will take place (emptying, cleaning, painting, splitting...), as well as equip it with the adequate material for the lessons (chairs with writing supports, board, music stands...); then we will use it also for the rewards.
Experience showed us in Al Kamandjati that the most adequate the place is to learn music, the greater the results are for the children, their mental health, their achievements... Indeed, AK has been working since 2004 in Palestine and the refugee camps, with children, and we noticed that the positive impact of music learning are greater on kids when they experience it in good conditions of space, sound, calm...This is why AK decided to work on getting a better place for those kids to learn music properly.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you cannot contribute to the campaign, you can maybe support the work of the association volunteering ( as musician or administrator), donating instruments or music material, sharing our history and work to your friends and networks.
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