Each year we discover new ways in which social media can help give voice to those without support and help create a more just and equitable world. One such opportunity has arisen in the Congo where self-taught musicians playing hand-made instruments have given peace a voice and inspired the creation of a new non-profit called Instruments of Peace.
Instruments of Peace was founded on Maestro Armand Diangienda’s dream of utilizing music to teach “peace and reconciliation” and is dedicated to bringing the gift of music to the most volatile regions of the world, especially to those who have limited or no access to practice and study music.
It’s aim is to execute Armand’s vision by building music schools, hosting benefit concerts in the U.S., and distributing in-kind donations such as sheet music and instruments to those in need of hope. Specifically, with sufficient help, they will deliver on 3 fronts:
1. Concerts – Benefit concerts will not only raise funds for orchestras and choirs, they will also give people the ability to connect cross-culturally through music. The concerts will give orchestras the opportunity to come to the U.S. and share their talents while raising awareness about the adversity they face in their respective country. Most importantly, the benefit concerts provide a space where people can come together and enjoy the universal language of music, which adheres to Instruments of Peace’s greater mission of promoting peace.
2. Music Schools – A large part of their efforts are ensuring that people have a place to practice music. To many people who live in impoverished conditions, it is not just a “school”. It is a place of refuge, a sanctuary where one can pick up an instrument and let the music carry them away to somewhere else for awhile. For others, learning to play an instrument, joining a choir, being on staff as a bookkeeper, or doing instrumental repair provides options for a different direction in life – and options are empowering.
3. Instruments – Without the sounds of music flowing through hallways and reverberating off walls, a music school is just another building. The goal is to make sure that every student has an instrument and sheet music, whether it is donated or handcrafted locally. Training locals as “instrument-smiths” will ensure that every broken instrument can be refurbished and played again.
Instruments of Peace is exactly that – an opportunity for each of us to support and amplify their work to accelerate this process in the Congo and sub-Saharan Africa.
They have just launched an Indiegogo project here with great perks for contribution.