In August, Music Action International were invited to support the Syria Summer School at Newman Catholic College in North-West London.
More than 60 young refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were in attendance. All had fled war in their homeland, endured incredibly difficult journeys and lost years of their childhood. All now face an unsettled future in UK.
You were incredible, and our children had the time of their lives! (Amanda Wooster, leader of Syria Summer School)
Our team joined staff and volunteers, who were dedicating four weeks to supporting the adjustment, well-being and education of the young refugees. We tasked four music facilitators (three from a Syrian background), with supporting their efforts.
Merit Stephanos, our London-based trainer and project lead, and Manchester based ‘Adz’, a supreme beatboxer from Damascus, teamed up with two amazing traditional players from the London Syrian Ensemble – Louai Alhenawi and Rihab Azar.
They facilitated a shared celebration of the rhythms, traditions and melodies of the young refugees’ homelands and created new work inspired by their own tastes, hopes, and aspirations for the future.
In a short time the groups were working together with energy, focus and unity; applying and demonstrating the skills and talents that can contribute so much to UK society in years to come.
I still keep grinning with joy when I listen back to the kids’ musical explosion. I can’t believe you got them so united in strength and channelling their energy so positively!
This incredible new partnership with the Syria Summer School represents a great step forward in our efforts to support more young refugees to overcome trauma, build happiness, resilience, and believe in a brighter future, through music. We will certainly be returning!