31st January 2023

Soka Gakkai and Musicians Without Borders’ Joint Program in Jordan Completes Its Second Year

  • Peace
Watch video

Watch a short video introducing the program

Supported by Soka Gakkai and run by Musicians Without Borders, the Al-Musiqa Tajm’ana: “Music Brings Us Together” program in Jordan has successfully completed its second year with the support of Caritas Jordan as the primary local partner. This three-year program, launched in January 2021, aims to create a network of musicians, social workers and teachers who are equipped with the skills to use music as a tool for strengthening social inclusion, stimulating creative development and bringing hope and joy to children in underserved refugee and host communities.

Fabienne van Eck, Regional Program Manager for the Middle East for Musicians Without Borders (MWB), and Jordanian musician Tareq Jundi lead the programs.

One aspect was how to make the child improvise from day one, to feel that he is in a safe environment and to start to improvise and to express.

In the first year, the project gathered musicians, recently graduated music students, music teachers and youth workers to take part in three training cycles, each accommodated to the groups’ specific needs. Training focused on trauma awareness, self-care and non-violent communication, aiming to contribute to alleviating stress among children and strengthening their ability to overcome difficulties. It focused on didactic, pedagogical and leadership skills; group work with vulnerable children; teamwork; and conflict resolution. Musicians and community leaders gained tools and techniques to create spaces of safety, connection and creativity.

Each trainee then implemented several sessions with children or other vulnerable groups, such as women in a shelter for victims of violence. Jundi noted how impressed he was that the program’s training fully focused on meeting the needs of the children, rather than on technical skill. “One aspect was how to make the child improvise from day one, to feel that he is in a safe environment and to start to improvise and to express.”

In its second year, the project organized three cycles of Music Leadership Training and one cycle of Music as Therapy training in Amman with 39 trainees. Participants in the latter Music as Therapy training, which was implemented in cooperation with Music as Therapy International, a nonprofit based in the United Kingdom, developed their skills to work with children with special needs.

In both training courses, trainees had opportunities for practical application: the trainees from the Music Leadership Training gave 145 music workshops attended by 598 children with diverse backgrounds and 64 music students; those trained in Music as Therapy gave 48 sessions attended by 25 young children with special needs. By including trainees from various areas, the program was able to reach more children in areas with little access to music education.