ASIA/LEBANON - Music to shorten distances: the World Youth Orchestra for children

Saturday, 8 May 2021 youth   music   pandemic  

Beirut (Agenzia Fides) – To promote the universal language of music to fill the educational and social void caused by the health and economic crisis, to help reduce the distance between people. With this objective in mind, the World Youth Orchestra, a youth orchestra that brings together the best talents in the world, has launched the "WYO4CHILDREN" project, thanks to the support of the "Culture and Art Foundation", an Italian organization engaged in cultural and artistic initiatives in the name of solidarity. The beneficiaries are six young violin students between the ages of seven and fourteen, who were forced to interrupt their musical training due to economic difficulties and restrictions related to the coronavirus. The students, who come from different regions of Lebanon, are being followed through individual lessons, which will take place via videoconference while the anti-Covid restrictions remain in force. For the students it is a precious opportunity to continue their musical journey. The project includes 250 hours of lessons in the period from March 2021 to March 2022.
"The arts, like music, play an important role in the cultural and spiritual growth of the person and in the formation of the collective conscience, canceling the differences in favor of the social inclusion of individuals and constructive dialogue between peoples", says in a note sent to Fides Prof. Emmanuele Emanuele, contact person of the "Culture and Art Foundation". The goal is to train young Lebanese talents who, would otherwise not be able to continue their activities due to restrictions resulting from the pandemic. "In addition to the message of universal harmony that the World Youth Orchestra carries, there is also the message of music as a balm for the soul and a symbol of restart after Covid-19", explains Emanuele.
"The coronavirus has seriously affected the Lebanese economy and our national currency. Consequently, many students have not been able to pay the fees for music lessons. The WYO4CHILDREN project is what we needed at the moment, because it will allow teachers to offer free lessons to students without burdening the budgets of families already in difficulty", explains Ramzi Kandalaft, a Lebanese teacher involved in the project.
The World Youth Orchestra celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021. Twice a year, the Orchestra brings together about 100 talented young musicians from leading universities, conservatories and academies representing the five continents. This gives musicians the opportunity to experience different cultures first-hand and experience new ways of thinking and lifestyles. The World Youth Orchestra carries out an intense artistic activity in the name of peace in countries such as Palestine, Israel, Tunisia and Algeria, and in Iran, Lebanon, Morocco and Bosnia Herzegovina with the 'Sounds of brotherhood' project. Born on September 15, 2001, a few days after the terrible attacks of September 11, from 2002 to 2011 it was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Its activities are coordinated by the World Youth Orchestra Foundation, with the participation of the Sapienza University of Rome. (Agenzia Fides, 8/5/2021)