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Play for Progress

Play for Progress

We are very proud to work with Play for Progress: a London-based, award-winning, global NGO that deliver therapeutic and educational music programmes for children who are victims of conflict and war.
They run their Make Some Noise project: a sustainable programme of educational activities for the hundreds of unaccompanied minor refugee children who come to the UK seeking asylum through the Refugee Council UK’s (RCUK) Children’s Section in Croydon.

They Help the children:
Develop confidence, methods of self-expression, and peer trust
Develop personal, social, and practical skills
Harness tools to overcome adversity, trauma, and stress
Avoid isolation
Use music as a means to develop, explore, and challenge themselves
They Help the London community:
Promote cultural understanding
Develop intimate inter-community ties
Celebrate diversity
Unite and enrich five exceptional organisations in a common cause

They need at the moment:

Wind Instruments (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone)
Brass Instruments (Trumpet, Trombone)
String Instruments(Violin, Viola, Cello)
Percussion (tuned and untuned)
Bilingual Dictionaries (to English) in the following languages: Pashto, Albanian, Tigrinya, Arabic, Dari, Vietnamese, and Amharic.
Smart Phones
if you can donate ANY of above mentioned items please contact Anna MacDonald 07739469582 or Click here to donate monetery.

Children caught in war and violence are traumatised. Their education is interrupted or non-existent, and they don’t have the resources to participate in creative activities that are vital to healthy emotional and intellectual growth. Play for Progress (PFP) is a not-for-profit organisation that works with pre-existing NGOs and child protection services in areas of recent conflict and within refugee communities in the UK to provide therapeutic and educational music programmes within safe spaces for children who are effected by violence, war, and displacement. Founded by classical flautist Alyson Frazier and medical doctor, Anna MacDonald, PFP strives to provide traumatized children with examples of how to lead and be a positive force within communities facing difficulties. It is becoming increasingly vital that this vastly connected and swiftly globalizing world needs more points of connection among its diverse communities. Children who come into this world’s current climate of violence, political discord, and misunderstandings will ‘learn’ that this is the norm. There is nothing more dangerous than leaving the youngest generation of the Earth without hope and positive examples to reinforce the importance of the self and of connecting with others. We cannot leave these young people to fend for themselves while politics delay and policies fight through bureaucracy. These children need our help now. Play for Progress has previously worked with young people in refugee camps and post-conflict areas abroad, and will continue to do so. However, we saw a pressing local need towards which requires our attention; that is the need of the thousands of unaccompanied minors who come to the UK each year seeking asylum. As such, they launched the “Make Some Noise” Project with the Refugee Council UK (RCUK) on Nov 1, 2016. Based on the overwhelming positive feedback they received from participants, the Refugee Council, and their roster of 10 dedicated tutors, they are committed to delivering this programme indefinitely.

They created a sustainable model of a year’s worth of educational activities and workshops that provide opportunities, insights, skills, and experiences that would otherwise be unavailable to the children involved with the Children’s Section of the Refugee Council UK (RCUK) in Croydon. The programme teaches practical as well as vital life-skills to these young people (11-18) have secured asylum in the UK and often live in foster homes and have few resources and support systems. Their programme creates opportunities for community bonding and cross-cultural understanding, and helps participants develop new personal skills (including growing aspirations, building self confidence), practical skills (instrumental teaching, composition) and social skills (team work, collaboration). The programme exposes these children to experiences, ideas, art-forms, methods of self-expression that help them to be better able to help them overcome adversity and stress, bond with their peers, and connect with other portions of London’s diverse and vibrant community. This programme unites several exceptional organisations (see below) to provide for a need that is not being met and enhances each of the organisations involved in turn. These organizations, all of which have signed on as official partners for this ongoing project, include the Refugee Council UK, Royal Academy of Music (RAM), and Orchestras for All (NOFA). They have also established relationships with several support organizations that offer supportive services to our participants. The programme fosters community relationships, and provides much-needed compensation for all young professional music tutors who volunteer their time. This ensures that they are promoting sustainability and growth within the music industry.

What is the curriculum of the programme?
Any teen or young person involved with the RCUK’s Children’s Section is welcome to enrol and participate free of charge. Every student will: • Select an instrument of their choice • Take private instrumental lessons every Friday • Participate in song writing classes every Friday • Participate in our big workshops on the first Wednesday of every month. These workshops involve a large range of topics and activities, from sound painting and Congolese music to jazz and improvisation. • Automatically be enrolled in Orchestras for All’s regional orchestral programme, which enables them to perform twice annually as a member of their unique youth orchestra for children from across the UK with complex lives. • Attend outings to concerts, exhibitions, and plays with the Play for Progress team starting from mid 2017 • Celebrate their achievements at our end of year showcase, which family, friends, and supporters can attend!

Who will engage with this activity?
PARTNERSHIPS: PFP partnered with the Refugee Council UK, the Royal Academy of Music, and the National Orchestra for All, to create this programme. Each of these organizations wants PFP to continue to lead this social engagement/community building/musical education project, which benefits everyone involved, enriches each organization in its own right, and results in connecting diverse communities in London. PARTICIPANTS: The children who participate in and benefit from our activities are unaccompanied minors who come through the RCUK in Croydon, many of whom now live in foster homes and have few support systems. In Croydon the population of asylum seekers is high and public sector organizations are struggling to fully support this vulnerable group.

TUTORS and WORKSHOP LEADERS: All of their tutors and workshop leaders are leading young artists with varied and impressive portfolio careers. These professional musicians have a desire to help those in need and connect with others through music, however are limited by the current poor financial state of the music industry and cannot volunteer all the hours required for this project without pay. Because they want to enrich the lives of all involved with this project and help young musicians to help themselves and others, they offer full Musicians’ Union (MU) rates for every tutor and workshop leader who participates in the monthly performance workshop and in private teaching. They also want to encourage respectful and appropriate monetary compensation within the art and non-profit industries for the highly-skilled work of artists.

AUDIENCE: Throughout the year, our participants will perform in the Orchestras for All regional and national meets. 3,000 teachers attend the culminating national meet. At the end of the year, they will host their own showcase performance to specifically highlight the talent and skills the RCUK participants have learned, and to bring together all volunteers and participants in a showcasing fundraising event that will aid them in sustaining the programme indefinitely.

Who will benefit from this programme?
In addition to the 200+ children involved with the children’s section, they support their staff of 12, and all additional occasional volunteers, including musicians, therapists, workshop leaders, chaperones, specialists, and fundraising volunteers. Each of their partner organisations will also be enriched by this programme as their staff and participant pool will be able to engage with parts of London’s diverse cultural fabric with which they, most likely, would not otherwise come into contact. With this one programme they will be able to make lasting cultural, educational, and personal links between four exceptional volunteer arts organisations, a world-class conservatoire, and the promising generation of young people who will participate.

They require further support to ensure that their directors can continue to dedicate a large portion of their lives to ensuring the success of this programme that is very distinctly already making a large difference in the lives of many. We would be exceedingly grateful if you could support their work and join us in solidarity with vulnerable young people. For more information about Play for Progress’s experience and credentials in addition to testimonials from past projects, please visit their social media pages or their website at