Affirmative Action for Children Today, or AACT in its acronym, promotes bold moves to support children in the clearly disadvantaged Palestinian minority in Israel: 60% of such children live in poverty.
With your amazing support, Beit Almusica is playing its own part by selecting 60 children from Shefa Amer and Ibillin who are benefiting from music education at Beit Almusica’s conservatory. To this end we approached eight schools where auditions involving 96 children were held. The criteria in selecting the 60 children were the students’ socioeconomic situation, as assessed by the schools, and their musical talent, as judged by Beit Almusica’s professional staff.
The AACT musical education program was launched at a special ceremony on December 7, 2009 at Beit Almusica, with more than 130 in attendance. The event was presided over by Said Silbak, one of the first students to begin his musical career with Beit Almusica. Today, as well as being a student at Haifa University and on the board of directors at Beit Almusica, he is a volunteer teacher of the program. We believe he is an inspiring role model for the students, able to lead by personal example and share his deep commitment to music.
Currently, 50 students regularly attend music lessons at the conservatory, learning various Eastern and Western instruments such as the oud, violin, viola, cello, flute saxophone, among others. Participation of students is high with 90% attendance. We have invested much effort in encouraging and urging the children to persevere with their music education.
The positive influence of the project can be felt already. During one of the musical events attended by beneficiaries of the project, we received the following observation:
“I enjoyed meeting one of the most important members of the audience, 11 year old Ba’ha, who is learning to play the drums at Beit el Musica. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him afterwards but he was very attentive during the whole performance. I couldn’t help but think that if I had heard Bach and Beethoven at 11 years maybe my life, or at least my taste in music, might have been much different. It is so important to create opportunities for these kids.”
In order to ensure the good work initiated by AACT continues, we have launched a Scholarship Fund for the benefit of children who are committed to continuing their music education. The fund is designed to ensure that these children and others in the future can benefit. A small donation will make a big difference.
Regardless of whether you choose to take this next step now, it’s an honour to share this journey of hope for a better world with you. Whether it is time, money or good will that you share, I and the Beit Almusica team are determined to be great partners with you and responsible and effective stewards of your hope, time and resources.
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Community Projects Manager