Our program provides weekly music and string ensemble lessons to poor Vietnamese youth. With the help of local schools, we identify poor students who are talented at music. Each student receives a violin or cello and takes lessons after school, 2-3 days a week. On the weekends the students come together to play as a community ensemble. Our program creates a place for kids who live in poverty, to be mentored, to share their love of music, and create long lasting friendships.
Although Vietnam has been gaining in wealth over the past decade, and made gains in social programs, these improvements have occurred in the larger cities among a small number of the population, and still remain outside the realm of the very poor. Approximately 75% of the population continues to live in poverty. Although many children go to school, music programs are only available to the wealthy. Students living in poor areas cannot afford musical instruments or instruction.
We work with underprivileged youth in villages near Cam Ranh and Hue Vietnam to provide after school music and art classes, providing a place for students to come together and be part of a supportive community. We provide each student with a stringed instrument, and lessons. We provide professional training to our teachers. We also provide aid as needed for our students and families, by paying the tuition fees to their local schools through high school and college as needed.
Our program helps to develop a positive self-image, leadership skills, and a sense of community for our students. Through surveys of our students and their parents, in the two years that our program has been running, we have seen the students create a very unique community of support among themselves and our teachers. Their parents have told us how our program gives the students something to do, keeping them out of trouble, and how their kids have become more ambitious and confident overall.
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Video of our kids playing violin