Kirina is a remote village in Mali with no electricity or running water, and limited resources for education and cultural development. All of Kirina's inhabitants have descended from 13 generations of 'Griots'. Griots are keepers of Mali's history and traditions, passing them down to future generations through music and poetry. It is said that "when an old man dies, a library has burned down", so preserving the cultural traditions of Kirina is vital to preserving the history of Mali's people.
By providing instruments, instruction, access to master teaching artists, and administrative support, the school has become a catalyst for change in Kirina. The music school opened with classes in kora, djembe, balafon, dance, and tama; it has also become a resource for basic education, with classes offered in French and English, and a recently-launched evening program where teachers give extra lessons in language, science and math to help improve what the children learn at the public school.
The music school in Kirina has grown into thriving center of community life. The program is now reaching beyond music education, offering coursework in other areas of study, a performance space, and we've helped improve access to clean water in the area with a new well. With support, this program can continue to grow and thrive as a catalyst for growth, social change, and economic opportunity for current and future generations in Mali, while improving the quality of life for hundreds of people.
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