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'Music makes me feel alive': How music is uplifting children in Kenya

Aluda, the music teacher at the Nairobi Village, teaches students how to play musical instruments and sing
Aluda, the music teacher at the Nairobi Village, teaches students how to play musical instruments and sing

Music is helping children from extreme poverty discover their interests and overcome their trauma. Twice a week, children from the Nairobi SOS Children’s Village come together to make music.

In June 2015, the SOS Children’s Village in Nairobi, Kenya, received a donation of musical instruments. The donation is benefiting nearly 40 children and young people who are learning how to sing and play the instruments at the music facility located in the Village. 

SOS Children’s Villages strives to help children recognise and express their individual abilities, interests, and talents. Music is aiding this mission.  Linda, 14, discovered recently that she could sing.

“Music makes me feel alive. I use music to express my feelings about my life and my immediate environment,” she says. “I have been attending vocal coaching and I can now hit the high notes I could not reach before.”

As a result of the children’s passion for music, a music club was formed so children could showcase their talents. The club has performed during several special gatherings at the Village.

Playing the piano is a favorite at the Village, including for Linda. She explains that she recently won a music competition and was awarded a trip to a recording studio to see how music is produced.

“The music club has changed my life,” says Linda. “I am now able to play the piano while singing. Also, learning to perform on stage has really boosted my courage and confidence. I hope to be a professional singer and songwriter.”

The SOS Children’s Village in Nairobi opened in 1973 to provide a safe family environment for children who have nothing or no one. The Village consists of 16 family homes, a youth centre, a medical centre, a primary school, and nursery for orphaned and abandoned children. 

Music for development

SOS child sings at the music school in Kenya
The music classes at the SOS Children's Village in Nairobi helped Linda discover a hidden talent of hers: singing

SOS mother Rose has four children in the music class. She says the newly acquired skills has put a smile on their faces.

“My children have the opportunity have fun while developing their talents,” says Rose. “Some of them were never conscious of time, but these days I see them hurrying home from school and doing their chores quickly to join the class.”

Aluda Euniver, a music instructor at the SOS Children’s Village, has been teaching the children for the last 10 months. He explains that music enables children to use their skills in various ways.

“It is a channel of expression - children will voice their feelings, plight and what affects them through music. This particularly happens when they learn how to compose their own lyrics,” he says. “Also, music provides a break from the daily routine of just learning in school.”

In the coming future, Aluda explains that he plans to conduct studio recordings and provide advanced training for the children at the Village.

All children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Help provide a positive home environment for a child who has no one.