Instruments for the outback is back for 2023! This year we will be spending time in the Kimberley as a first for our program. As we enter our 7th year I reflect on the many trips to different parts of our great country that we have been part of. I am always blown away by the support we receive each year from our valued donors and the team of dedicated music educators that we have been able to work with over these past years. It seems to me that music has always been a great medium for connection between people and helps us connect and build stories that carry us forward and create long lasting connections. In a world where we have increasing fear and anxiety about the next big bad thing that might happen we need the connecting ability and therapy of music and story telling more than ever. Our indigenous brother and sisters have used the ancient art of story telling and music to give life a sense of meaning and purpose for a very long time. I believe we can learn from this and also find ways to follow this example. For our team this year It is always truly amazing to be able to hit the road, travel to an outback community and slow down the pace, playing some music and sharing stories. This year we will be working in remote community schools, taking musical instruments to these locations and teaching young indigenous students how to play songs and share their stories through songwriting. A further part of our work is trying to understand the issues that some of these communities face and through music try and find a way to tell these stories to each other and to others. In doing so I hope we can create a better way for us all to understand each other and make a positive pathway forward from here. I look forward to our work this year and building more connections with Aboriginal elders and community leaders. We want to thank the following sponsors for their continued support of our project Instruments for The Outback: Andy - MusicGiveLife Founder/Director Continue reading
Instruments For Ethiopia is back at it for the seventh year running. Wow. I can't believe its been that long. But I thought I might take you back to the beginning to tell you the story of how IFE actually came about. It was late 2014 when I had an idea. See I'd been touring for years with my new best bud Andy. He was playing drums while I sang and played guitar in churches, schools and conferences across Oz. I'd never shut up about my time in Africa and always talk about it to audiences. I knew it was time to get Andy across so he'd fall in love with Africa as much as me and so I had this light bulb moment. At the time I was supporting World Vision Australia in their efforts to sponsor children and I asked if they'd be willing to send Andy and I over to Ethiopia to check out some of their projects and get inspired about sharing their work with folks back in Australia. Amazingly they said yes. I started preparing for the trip the following year and planning with World Vision what we'd see and be able to visit. Andy's birthday was approaching and in secret talks with his wife I planned to present Andy with a giant ticket to Ethiopia for his birthday that year. His family and friends helped contribute some $$ and we were able to hand over a return ticket from Melbourne to Addis Ababa to Andy's absolute shock at his party. So good. Then I find out that Andy has a sponsor child in Ethiopia and we'll get the chance to visit him. Incredible. So in July 2015 we board a plane, land in Addis and get aquainted with our guide who'll travel with us to World Vision projects around the country for the next 10 days. What a whirlwind. Coffee ceremonies. More boiled bread than you could poke a stick at! So many beautiful gifts....for us! We were pretty blown away by the generosity given to us by our new African friends. After an emotional day meeting Andy's sponsor child followed by an eventful night of vomiting after bad hotel food we were taken to a small project on the outskirts of the enormous Addis Ababa. Right near a city waste dump, nestled in the busy city streets was a large compound where The Lelt Foundation received us. We got out of the car to be covered in flowers and sung over by a crowd of gathered children. It was simply amazing. We got the chance to sing for the kids, and donated a new keyboard, guitar and drum for their existing music program. We asked what instruments they had and found out that they taught using just one keyboard. So from that afternoon, we decided we wanted to give these beautiful, grateful kids some more instruments. It was pretty basic. But here we are, essentially doing what we started to do back then. Provide instruments for kids to learn and play music. We're pretty amazed at Lelt Foundations work to feed them, provide nutritional support for their families and educational opportunities for kids living on the streets. But our little part happens with a bunch of crazy Aussies who give so we can keep seeing the smiling faces of kids playing drums, guitar and all kinds of crazy traditional Ethiopian instruments. And I'm super grateful that you care about these kids and their future like we do.
Unfortunately since March, all schools, many businesses and NGO's have been locked down, closed or directed to stay home because of Covid 19. Students did no schoolwork during the pandemic. Lockdowns meant major downturns in profits for those already struggling in poverty. Sadly, this affected our work too... All training provided through Instruments For Ethiopia had to be temporarily stopped. Thanks to our partner in Addis Ababa, The Lelt Foundation our community of young musicians were still cared for. Lelt has been distributing emergency food aid to parents and families in need during lockdown since March. Continue reading
Well things are going to look different in 2020 for Instruments For The Outback but we are going ahead! Due to COVID-19 we are unable to physically get to our projects in the NT this year, but it doesn't stop us from being able to provide music education online! We will be supporting our projects in the Northern Territory this year in the following ways: - Providing online music lessons featuring pre-recorded content from our pool of professional musicians - Online workshops, video editing tutorials, sound editing/ mixing tutorials - Recorded devotions to support staff and students - Plus sending lightweight recording equipment / software to help build their studio resources - Providing guitar strings, drum sticks, leads and other items that need replacing We value your support so much and thank you for being part of the MusicGiveLife family! - MGL Team
We've got some great reports from our project in Addis Ababa! Over the past four years we've been working with The Lelt Foundation to provide musical opportunities to underprivileged children. The music program has brought so much joy and pride to all the students involved. Lelt Foundation founder Anja Wood says, "I'm so amazed at the big impact it has had. It is truly a valued and respected class at the community centre." Instruments For Ethiopia partners with non-profit, locally managed organisation The Lelt Foundation, to provide musical instruments and music education to Ethiopian children living in Kare Kore, Addis Ababa. Their programs are designed to empower acutely impoverished families with tools to become sustainable. They focus on educational opportunities so that children can thrive and have access to employment opportunities later in life. If you don't know the full story, Andy and I (Levi) travelled to Addis Ababa in 2015 where we sought an organisation working with children in the area of music. We kicked off our very first project which has to date seen $9000 AUD raised to purchase musical instruments, both traditional and modern, as well as provide expert tuition from a traditional music teacher who runs group classes each week. Students are given opportunities to learn, engage with other students and perform for their community. They've found playing traditional Ethiopian music is able to bring them closer to their ancestors and families and gives them something to be proud of, which means a lot. In their current economic state they would often not have the opportunity to learn an instrument and receive professional tuition. Partner with us this year as we continue to to support this wonderful project. DONATE NOW Levi and Andy