Creating opportunities for youth to reach their highest potential in West Africa
“The huge spiritual world that music produces in itself ends up overcoming material poverty. From the minute a child’s taught how to play an instrument, he’s no longer poor. He becomes a child in progress, heading for a professional level, who’ll later become a citizen.” -Dr. Jose Abreu, Venezuelan pianist, economist, educator, activist, and politician.
One of the important missions of instruments4africa is to empower underprivileged and at-risk youth through educational opportunities. We do this is by sponsoring young people to study the traditional arts, in addition to formal education in core academic subjects.
Mali’s traditional lifestyle is rapidly disappearing, displaced by urban culture and yearnings, or devalued by new economical necessities and desires. This shift in demographics and economics has affected the value placed on Mali’s cultural and musical traditions and these are rapidly being lost. The repositories of these traditions have no one to whom these precious artifacts can be transmitted.
We work to preserve traditional village music arts and the structures which support it. This living cultural history is of enormous importance and can provide an anchoring force for young Malians weathering the dramatic shifts inherent in modernization taking place in their country.