Music can make the difference…
It´s now five years ago since I travelled with the “Mädchenkantorei am Würzburger Dom” (my previous girls´choir) on a very successful and exciting tour through South Africa. The girls were excited by the vibe, power and diversity of the country which has now become my home.
A crucial encounter of that tour was a concert in Walmer Township near Port Elizabeth (EC): We sang for a group boys and girls with a difficult social and family background.
The residents of Walmer townships have little opportunity to improve their situation. The low level of formal and non-formal education almost invariably leads to unemployment or low-threshold poorly-paid work. The hopelessness and fear of the future is drowned in alcohol and in many cases is often the trigger for the violent solution of conflicts. The crime rate is high. The lack of health care and lack of understanding continues to lead to a high rate of HIV infection. This in turn affects the degree of education and the work situation. Anyone who has ever come into this vicious circle has very little chance of escape.
I´ve always believed that through quality, excellent academic and extra-curricular educational perspectives can be developed for every child – and I strongly believe, that music can be a key for that.
Shocked by the seemingly hopelessness of the situation, my choir immediately started discussing what contribution we could offer.
WIth the help of Henriette Visser from our befriended partner choir (the internationally well known Eastern Cape Children´s Choir) we identified a talented girl whom we wanted to offer the same musical education possibilities as our girls in germany have. Our girls donated each year a part of their pocket money – not much for a european teen, but a world for an african girl.
It takes much more than money to change a life substantially:
Henriette and her wonderful team of supporters took care of “our” girl. Beside of the financial support we only could offer from the other side of the world, they additionally gave their time and commitment, their love and understanding. My dear colleague and bestman Lionel van Zyl gave his experience as an acknowledged and respected voice lecturer at Nelson Mandela university and took her into his choir.
When we started this little project, I told my girl´s that commitment and responsibility for a child is not a short term thing. Things take time – especially in music.
Now, five years later, Iviwe Ndyebo is a 14-year young lady. I saw her four weeks ago and it was exciting to see was wonderful young musician has become of her.
Music can make a difference…