My name is Kirsten Williams. For those of you that don't know me, I am a happy gal from Colorado. I am a violinist and a community music facilitator - I have just graduated with a MMus in Community Music from Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Music is my joy and sharing it with everyone is my passion. I am particularly passionate about making music accessible to those who are not able to experience music freely.
I am raising money to travel to Palestine and teach violin there for a month. I have an incredible opportunity to volunteer with Sounds of Palestine. It is a small but mighty organisation that offers children from refugee camps in Bethlehem a welcoming, supportive, creative and safe environment through music education. Inspired by the El Sistema program, this community music project uses music to prompt social change. It started in 2012 in the kindergartens of al-Azzeh and Dheisheh refugee camps in Bethlehem. Almost 90 children receive weekly music workshops! After the children finish kindergarten and enter primary school, they join the after-school program in which they receive music theory lessons, instrumental classes and participate in an orchestra and choir.
Engaging in music helps these children immensely in boosting their self-confidence. Sounds of Palestine aims to provide “social empowerment through music for children in Palestine” and give these children the opportunity “to express themselves in a nonverbal and nonthreatening way”. If you would like to read more about the work that Sounds of Palestine has accomplished, offer further support and stay updated on the incredible work that they continue to do, please take a look at their website or their Facebook page .
I have been following the work of this project for a long time. I am so humbled and thrilled to have the chance to work beside this team of musicians and social workers.
While in Bethlehem, I will give a series of group violin lessons to the children. I will also help out during the orchestra rehearsals and help teachers develop their own techniques on violin. I am planning to travel in early April and stay for one month. This fund will cover all travel, accommodation and living expenses during my time volunteering.
Palestine holds a special place in my heart and I am so looking forward to being able to give my support in such a tangible and personal way.
I would be so grateful if you can help me get there in any way.
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