Each summer, Expressive Arts Refuge partners with an organization embedded in a refugee camp. This year, LEAP (Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians) is teaching English and music to 150 children in two camps in southern Lebanon. LEAP’s language immersion program prepares youth for a proficiency exam that will enable them to attend a Lebanese high school.
LEAP’s Project Music is teaching them Arabic songs. EAR will add songs in English and other languages. LEAP teaches percussion, recorder, violin and oud. EAR teaches vocal harmony, listening skills, and body music. Teachers from both LEAP and EAR teach in English and translate into Arabic, so the children learn English during music class.
Collaborations enrich a program. EAR partnered with Caritas and Refugee Youth Center in Calais Jungle, France. At Skaramagas camp in Athens, we worked with a refugee-led school. EAR and World Harmony Chorus share a director, Betsy Blakeslee. WHC, with Aswat –– San Francisco’s premiere Arabic Music Ensemble –– raised $21,000 in June to pay a year-round music teacher for the youth of the camps where LEAP and EAR conduct Project Music. EAR is excited to join LEAP at the end of this week, preparing the youth of Bourj el Shamali camp for a concert. Meanwhile, we share repertoire, and add to one another’s arrangements.
If you wish to donate, all funds go directly to support the music program – buying instruments, a speaker, accessories for instruments. EAR volunteers are all self-funding.