Rescued Afghan Refugees
In Arizona Since 2021
As the Taliban conducted their swift take-over of Afghanistan in August of 2021, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled for their lives. A large group of refugees is living in temporary shelters in the Phoenix area as they await more permanent housing. Until they are assigned a place to live, most are trapped in limbo. The men and women are not yet employed and the children have not yet been able to start school. After just escaping the threat of violence and death from the Taliban, as well as a harrowing journey to the US, these families are in desperate need of a way to work through their trauma and they need tools to begin life in the United States in a healthy, positive way.
The Shropshire Music Foundation organized a new program in September of 2021 to serve the Afghan refugees who arrived in Phoenix, Arizona. Liz Shropshire and local volunteers are now providing music education to children, teenagers, women, and men four days a week--including harmonica, ukulele, singing, and drumming. As in all of our programs, all musical instruments and classroom supplies are provided free of charge.
SMF's program is helping the refugees cope with trauma, reduce stress, prepare for school, and lift self-esteem through the universal language of music. The refugees also learn and improve their English skills through these classes.
QUOTES FROM THE AFGHAN REFUGEE WOMEN:
"We were very depressed when we arrived in the US and we worried about what we should do and what our future would be. When you started the ukulele classes, it changed our mindset so we could stay away from depression and stress. Instead of thinking about the bad things, we were having fun and learning music and how to play the ukulele every day. It is very good for us. Our teachers are very good people and we have learned many things from them - English, ukulele, loving each other, humanity, and so much more."
"We have been sending pictures and videos to family and friends in Afghanistan of our music learning and the ukulele class. They love it and say it is very good that we are learning something new, because in Afghanistan it was almost impossible for women to learn music. Because of this class, we are all learning music and we each own a ukulele. It is such amazing fun for all of us!"
Serving Ukrainian Refugees in Poland
At least 12 million people have fled their homes since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We've opened our program in the Serock Refugee Center near Warsaw, Poland, teaching harmonica, singing, and ukulele classes up to eight hours a day, five days a week. The needs among the Ukrainian population are immense, and urgent funding is needed to continue our success!
Serving Street Children & Rohingya Refugees
Bangladesh is home to approximately 1.6 million Rohingya Refugees, living in some of the largest Refugee camps in the world. Bangladesh is also one of the poorest countries on the earth, with over 31% of its population living below the poverty line, with limited access to any type of education. SMF is making a significant impact in the lives of both Rohingya and Bangledeshi children.
Refugees Living in Salt Lake City
More than 60,000 refugees or "new Americans" live in Utah. Young people must make a difficult adjustment-- learning not only a new language but a whole new way of life. With the help of an incredible group of teenage volunteers, our program Salt Lake City program is reaching young people in the Granite School District.
Rescued Afghan Refugees
As the Taliban conducted their swift take-over of Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled for their lives. A large group of refugees is living in temporary shelters in the Phoenix area as they await more permanent housing. Our program is providing ukulele lessons up to four times a week for women and children caught in this limbo.
Refugee Camps in Greece
The war in Syria was at the root of the worst refugee crisis since WWII. Children were both targeted and recruited, and families left Syria by the millions. SMF built a program not just for Syrian refugees, but also Kurdish, Afghan and Yazidi children and teenagers-- all in Greek refugee camps. The program provided structure and much-needed opportunities for achievement and self expression.
Peace Through Music Kosovo
The war in Kosovo ended in 1999, but the affects of this war-- poverty, intolerance, segregation, racism--were experienced every day for many years, especially by children raised in camps and those living in minority communities. For two decades SMF worked with the children and teenagers of Kosovo to develop self esteem, tolerance, and a love of peace through music.
Peace Through Music Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland schools continue to be 93% segregated between Catholics and Protestants. Bombs explode or are discovered weekly, and riots take place monthly. Murals of men wearing balaclavas and holding guns are on homes and businesses everywhere. Children and adults alike suffer from low self esteem and intolerance as they experience anger and violence daily. SMF is working to bring children together from both sides of the community, forming life-long and life-changing relationships through music.
Peace Through Music Uganda
Northern Uganda continues to recover from a brutal civil war in which approximately 66,000 children were kidnapped and forced to become soldiers and 2 million people were displaced internally from 1986 to 2009. Many lived in IDP camps, where they experienced malnutrition and extreme poverty. From 2005 until 2017, The Shropshire Music Foundation ran programs in Gulu and surrounding areas in an IDP camp, 3 primary schools, and 2 high schools that served, among others: former child soldiers, unwanted children born to child soldiers, child mothers, and Night Commuters (children who commuted nightly to evade kidnappers).