Rescued Afghan Refugees
In Arizona Since 2021
As the Taliban conducted their swift take-over of Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of Afghans fled for their lives. A large group of refugees were being held temporarily in the Phoenix area as they awaited more permanent housing.
Until they were assigned a place to live, most were trapped in limbo with little to do. The men and women were not yet employed and the children had not started school. After just escaping the threat of violence, oppression and death, these families need a way to work through their trauma and need tools to begin life in the United States in a healthy, positive way.
Starting in the Fall of 2021, PTMI was able to quickly mobilize and provide a comprehensive Peace through Music program for these families up to four days a week for men, women, teens and children. The women’s classes especially were groundbreaking. The women hesitated to learn something on their own without their husband’s presence or approval. But then a new sense of empowerment swept through the group, and the class exploded in popularity. Soon we were teaching over 25 women at a time.
This program is now thriving again in partnership with a refugee integration program called Of One Heart, and another partnership through Catholic Community Services' Unaccompanied Minor Program.
We need more funding to reach additional students in Arizona! Donate today or become a volunteer teacher!
To sign up to participate as a student or volunteer, email email@example.com.
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 established a program for young refugees in Łódź, Poland, teaching harmonica, singing, and ukulele classes up to eight hours a day, six days a week. The needs among the Ukrainian population are immense, and our program is making an impact!
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. PTMI is making a significant impact in the lives of both Rohingya and Bangladeshi 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).