Serving Street Children & Rohingya Refugees
In Bangladesh Since 2019
Currently an astounding 890,000 Rohingya refugees are living at the Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region. The camps have grown to become the largest and most densely populated camps on earth. This crisis has strained an already impoverished country, which has shown unprecedented generosity to the deeply persecuted Rohingya people. SMF has been making a significant impact in the lives of both Rohingya and Bangladeshi children since 2019.
Our exceptional team of young Bangladesh volunteers in Cox’s Bazaar are teaching our unique music program in 3 locations:
Climate Refugees in Najirar Tek - These children are living in an area with little access to education or resources. The students have been delighted at the opportunity, believing music instruction was only for wealthy families.
Street Children in Cox’s Bazar - Our "surf kids" are homeless and underprivileged children who come together to surf during the day and then gather weekly with our volunteers to learn music notes and the pennywhistle.
Hindu Rohingya Refugees in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp - Now that access is finally opening again after a long Covid shutdown, our Bangladesh team of volunteers is about to bring music to a community of Hindus in the largest refugee camp in the world.
Much of this work is made possible with a partnership with the Bangladeshi-based organization YASID (Youth Alliance for Sustainable International Development).-
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 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).