Since our last trip to Lira, Uganda in 2013, MWH has worked with music therapy students at the Berklee College of Music to continue meeting with war survivors and counselors via Skype and Google Hangout. During these sessions, we share music and therapeutic tools to use in the healing process by counselors who implement the day-to-day programs. The results have reached far. The stigma against survivors has decreased; people in the larger community are more comfortable joining them because of the activities based around music.
In 2016 we hope to once again bring the MUSIC Heals program, and its profound benefits, to those in need – this time in Southern and Northern Uganda and Kenya.
Our staff and Music Therapy students from the Berklee College of Music will work directly with Sense International in Southern Uganda, to employ Music and therapy principles to help children at their school who are deaf and blind. Deafblind people and their families are often amongst the poorest and most excluded members of society. Deafblind children often lead harsh, isolated lives. Many die young. We will also work with Hope for Humans in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Hope for Humans provides dignity, comfort, safety and hope to children afflicted with Nodding Syndrome and their families.
Nodding Syndrome is a mysterious disease affecting the brain and nervous system of children in Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania. The disease is characterized by a nodding of the head; the seizures lead to significant cognitive impairment. The cause is unknown but with treatment the health of the children improves. In 2014 and earlier in 2015, MWH affiliates in Uganda worked with Hope For Humans to provide music therapy, and they are thrilled with the results so far. We also hope to reach orphanages and centers in Kenya, bringing music and hope to children with AIDS in Shangilia and Nyumbani.
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