Music HEALS in Uganda and Kenya! - August 2016

What a great trip!   

MWH Director Samite Mulondo, along with Ithaca-based musician Nate Silas Richardson spent two weeks in August visiting communities, centers and people in Uganda and Kenya.  We are so grateful for the rich experience, opportunity to work with teachers and children, and develop new partnerships for the future. 

Our first stop was at Hope North in northern Uganda, where we worked with about 25 youth, many who are former child soldiers. We also visited with children at Hope for Humans in Gulu, where MWH has worked before to provide music therapy to children affected by Nodding Syndrome, a neurological disease that produces seizures and impedes growth.  The children are very weak, often malnourished when they arrive, but after 3 to 4 months of nurturing, begin playing, running and beginning to learn.  After that, music therapy programs help them further.  Samite and Nate, along with Dr. Karen Wacks, of the Berklee College of Music, worked with the program leaders on music therapy techniques they could keep using after we left.

From there, we visited and worked with people at Health Care Alliance in Lira and Brain Tree Primary School, and then in Kenya we visited Shangilia orphanage and The Nest Home.   It was a very full two weeks, very rich in experience and we continue to be grateful to our donors who made it possible.

Dr. Bill Thomas, whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging, interviewed Nate Richardson for his podcast, the Ask Dr. Bill show.  You can hear the experience in Nate's words here, told in two parts, Episode 7 and Episode 8. 

People in caring environments do better, encounter less suffering from their disabilities than those without care, nurturing and supportive experiences like music.  We worked with hundreds of people across this two week span, many individually and others in groups.  We were thanked and told, repeatedly, how helpful the programming and teachings will be for future groups, in addition to the impacts we saw during the sessions.  We learned much from the people we met, and look forward to using the exeperiences inform our work with seniors, children and refugees here in the U.S. in the months to come.

Nate Silas Richardson and his new friend, Charles, take a break from playing music together at the skate park near Shangilia Orphanage in Kenya.

Nate Silas Richardson and his new friend, Charles, take a break from playing music together at the skate park near Shangilia Orphanage in Kenya.

ARDI Program, Lira Town, Uganda

ARDI Program, Lira Town, Uganda

I have been in Uganda since last Saturday afternoon and now it is a week later. This is some of the most intense work I have done thus far in my career as a music therapist. There is no comparison to any other population or life situation.

When thinking of building this trip in the future, it will take a very special type of individual who can handle witnessing the level of suffering and pain that all of North Uganda is experiencing. Every family has been touched in some way by the killings, the abductions and the residual effects of the war.

Musicians for World Harmony Reaches Many in the Congo

By Sandra Long

The overall message that I got from working with these children is that they want adults and leaders to know that being in the army is not a job for children.

- Samite Mulondo


In late summer of 2008, Samite Mulondo, Founding Director of Musicians for World Harmony (MWH), was approached by Andrea Kerzner of Art of Humanity International. MWH is a non profit founded with the goal of promoting peace with the healing power of music, especially for the distressed and displaced. Andrea’s vision was to combine the forces ofher organization with those of MWH for a project in eastern Congo. Arts of Humanity International is a non profit organization that encourages people in war torn regions of the world to express themselves through the healing power of art. Samite and Andrea found a logical fit between her organization’s work and that of MWH.