For the last part of this year’s activities in Lebanon of the Music & Resilience project, Alberto and Chiara worked three days in the El Jalil refugee camp in Baalbek, in the Bekaa valley.

Music & Resilience was the first musical project in this camp, and it started its activities here in 2017: during these years, we have brought some musical instruments (mainly pitched and unpitched percussions), carried out musical psychosocial activities for large groups of children (about 50 every year) and offered training for the staff of the Assumoud center which hosts both us and the activities.

This year we picked up the project from where we left it, frozen by the long lockdowns due to the presence of the COVID virus. To this we must obviously add that Baalbek experiences the same difficulties as the rest of Lebanon, with a shortage of fuel, electricity, medicines …

But all this cannot stop the music! All the planned activities were carried out, involving no less than 50 children divided into three age groups. In the afternoon, two hours were dedicated each day to a workshop with teachers and peer educators, to pass on musical skills useful for continuing the work during the rest of the year. More than half of the peer educators present this year are young people who in the last years have been part of our morning groups, and who now voluntarily carry out support activities to run these same groups. This means that there is a splendid continuity of fruition and training, where those who have personally experienced psychosocial musical activities wish to be trained in this way in order to continue their work. All of this is an evolution in perfect Community Music style: a process that enriches an entire community through music.

The next steps for this center concern making instrumental formation operational, with local music teachers and group music. The dreams are many, and in the next few years there will be a lot of work (and a lot of music!) to be done. We can’t wait!