Full amount delivered 23-04-2018
Ladies and Gentelmen, the final amount of the Music4Nepal project is... €1159,- !!
Through the selling of "to the Mountain and back", donations, and benefit concerts, we have raised
this beautifull amount for the children of Kathmandu. €400,- had allready found it's way to Nepal, but now
the rest of the money is also in the hands of Maureen, who is going to give the project excistence in Nepal.
At first I figured, with this kind of money we can easily set up two projects. And so after we bought guitars and madals (traditional Nepali drums) for the first project, I went on contacting the people I know in Nepal, asking them to help me. Soon I discovered though, how dificult it is to set up such a project when you are not present in the country. To communicate over such distances, physically, aswell as culturally and language wise, seemed to be too complicated.
At the same time I had contact with Maureen of foundation Bombo, who manages the first project in Kathmandu. She and the children had had a great time playing music, but now the teacher, who was coming voluntary, had stopped and replacement could not be found easily. Musicteachers where willing to come and teach but wanted to be paid. That is when I realised this project is not just about the children.
To promote music is also to honour the musicteachers. Music is a profession that deserves appreciation and respect, that lack is the world we live in now, as most musicians will agree on. So, 1+1=3: better to set up one whole project, then two half ones, and support the children and the teachers in a life with music.
Last sunday, Maureen, was in the Netherlands, to promote her foundation, and I handed her the rest of the money. Surpriced and touched she recieved the gift, and told us that because of Music4Nepal, she was inspired to provide more cultural edducation. Together with other funds, there will be a KidsClub, where the children can learn music, dance and sports! This in turn, touched me deeply: to see to fact that we can actually make a difference! I'm so gratefull for this project and my thanks goes out to all of us, who helped and supported. To follow the progress, check out Stichting Bombo or just stayed tuned here!
Music for Nepal is a fact! 05-10-17
In the beginning of this year I traveled through Nepal and India. One among many things that struck me there, was to witness how much music is alive in these countries. Everywhere there is music coming out of rusty speakers, are people chanting their praises to the Gods, or are they singing their way through their daily labours. One day I was walking through the street of a small town in India, hearing children voices singing. I followed my ears, and stopped when they had taken me to the doorstep of a building. A kind man nodded and with his approval I went in, following the enchanting sound of the music. Inside I saw there was a class being conducted. About ten girls and five women were singing to the music of a tabla and harmonium player. I was allowed to join, and I just sat there, listening to the raga's of the ladies. It felt like they were telling their whole life stories to me, by singing their songs.
As I was traveling, many times people would point to the small guitar on my shoulder and asked me to play a song. With love I inclined, but as soon as I started to play they stopped me and said: "No, Nepali song!" It dawned on me quickly that I had to learn Nepals music in order to connect to it's people. I asked for popular folk songs and allmost always the response would be "Resam Firiri". So I learned the chords and the lyrics of this song and started to sing it. Soon it turned out that I have been given a golden key! Everyone, from young to old, knows this song, and by playing it, it would immediately make people smile, sing and dance and create a party on the spot. Like it was some kind of magic spell!
Then one day I visited a small school for streetchildren in the slums of Kathmandu. With my guitar in hand, and the magic spell in mind, I mingled with the kids and we had a blast! We sang and danced together, they would teach me other Nepali songs, and all of them wanted to hold the guitar. It was there that a dream came into being, because I wanted these children to be able to do this every day. And I could be the one to make this happen for them! So I recorded the EP "to the Mountain and back" in Kathmandu, sold it when I got back in Holland, and with the donations we realised music instruments for the children. Now they're have classes every week, and they all have the possibility to play when they want! The realisation of this small gesture we made, created allready so much joy, for all who where involved, aswell as the children themselves and the people around them!
And so I feel this has been the beginning of many projects like these, so all of us, eventually can go through life singing!