With the arrival of the pandemic, Banda de la Musica was forced to shut down and many students' parents lost their day jobs. Students' individual contexts were rendered increasingly critical since most students have no social protections and only limited healthcare access.
Banda de Musica wanted to find a way to provide emergency assistance to the students and their families. Thanks to the commitment of its teachers, who organized distance-learning music classes, the school was able to maintain pedagocial continuity for its students. Secondly, it ensured access to drinking water and health education for the students and their families, as well as the distribution of food rations to the most needy.
The contribution from the Artelia Foundation's Emergency Fund was used to purchase food rations and hygiene products; to ensure technological access to the students, so that they could continue their courses at a distance; and to maintain the salaries of the organization's teachers.
Banda de la Musica uses music to try to keep children away from street violence, and the results have exceeded initial expectations. Their students range from drop-outs who have since returned to school, to former gang members who now attend daily band rehearsals. Students also exhibit noticeable behavioral changes since joining the music program: they are better listeners, more focused and more collaborative. Their grades have gotten better, too!
An addition to music classes, the organization offers scholarships to students who wish to become music professionals (nine scholarships in 2019) and they train instrument repairers (fifteen young people have been initiated, three of whom have obtained a professional level). The organization uses skill sharing to create a project that is sustainable and self-sufficient