viernes, 5 de agosto de 2011

Children in Harmony, Harmony in Children

When you give, it will be given back multiplied to you. I think the Bible said that and it's perhaps the most repeated phrase in history, and today I proved it (again). Today was the first day of our foundation's project, CHARM (Children in Harmony). CHARM was the original idea of our ambassador, Mesty Ariotedjo, and thanks to the solid team of YMSI (Yayasan Musik Sastra Indonesia or Indonesian Classical Music Foundation) it can now be realized, after a few months of discussion, hard work ...and fund-raising. Certainly, CHARM can also be used to describe Mesty, who is just graduated from her medical studies at Universitas Indonesia, as well as a harpist... and die-hard classical music lover. There are many beautiful women on this planet, but not half of them have the charm, outside and inside, of Mesty.

When I said today was the first day, I mean the first day that the children had their lessons. CHARM's idea is to give musical education (starting with playing a musical instrument) to children under 11 coming from underpriviliged families. Since this is purely YMSI's project, we are not receiving any cent, or even just false promises, from the government or political parties. Therefore we start this in a quite small scale, working with the children around our foundation's office at the Ananda Sukarlan Center, at the area of Kebayoran, Jakarta.

It was pure happiness what happened today. Watching the glow in the eyes of the children, playing or even holding an instrument (we start with the violin) that only appeared in their dreams, and now they can even bring it home. We lend them the instruments, and after 6 months there will be a small "exam" that will determine if that particular child should continue his education and therefore can still keep the instrument with them. Today Mesty came with one of our violin teachers, Ali Hanapiyah and what occured perhaps could be described as heaven on earth: pure happiness of all parts: the teachers, the children and their parents who witnessed it. Education costs money, I know, but so does ignorance. So it's better to educate than let people be ignorant. Even if it's for free. By educating, we learn so much.