Youth Empowerment Through Music (YETM)
A project for children-at-risk to develop and empower them to reach their maximum potential via music and movement, recitals, theatre, project work and peer facilitation.
The project was a collaboration with Educational Welfare and Research Foundation (EWRF).
Target group : students aged 13 to 15 years old
Duration : 3 hours per week for 15 weeks
Location: Penang / Sg Petani / Sg Siput / Teluk Intan / Tg Malim / Rawang / Ampang / Seremban / Muar / Johor Bharu
Number of children : 30 per location
The theme that used was “Samudra,” which is Sanskrit for ocean. It literally means the “gathering together of waters”.
Water is a significant element in our lives. It rehydrates us and cleanses our bodies. Samudra brings to light the negative effect humans have towards the environment. From global warming to daily water wastage, water is becoming scarcer as our natural rivers and seas get more polluted daily. All these were taught interactively to our participants, with movements and music.
The students were exposed to the rivers and oceans of the world as well as some stories that relate to the Indian culture & heritage. They also had lessons in water conservation and cleanliness.
The spirit of patriotism to our country will also be evident in the final production. All lessons were not taught through ‘blackboard teaching’ but through songs, dances, demonstrations and interactive plays. Segments were kept interesting by incorporating hip and modern elements into an age-old subject.
♦ To impart good human values
♦ To build self-esteem, self-confidence, develop self-discipline, leadership and productivity through creative learning.
♦ To enhance communication skills; eg presentation skills
The program structure and components are the key elements leading to positive youth development. The program provided in depth information on water preservation and conservation, major rivers of the world and the traditions and culture related to the rivers via sessions covering aspects relating to:
♦ Water pollutions
♦ Major rivers of the world
♦ Traditional and cultural values
♦ Importance of water preservation and conservation
Most of the participants enjoyed the training sessions and the final show. Along the way we witnessed changes in many students in various aspects. The testimonies from some parents, teachers and local coordinators were very positive and encouraging. Below are a few observations by the trainers:
1. Even though the participants had very low self-esteem, they were ready to embrace change when shown care, love and guidance.
2. One of our participants who was under medication for anxiety had improved and no longer needed medication.
3. A boy who never takes instruction from females whether a teacher or guardian, began taking instructions from the female trainer and started listening to her. His perception over female leadership also changed.
4. Many participants who were not attentive and seemed not interested in the beginning, showed tremendous improvement after a few sessions of training.
5. Most participants gained self-confidence towards the end of the program. This was witnessed when they went up the stage fearlessly and performed flawlessly.