Slightly delayed final blog post from Rwanda.....

Posted in Blog on 21st September 2014

It’s been a busy final week of the project. We’ve been working hard to finish the ‘music as therapy’ handbook, which will be left with the Local Partners as a resource they can refer to when carrying out their music sessions once we’re gone. We’ve spent the last few days writing it, and have spent even longer trying to get it printed and bound! We’ve also had certificates made for the staff who took part in the training which will be presented to them at a small leaving ceremony. On top of all this, we’ve also been continuing to facilitate sessions, give staff feedback and answer any questions.

As everyone arrived on Thursday around 2pm Stephanie and I started playing some of the instruments and encouraged staff to join us as they arrived. This is something they have become used to, as we have encouraged this type of ‘improvisation’ in all of our staff workshops and sessions. After playing freely for 15 minutes or so we sang, what has become the most popular ‘hello’ song in the last 6 weeks. We then gave out the certificates, trying to make it special and have a photo with each member of staff. We were pleased that Zacharie, the director of UCC decided to say a few words. He actually ended up speaking for about 10 minutes in Kinyarwandan!

We ended our time in Rwanda with one final night in Kigali. As we ate our last dinner together (sob sob) we discussed the trials, tribulations and excitements of the last 6 weeks.

I feel like this is just the beginning of our and Music as Therapy International’s involvement and we are looking forward to providing on-going support to the children, young adults and staff living in Gisenyi. We are grateful to all the staff that took part for their patience, their eager involvement and their music. We thank the management at UCC for their amazing support and enthusiasm for the project. We thank Gentille, our wonderful translator. We thank CASFX (where we stayed) for putting up with our weird requests and our music and singing. I would also like to thank all those individuals and organisations who enabled us to come to Gisenyi - we really appreciate your support.

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