Last week, Hannah and Lily returned back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to undertake a Follow Up Visit to the care settings where they had delivered Introductory Training Projects last year. Here is an account of their time visiting and seeing how our Local Partners' been running thier music sessions independently:
It is with great pleasure that we are back in Ethiopia delivering a Follow Up Visit to the three Local Partners we worked with back in October. These are: Ethiopian National Association for Intellectual Disabilities (ENAID), Hospice Ethiopia and Gefersa Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre.
At first, we visited Hospice Ethiopia. We met with all of the nurses who work there and we were delighted to hear that they are still continuing to run a fortnightly music group with their day care patients. The primary trainee evidenced wonderful facilitation skills and we were thrilled with the developments of the group. It was lovely to see the patients again and share music making with them and the staff. The session we participated in included the sharing of songs, both Ethiopian and English.
On our second day we visited ENAID. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the adult clients involved in the training all playing the musical instruments and singing welcome and hello to us. This was very moving! We then spent time talking to the director about future developments to the music programme and we all felt very enthusiastic that there is progress with the adults and they are wanting to develop the training further. The director spoke about how before participating in the music group, there was one adult in particular who was very reserved and would not interact with the other adults. Now, since participating frequently in music sessions, he is engaging with his peers and his mother has mentioned significant improvements in his communication at home. This is great news! We feel as though the regular engagement that the adults have with the music sessions has meant that they are able to encourage one another and interact in different ways to which we saw previously.
Gefersa was the third centre that we visited and yet again, we came away feeling very pleased that the three trainees are continuing to run music sessions with the residents. In particular, it was great to see photographic evidence from one of the nurses running a music session with their client that they did their training with. When meeting with the director, he informed us that the therapeutic music sessions were now officially a part of their social rehabilitation programme.
All three centres were very enthusiastic about developing their music programmes and were keen to have more training to increase their confidence and skill level. It has been wonderful to see music making become established in these three settings, as a valuable form of therapeutic engagement.
We concluded our stay in Ethiopia by carrying out a feasibility study to a new centre in Addis Ababa, who expressed an interest in our training. The centre is a psychiatric clinic running both residential and out-patient support. It provides emergency psychiatry admission for individuals with chronic mental health conditions, self-harm and suicidal behaviours. It also offers detoxification and rehabilitation for substance abuse including drugs and Chat. The out-patient service offers support including, but not limited, to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and substance abuse. There are a total of about 20 staff at the clinic, 10 of which are clinical staff including psychiatrists, nurses and a neurologist. We were extremely impressed with the centre and Music as Therapy International will review all the information we collected from long discussions with the director and other clinical staff to consider their enthusiasm for training in the future alongside other enquiries and projects in development later in the year.
We want to say a huge thank you to all of the sponsors and donors who make these trips possible, to you at home reading these blogs and for your continued support and to all of the team at Music as Therapy International for offering invaluable advice, support and encouragement – without which none of these trips would happen. We are looking forward to the continued partnership with the centres in Ethiopia.
Lily and Hannah x