This month, ten teenage musicians from a small town in Guatemala will have the opportunity of a lifetime. They will board a plane and fly to North Carolina to perform at the 35th annual Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), in the town of Black Mountain.
For the Guatemalan teens, who are rarely able to leave their community of El Tejar, let alone Guatemala, this is a chance to see the world. It’s also an opportunity to meet kids their age from another country and to apply what they’ve learned through a unique Child Aid-backed music program.
Since 1998, Child Aid has partnered with a small Guatemalan nonprofit called FUNDIT, which operates a community- wide educational program in the brick-making town of El Tejar. Child Aid and its funders provide scholarships, reading programs, a community library and training for local teachers. Thanks to generous funding and involvement from LEAF, combined with support from our longtime supporter PEG Partners, we also provide a unique music program for local youth.
“For children growing up in extreme poverty,” says Sam Hendricks, Child Aid’s Executive Director, “learning a musical instrument not only builds confidence and enhances learning, it brings joy to lives that are defined by struggle. Thanks to LEAF, we’re helping kids build self-esteem and critical life skills through music.”
LEAF partnered with Child Aid in 2010, and has since funded the expansion and improvement of the music program in El Tejar. PEG Partners has been a Child Aid partner since 2006. We feel very fortunate to be working with such committed partners!