Make Music Matter has joined forces with World Vision Canada and World Vision Peru to implement a 6-month pilot program: Healing in Harmony for Peruvian and Venezuelan Adolescents and Youth in Trujillo – Peru. MMM CEO Darcy Ataman and Director of Operations Shannon Johnson recently visited the community to meet with local stakeholders.
The objective is to begin with 60 adolescents and youth with a focus on Venezuelan refugees. Venezuela’s escalating political and economic crisis has forced over three million Venezuelans from their country to seek refuge in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. The UN estimates that approximately 10% of Venezuela’s population has fled the country since 2014 (see HRW.org), making this mass migration one of the largest forced displacements in the western hemisphere, with the potential to destabilize the region.
The expected growth of Venezuelan refugees arriving in Peru involves the influx of child migrants who are highly vulnerable and often victims of violence, discrimination, harassment, and xenophobia. Refugees face economic uncertainty and widespread discrimination along the journey and in their new host countries. Most refugee girls and young women are out of school or learning opportunities and thus particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse.
Make Music Matter and local partners hope not only to help youth and adolescents deal with their individual traumas, but also to use music therapy as a tool to rebuild their families and create unified, more accepting communities.
This new Healing in Harmony program is one component of a holistic approach that addresses health, education, livelihoods, and human rights. Once the results of the pilot have been assessed, the team will explore the possibility of expanding the program to more participants and to other areas of the country.