People-to-People projects provide material assistance and encouragement to schools, music organizations and musicians in developing countries in many parts of the world where small things can make a big difference. When appropriate, projects also promote greater knowledge of American music in the more musically advanced countries.
Since this project was begun in 1964, People-to-People projects have been carried out in more than 60 countries. A few examples:
- People-to-People organized a series of donations to The Master’s Dawn, an autism intervention program at The Master’s Academy, a small private school on the island of Providenciales, part of the Turks and Caicos Islands located just south of the Bahamas.
- The Haiti Redevelopment Fund received donations exceeding $15,500 since its launch on Valentine's Day 2010. The People-to-People Project sent materials to our friends at Holy Trinity School in Port-au-Prince and to the Zanmi Lasante Band in Cange and partnered with Haiti: Bright Hope International. With home offices in Illinois, Bright Hope assists missionaries in South America, Africa, Asia and Haiti. Through a recently created cooperative agreement, our project has sent a pallet of materials destined for Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage in Dessalines on a Bright Hope freight ship. Materials donated for the orphanage came from individuals, college chapters, and alumnae chapters and included guitars, music stands, clarinets, flutes, an alto sax and a great deal of music.
- Working in conjunction with Partners in Health (PIH) in Boston, People-to-People sent much needed instruments to Maestro Joseph Mackly, conductor of Orchrestre Bon Sauveur/Zanmi Lasante Cange, including a tuba, clarinet, French horn, and flute, along with scores and an electronic metronome.
- Philanthropies Board Member Kate Kirkpatrick requested for a guitar for an American soldier serving in Iraq. She had been corresponding with Private First Class Jay Crawford through a book exchange program when he mentioned that the guitar his fiancé sent him had been damaged. We were able to send a guitar and music books to Pfc. Crawford, who gratefully received our shipment during the December 2009 holiday season.
- The Central NJ Alumnae Chapter made a sizable donation of music education materials to the project thanks to their association with Warren Township Public Schools. In 2009, the chapter received a set of band instruction books from this school district to be donated to the People-to-People Project. Boxes of Silver Burdett K-5 materials were sent directly to the Liimba School in Zambia.
Opportunities for Chapter or Individual Participation
Many People-to-People projects are administered at the national level with funds provided through Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc. There are, however, many ways in which the SAI membership can and does participate:
- Work with foreign students on campus, and with organized programs for international exchange within the community.
- Contribute music, books, instruments and other materials. The most pressing need is for instruments that can be donated or funds raised for their purchase. Solid backed music stands are also needed that can be donated or funds raised for purchase. Other needs include chamber music, CD's, and music minus one tapes. Contact the Project Director for details and instructions.
- Hold internationally-oriented fundraisers to provide financial support for the various people-to-people projects.
- Participate in the Adopt An Instrument program.
Visit our secure online store, SAI Shop
, then click the arrow beside 'SAI Philanthropies Inc.' to begin.
The 2008-2009 People-to-People Certificate of Appreciation was presented at the 2009 National Convention to Heather Davis for her extensive work repairing donated instruments.
For further information and guidance, contact Dr. Liana E. Valente. Please keep NH advised of individual and chapter participation.