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 continues to offer materials assistance to our music colleagues in Haiti. Instruments, music, and music accessories have been sent to Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage in Dessalines, Sister Cities Essex-Haiti Music Project in Deschapelles, and the Fanfare Band organized near the Partners in Health Medical clinic in Cange. Recent shipments have included recorders and electric keyboards for Ebenezer Glenn, trumpets and clarinets to Sister Cities-Essex, and flutes, clarinets and music stands to The Fanfare Band in Cange.
- SONG (Sounds of the Next Generation) in Ontario, Canada, offers socially inclusive choral and orchestral training (including drumming) to under-served children and youth in Northumberland County. In the past year, SONG has received violins, violas, percussion instruments, music stands and choral music from the P2P Project.
- Veteran’s Administration HONOR Center in Gainesville, FL received guitars, harmonicas, keyboards, and music to support the Music Program. The center provides Hope, Opportunities, Networking, Outreach, and Recovery for medically-involved Veterans, helping them to transition from homelessness back to housing and health in the community.
- Q the Music, a project of the Dayton Philharmonic Education Department, offers a tuition-free, after school string program to students at Ruskin Elementary school. People-to-People has provided violins, violas, music stands, music, and other accessories to support their work.
- The Des Moines Alumnae chapter acquired a large number of string instruments that were inspected, repaired, and shipped to many of the organizations that receive assistance from P2P, including SONG, Q the Music, The People’s Youth Orchestra in Chicago, and Sinfonia por la vida in Ecuador.
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 instruments, accessories, and other materials. The most pressing need is for instruments that can be donated or funds raised for their purchase; accessories such as strings, rosin, valve oil, and instrument cleaning supplies are also needed. Contact the Project Director for details and instructions.
- Hold internationally-oriented fundraisers to provide financial support for the various people-to-people projects.
- Before beginning any project to support P2P, please contact the director; she will be able to share with you the most pressing needs and explore ways that you can assist.