Stitches That Matter - Atabal program recap
The drumming for dreams project Phase 1 has now come to a close and thanks to your generous purchases of Uranta clothing, the program was funded with a little more than $10,000 USD allocated to training, teachers salaries and the creation and administration of the curriculum. This did not include the cost of the drums, which if you stay tuned to our blog have found a new life and new home.
The net result was that 350 children at the local school in San Antonio, on the shores of Lake Chapala were given 12 weeks of drumming classes for what ended up costing around $2.50 per class.
Results are hard to quantify, but anecdotally the vibe of the school improved and teachers and parents reported calmer and more focused kids. If anything, the kids loved the program and it closed with a concert that even the reluctant drummers at the start of the program were excited to be a part of. Furthermore, at a school where extra curricular programs just don't exist, the program was certainly accepted as the gift that it was and appreciated to the fullest.
Many lessons were learned in this experimental phase of Atabal, but the biggest lesson of all was that a project of this magnitude needs support and cooperation from all constituents including school administrators and teachers, parents, the drumming teachers, and the kids themselves.
Initially, the program was intended to be something for only kids that really wanted to drum -- much like it is in Canada where drumming professional and our trainer Ron Cross has been taking drum circles to schools for 20 years -- but the school really wanted it to be an all inclusive program where everyone was involved. And while this approach gave exposure to a wider audience of kids, of varying ages, it also thwarted a bit of the enthusiasm that comes from a program where everyone in the circle really wants to participate.
Also, the program was given to the school completely free of charge thanks to the generous purchases of our customers, but in hindsight we now feel that to truly appreciate the value of something, there has to be the commitment from everyone involved of either time or money.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts to see the new home of the 50 African Djembe drums and how Atabal will continue to change the vibe one child at a time in a country where positive vibrations are needed more than ever.
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