Sometimes, when looking at a picture of smiling children from our Kinships, it’s easy to forget how traumatic their pasts have been. But these are children who have all suffered greatly before finding their way into a Kinship. They have all lost their parents, either by death or abandonment. They have endured hardships that most of us can’t even imagine.
One of the ways that the children express these emotions and process their hard pasts is through music. Our Kinship homes have had great success using music as therapy for the children! Music helps heal the psychological damage that these children have experienced. It's been so beneficial that some Kinships hope to pursue a formal music therapy program!
We’ve witnessed unbelievable miracles in our Kinships in response to the incredible power of music. Kids who come to us unresponsive and shell-like due to the trauma they’ve experienced slowly come to life when they’re exposed to the healing powers of music. After a few months of being at the Kinship and interacting with music, they are almost unrecognizable. We believe in the healing powers of music because we witness it firsthand.
(If you want more information on the many benefits of music therapy click here to read our article on it!)
Music is especially important in the Baka Kinship, Uganda. They’ve even formed a children’s choir for their kids, called Yimuka, which means “arise” in their local language.
Performances by these children can be a window into the sadness that they carry. One of the ways that music can help a struggling child is that it gives them a way to express the hard emotions inside of them. When children are abandoned by their parents, they’re left with questions they will probably never find answers to. Once they’re welcomed into a Kinship, their caregivers offer them loving guidance and counseling to help them process their past. But for some questions, there are no answers. And these children will carry those questions for the rest of their lives. Music is a way for them to cope with these difficult emotions.
Here are some of the lyrics from a song that the Yimuka choir sings together:
I’m looking for love, sweet love, some way
But my parents left me, some time back
They left us here alone,
I don’t know whether they will ever come back
But I know that they went, left without me
These song lyrics show you how important music is for these children to process what has happened to them, and how it serves as a tool to help them tell other people about it. Without music, these children would struggle to express the loss and the trauma they’ve experienced.
These children have been profoundly impacted by loss. They not only have physical needs, but real emotional needs as well. To have someone who loves them is the deepest ache in these children’s hearts. And the love that they receive from their caregivers lasts far longer than a plate of food or a roof over their heads. And it’s your support that makes this possible.