An ambitious multi-year program to empower youth through music education in vulnerable regions

“Voices of the World” is a strategic program developed by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation which evolves a proven and innovative methodology.

Paris, France / Florence, Italy (November 13th, 2019) – Today, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) has launched “Voices of the World”, an ambitious program that aims to scale up psychosocial support for disadvantaged children and youth in vulnerable regions. Through the creation of regional choruses and other educational activities, ABF seeks to empower participants and their communities through the tool of music by reinforcing skills, stimulating creativity, fostering collaboration, and offering more opportunities to succeed in life. As with all Andrea Bocelli Foundation education programs, the endeavor is strategically aligned with the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal #4 (Quality Education).

The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and UNESCO also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective to collaborate on music education projects as a tool for empowerment to be developed and unveiled in the coming months, beginning in Mali. This will build on UNESCO’s experience in conducting projects on education for psychosocial support in countries affected by disasters and conflicts, in line with the Seoul agenda on Arts Education. The importance of arts education for inclusion and social cohesion was the key topic of a panel discussion held at UNESCO Headquarters, “Symphony 2030: creative arts education for inclusion”, in the margin of the UN agency 40th General Conference.

The Voices of the World program has been in development since 2014 through the work of a multidisciplinary team that designed an innovative methodology for social inclusion and personal self-expression through music education.

Maestro Andrea Bocelli, Andrea Bocelli Foundation Founder, stated, “Since 2011, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation has worked tirelessly to empower people and communities in susceptible circumstances to help them overcome barriers and reach the expression of their full potential.” He added, “With Voices of the World, the positive psychosocial effects of music education will provide invaluable opportunities for youth currently living in some of the most complex areas of our time”.


A proven music education methodology

As ABF began developing the Voices of the World program in 2014, the Foundation worked to infuse music education into key projects both in Italy and Haiti.

In Haiti, in January 2016, the foundation established the Voices of Haiti project by introducing music education into 30 schools supported by local partner, Fondation St Luc (these include 5 ABF-Fondation St Luc schools). From a pool of 12,000 students enrolled in these, ABF selected 60 of the most talented boys and girls to form the first “Voices of Haiti” chorus. The result is a multi-year training project for 60 students (aged 9-15 years) which provides the tools necessary to stimulate creativity and personal growth. Still active today, activities include weekly half-day workshops comprised of lessons, rehearsals, music therapy, play time and even meals, all of which has led to performances in some of the most awe-inspiring settings such as the United Nations General Assembly (2016) and at the Vatican during an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis (2017).

On the other hand, in Italy, ABF worked to introduce best practices in music education as a part of the official curriculum for schools constructed by the Foundation following the 2016 Central Italy earthquake (Sarnano 2018, Muccia 2019, Camerino 2020). Most recently, in November 2019, even the Centrozerosei pre-kindergarten school in Maestro Bocelli’s hometown of Lajatico (Tuscany) adopted this very same methodology.

The personal transformation witnessed over the years for children and their immediate communities has exceeded expectations and has driven ABF in the power of this strategic approach.


The “Voices of the World” Program

ABF’s new Voices of the World program will begin in 2020 and over the course of the coming years will be developed in priority regions that potentially include Palestine, Syria and Iraq. The journey for communities and students involved in the new rollouts will mirror the Haiti pilot project experiences with the overarching objectives to help students cultivate talent, enhance team building capabilities, develop leadership skills and help empower their communities.

Laura Biancalani, Andrea Bocelli Foundation President, remarks, “We hope that with the power of music education, Voices of the World will become an integral part of the lives of children and youth living in challenging conditions. With this new program, we hope to extend a world-class personal growth opportunity through the powerful tool of music, all helping to promote the discovery and full expression of the self.”

Voices of the World is strategically aligned with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal #4: Quality Education. More specifically, the program seeks to support the Goal’s target 4.7, which stresses the importance of offering learning tools that promote inclusion and underscore the world’s cultural diversity and richness, thus preparing children and youth to become Global Citizens.


About the Andrea Bocelli Foundation

The Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) was established in July 2011 by Maestro Andrea Bocelli and his family to “give back” after being inspired by the affection and positivity received from fans and partners around the world. ABF has since grown into an independent non-profit led by world-class professionals that oversee the strategic development of projects in Italy and abroad.                                                                                  

The Foundation’s core mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, distress due to illness and social exclusion by promoting and supporting national and international projects that promote the overcoming of these barriers and the expression of their full potential.

Since 2011, ABF has raised over 30 million Euros in fundraising efforts resulting in key initiatives such as the construction of 8 schools in Italy and Haiti that offer daily access to a world-class education to over 3,000 students. Additionally, ABF has created projects that guarantee the welfare assistance for almost 409,000 people through various initiatives including providing access to clean water and HIV treatment.