The Voices of Haiti are looking towards the future. The “New York Mission” was another success for the “Voices of Haiti”, who the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (along with the Fondation St Luc Haiti) has helped to find their talent and imagine a life for themselves, despite the poverty and destruction of their homeland. Two concerts were held on December 12 and 13 with Andrea Bocelli in Madison Square Garden, replete with standing ovations and sentiment from the audience. And, above all, they represent another step on the road towards empowerment, towards awareness and towards the desire to go beyond the expectations allowed by their impoverished and unfortunate environment. “Our aim is an inner journey for people and, when you see them grow and express their potential, it is an immense feeling”, says a moved Laura Biancalani, President of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation. She is the one who is recounting this “New York Mission”. “It all came about because the children (this is what she calls them – Ed.) sang on Andrea’s record, and because we wanted to do something more for them”. The heart and soul of these projects are the two teams from the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Fondation St Luc, together with the two choir masters, Malcom Merriweather and Wenson Delice, who – day after day – work to see these talented youngsters grow and learn.
“We can’t be with them for eight or nine years, change their life and then not take the last step, i.e. accompany them towards adulthood and the world of work. Thus, together with the Fondation Saint Luc, we have created an educational fund. That’s how. Each of them has a certain amount or resources that will help them to support themselves and get an excellent education, both in Haiti or abroad. Whether they want to become musicians or do something else”.
What is the situation like in Haiti?
“We were able to overcome the great crisis in Haiti, also thanks to many friends. For example, about 10 days ago, everything was brought to a standstill by the strikes against corruption”.
However, ABF is a living lab.
“In four weeks, we were able to get the authorization to go to New York and, thanks to our supporters, we were able to prepare the Voices of Haiti to face the New York winter. For them it was the first winter of their lives!”.
And concerning the repertoire?
“We went in blind. But miracles are “easy” with these children. In Madison Square Garden they got a standing ovation from 18,000 people thanks to Schubert’s Ave Maria and Amazing Grace. These are children who are used to having to fight every day for a chunk of bread. Here they took to the stage holding hands. And we would like to help them to have a future”.
And how could this come about?
“Also thanks to these events, each child from the Voices of Haiti increases their ability to dream. They will no longer settle for what they see every day in their country or for living how they live. It is already clear from their words that they have a different outlook on the long term. And, beyond the incredible success of Madison Square Garden, their ability to dream will make the difference. And we’re right there with them”.