Come the fall, the Graduation Day ceremony
It was in September 2016 when the first New York trip marked the official international debut of “Voices of Haiti”. Fully in keeping with the foundation’s mission, the creation of a children’s choir was the result of a brave and exciting gamble. A project – created together with our local partner, the Fondation St. Luc – that, right from the very beginning, was conceived as a stable and structured teaching aid, able to offer Haitian children and youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds an opportunity to develop their talent through highly specialized training, while benefiting from a wealth of opportunities that are potentially valuable for their futures.
Made up of 60 children and young people aged 9 to 15 years, selected from thousands of Haitian students (who, nevertheless, have access to music education thanks to ABF), the choir has developed through strict weekly training that is based on international professional standards. “Voices of Haiti” has regularly performed in Haiti and abroad, in the United States as well as in Europe, on extremely prestigious stages. During every tour a few important initiatives are planned – which are an integral part of the project – with the aim of making the educational experience as broad as possible, and these also include gaining a deep understanding of the culture, customs and traditions of their host countries.
In 2018, the choir’s training cycle achieved a noteworthy educational milestone, to the extent that our little singers were able to take part in the recording of two songs from the album “Sì”, also performing in the two events held in New York in December, in front of 20,000 spectators in “Madison Square Garden”.
The first school cycle is coming to a close in these weeks of early summer. We have followed the artistic training of our little choristers closely, we have seen them be amazed, moved, develop a passion, make sacrifices, grow and mature, while becoming increasingly aware of their potential. And we also confess that for us, the ABF team, it is not at all easy, from an emotional point of view, to accept that the first members of the choir have reached the end of their training, even though it is right that they do so, due to physiological reasons concerning their changing voices.
15 million in funds disbursed and 19 empowerment projects created: these are the figures that testify to ABF’s presence in Haiti. This is a place where, with a combination of head and heart, with determination and affection, the foundation has experimented, created and refined a veritable philanthropic method that has proven to be successful (and therefore replicable in other areas that are just as in need).
After five years of activity, of projects and results achieved in partnership with the local team Fondation St. Luc, from access to education to health care, commodities and prevention, we are celebrating the completion of the first school cycle concerning the choral training of “Voices of Haiti”.
While we await the graduation ceremony, and to celebrate our young singers who have shared the stage with Andrea Bocelli so many times, it is the simple and enlightening words of our founder which we would like to remind you of here, once again: “Education is the seed of a journey of knowledge, of skill, of awareness, that can transform you and consequently the community that you belong to. Education helps to bring about the only great revolution that is possible and desirable, the inner one”.