Project information

MasT International Project Rwanda

Project Rwanda will be supporting Local staff teams who we trained to run music programmes in two rural care settings for children with disabilities. These isolated staff are using elements of music therapy to improving the quality of life for the children in their care. They need ongoing support.

January 2011 - December 2011

Charity information: Music as therapy

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  • Need


    Disabled children are very marginalised in Rwanda and the care available to them is impoverished. Local women, who have lived through the genocide, work hard to meet their basic needs and want help to improve the activities they can offer. We provided basic training in using aspects of music therapy, but we know that continuous support is needed for our local partners to maintain this challenging work. Without it, their music programmes will founder.


    2 UK Music Therapists will return to the 2 care settings to observe the staff teams' music sessions. They will offer additional training, share the Local Partners' successes, and work with them to address any challenges encountered during the first six months of running music programmes on their own. Experience tells us this support visit is critical to the long-term sustainability of therapeutic music programmes run by local staff. We will create a training DVD for staff in local care settings.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To collect feedback from Local Partners on how their music programmes have been running


    » Request written reports
    » Collect further eviednce by telephone
    » Face-to-face interviews with Local Partners

    What success will look like

    Success will be reports received

    Aim 2

    Consolidate Local Partners' skills to sustain the therapeutic music programmes


    » Observe and video Local Partners' running their music sessions
    » Offer supervision (feedback on positive observations, discussion of challenges and sharing successes)
    » Offer additional training to support areas of need identified by the UK Music Therapists or the Local Partners themselves

    What success will look like

    Success will be increased confidence and commitment in the Local Partners, securing the future of the music programmes they run.

    Aim 3

    To create a DVD to show the use of music therapy and transferable skills.


    » Edit video footage into a meaningful training film to influence local treatment and care of children with disabilities.
    » Distribute the DVD to interested Local staff teams - within a known network - motivated to improve the care they offer children with disabilities.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a meaningful training film distributed to staff teams working in local care settings to influence the treatment of children with disabilities.

    Aim 4

    Review the impact of the activities above and plan further activities in 2012 if appropriate.


    » Debriefing held with UK Music Therapists to gain their insight into the impact of their work and what might be important for Local Partners in 2012.
    » Elicit feedback from Local Partners to identify what they feel they need to keep their music programmes running and to build local capacity.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a Project Plan for 2012, or a plan for closing our activities in Rwanda.

  • Impact


    Our Local Partners commented on the impact of their initial therapeutic music training, in particular the way it has improved their relationships with the children in their care. We want to build on this area of success and continue to enhance local practice. The training DVD will broaden our impact, reaching local staff teams who have appealed for our help. The proven sustainbaility of the music programmes and new practices in place as a result of the DVD will show we have bene successful.


    The UK Music Therapists could pull out, but they ahve already written up their experiences from the original training project and how these could be built on, so we would be able to recruit new therapists without jeopardising the work required. New therapists could be recruited from the Music as Therapy International Advisory Panel of Music Therapists. Local partners' music programmes could founder before we return, but ongoing communication with them should prevent this.


    A blog is kept and postcards are sent from Rwanda during the project; full reports are circulated once the project is delivered.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,250 Support Visit 2 Music Therapists spending 3 weeks in Rwanda supporting Local Partners in 2 care settings (3 weeks)
      £2,250 Training DVD The creation and distribution of the training DVD
      £500 Collecting information Collecting feedback from Local Partners and UK Music Therapists to inform support visit/future plans
  • Background


    Rwanda is a landlocked country in central Africa bordering Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The two care settings in which we will work are in the south west corner of Rwanda, next to the border with the DRC and a six-hour bus journey from the capital, Kigali.


    67% of people live below the poverty line. Due to limited medical care and economic issues, many disabled children do not survive infancy. For those that do, there is limited provision, especially in this remote area. In 1994, approx. 1 million Rwandans were killed in a genocide. Our Local Partners work with with wide ranging ages and needs (incl. physically & learning disability, deaf, traumatised, abused and neglected children). A significant proportion are orphans.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The charity’s roots lie in Romania where we trained local staff to take the benfits of music therapy to c.3000 disadvantaged children/adults. Our mission: The development & use of music therapy, to relieve those living in conditions of need, hardship or distress, suffering from mental/physical disability & the effects of poverty or sickness. We facilitate projects which take music therapy to new communities across the world. Projects needing experienced & clinically-focused support to succeed.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helen Leith

    Project Leader: Helen is a music therapist with a longstanding involvement in Rwanda. She approached us for help developing the work she had started.

    Jane Robbie

    Projects Co-ordinator: Jane has ten years' experience of devising and implementing sustainable music projects in a number of different countries.

    Caroline Anderson

    Music Therapist (Volunteer): Caroline delivered the initial training project in Rwanda last year and has an ongoing commitment to developing the work

    Nicky Haire

    Music Therapist (Volunteer): Nicky delivered the initial training project in Rwanda last year and has an ongoing commitment to developing the work.

"You helped us to love the children we lived with more."

Local Partner