gt-2018

Join us in Winnipeg on Giving Tuesday for a special event to celebrate the Healing in Harmony music therapy program for survivors of trauma:

Portraits of Healing in Harmony

Tuesday, November 27, 6-9pm

Graffiti Gallery, 109 Higgins Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0B5

We’ll be sharing a multi-media presentation featuring our partners at Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege), and world-renowned photographer and videographer Platon among others.

This event comes on the heels of the successful implementation of the Healing in Harmony program in multiple locations throughout the Congo for survivors of sexual violence and Rwanda for youth at risk. Make Music Matter plans to continue to scale the model in 2019 with the generous support of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation and other valuable partners. These include new sites in Iraq, with operations planned in Guinea, South Africa and Uganda through the Mukwege Foundation. We are also exploring opportunities to work with first nation youth at risk in Canada.

The program moves beyond traditional music therapy techniques by acknowledging each participant as a true artist and integrating songwriting, production and performance of music into the treatment pathway. The goal of the Healing in Harmony music therapy program is to share the inspiring strength of survivors through local and international dissemination via radio broadcasts, community concerts and social media; emboldening Dr. Mukwege’s vision of holistic healing.

Check out the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/281510729169105/

Can’t make it to the event?

You can still show your support with a generous donation to the help us sustain programming and expand the Healing in Harmony program in Canada and abroad –> https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/make-music-matter-inc

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Congolese doctor awarded Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work
Founder of Panzi Hospital and Foundations strengthens partnership with Canadian NGO
Make Music Matter, plans to expand music therapy program for survivors of sexual violence

Winnipeg, Canada (October 5, 2018) – Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and founder of Panzi Foundation USA and Panzi Foundation DRC, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is recognized for his humanitarian work with survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Since founding the Panzi Hospital in 1999, Dr. Mukwege and his staff have helped care for more
than 48 000 survivors of sexual violence by providing medical treatment, legal support and
psychosocial services.

The award comes on the heels of the successful implementation of the Healing in Harmony Program, a unique form of music therapy in partnership with the Canadian NGO Make Music Matter, Panzi Foundation USA and with support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. This innovative initiative implemented at Panzi’s after-care facility, Maison Dorcas, as well as at more remote sites in Mulamba and Beni with even more sites opening beyond the DRC in November, uses music to support psychosocial healing for survivors of sexual violence. The program moves beyond traditional music therapy techniques by treating each participant as a true artist and integrating songwriting, production and performance of music into the treatment pathway.

“We congratulate Dr. Denis Mukwege, the Panzi family, and the resilient women of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on receiving this year’s Nobel Peace Prize,” said Darcy Ataman, Founder and CEO of Make Music Matter. “It continues to be an honour to work alongside Dr. Mukwege as we use the healing power of music together to help the survivors of sexual violence.”

The goal of the Healing in Harmony music therapy program is to share the inspiring strength of the survivors through local and international dissemination via radio broadcasts and community concerts, and therefore embolden the greater holistic healing model envisioned by Dr. Denis Mukwege.

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(Photo credit: Platon. Singers participating in the Healing in Harmony programme)

This blog post was first published on the HIF/ELRHA blog.


Local songs with a global voice: Resilience through Music Therapy in Eastern Congo

By Frances Hill, Effective Partnerships Manager, Elrha, and mentor to the Healing in Harmony project through Elrha’s Journey to Scale initiative.

Few of us reading this blog will have any idea of the scale of violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to USAID 27% of all women have experience sexual violence in DRC. Much of this violence is sexual in nature but has ‘nothing to do with sex’, to quote Dr Denis Mukwege, Founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, with whom the HIF is working. At the Panzi Hospital women are physically reconstructed by the incredibly talented surgeons of which Dr Mukwege is a pioneer, and then psychotherapeutically ‘reconstructed’ at Maison Dorcas. The Healing in Harmony programme (HiH) the HIF is supporting, is a part of this process. It works with survivors of sexualised violence, through adapting expressive music therapy models where girls and women share their experiences and work through their trauma by writing songs and creating music. This is the only humanitarian programme known of globally that currently provides this enhanced music therapy.

Late last year I visited the DRC where I witnessed the extraordinary resilience of girls and women who had been subjected to the most horrific attacks. I spent time in many of the sessions that Make Music Matter and the Maison Dorcas team had worked on to enable these survivors to work through their experiences.

Having visited the same country 32 years ago – then known as Zaïre – I had been struck by the music – it was everywhere, rhythms falling out of every place we visited, and it was incredibly infectious. Discos with eggboxes plastered to the walls covered in tinfoil and women swaying in the most hypnotic way. I was therefore primed that music could work some way to heal the pain these women had experienced.

In the first session I sat in on the women were coming to the end of their therapy. They were vibrant, energetic and so musical. They were singing and dancing and appeared to embody resilience. What really struck me was how the Healing in Harmony model worked. After the end-of-therapy session, I observed a two hour session for those at the start of their journey. The girls and women walked uncertainly into the studio and sat down. Some tended to their babies, others were uncomfortably pregnant in the heat, some were still in pain from surgery, and others appeared disengaged.

After the warm up, Lead Psychotherapist, Justin, was asking the women to speak of their experiences. There were many silences but gradually they started to speak and as they did, others in the group appeared to identify with these experiences. This brought them together as a new group. More music was introduced, different rhythms – and the stories kept coming. Note books were handed out to encourage them to write down their feelings if they were not able to vocalise them.

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As the session progressed and more of the women started to vocalise their experiences, several that appeared strong at the start, bowed their heads and wiped their tears; those that appeared disengaged started to talk. All the time the music was playing in the background. Music Producer, Jojo, measuring the appropriate level, Justin listening to their experiences. It was extraordinary to watch.

It was a very different level of energy to that which I saw at the start of the session 2 hours previously. Most women were engaging with their neighbours. They had all come together in that short space of time, and through the use of music, empathy and collaboration the majority left smiling or laughing, with a more confident demeanour.

 

This project has demonstrated it is making a real difference to real people in a relatively short space of time, thanks to the talent, skills and commitment of those at Panzi, Maison Dorcas and Make Music Matter. Based on preliminary data from the pilot study, as of May 2018, over 1700 women have participated in the Healing in Harmony music therapy programme at Maison Dorcas and the aftercare facility at Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC with partners Panzi Foundation. After Healing in Harmony’s three month cycle, participants have been found to be twice as likely to have an improvement in their anxiety scores, with 80% more likely to have an improvement in their PTSD scores than women who did not participate in the programme. The programme is thoroughly committed to an evidence based approach to ensure the best possible care for the women it aims to help.

Further evidence of the programme’s success is also clear from the demand – there has been a threefold increase in those wishing to participate in the programme. This is remarkable, because to participate in psychotherapy programmes usually carries a stigma, however these women appear proud to participate and sing in front of hundreds of people which is having the beneficial effect of more women changing their health-seeking behaviour to undergo this element of their healing process.

Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (the HIF), with support from the Dutch MFA, has funded the Healing in Harmony project from its inception. The programme is now being scaled out; It is working in Mulamba very successfully, a hospital 2.5 hours out of Bukavu, reached by difficult roads and located in a highly volatile area. The programme has secured partnerships with World Vision DRC and IMA Health to bring the Healing in Harmony model out to other programmes working on psychotherapeutic healing elsewhere in the DRC.

The HiH model will be working in Beni, North Kivu with World Vision and in Katana, South Kivu with IMA Health as well as two other, yet to be identified, centres in South Kivu.

The appetite for this kind of therapy is gaining real traction and is testament not just to the Healing in Harmony model, but the Congolese/Zaïreois desire to let music work to build resilience for its people.

Thanks to a unique partnership with Warner Brothers Canada and Make Music Matter, that brings the women’s voices and their songs to the world, these songs are now available for download, with more due for release in August 2018:

https://va.lnk.to/kesho

https://va.lnk.to/MonEP


Thank you to Frances Hill, Effective Partnerships Manager, Elrha, and mentor to the Healing in Harmony project through Elrha’s Journey to Scale initiative, for sharing this blog post which was first published on the HIF/ELRHA blog.

Alongside partners at Panzi Foundation, we’re proud to present the first vlog from our Journey to Scale with ELRHA’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund and financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Our Healing in Harmony music therapy program for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence is reaching new communities throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo. Have a look at the video and find out more about the project.

Panzi Foundation Begins the Journey to Scale from Elrha on Vimeo.