SMF in Kosovo by BYUH Intern Amanda

August 29, 2012 | By wickley wickley

Children in singing class at SMF house

Youth Volunteers doing singing activity with students

Nightly Youth Volunteer Training

Children in Singing Class at SMF House

August 13-17

This week I have been reflecting on the program and what it is and how it really helps..

One thing I am seeing is how the program helps the kids with their confidence. For instance, we have been teaching

the kids a Maori (New Zealand) song with hand movements. After teaching the words and the tune, we pair volunteers with kids and do a clapping routine to the song. This week we practiced it all at the same time, and then had each pair get up in front of the class and show what they learned. Some do it fast or slow, but we encourage them all and cheer when they finish.

Confidence through music; being able to learn songs, read music, play instruments, answering questions in class, and even simply making connections with other kids and the youth volunteers who show they care about them.

The other thing that stood out to me was the structure of the program. The kids start out as students and progress through the notes and learning an instrument, and when they are old enough they can become a youth volunteer and teach other kids just as they were taught before.

Teaching a man how to fish is great, but teaching a man how to teach another man to fish is even better! That is exactly how this program is able to reach so many kids and it doesn’t matter where the original teacher is, because this program is self-sustaining in being able to teach the kids. (funding is the only part that would hold it back)

One last thought.. I love the smiles of these kids, some of them smile no matter what; this is one thing I want to remember and learn from them.