CAMEROON: Youth benefit from music education
Don Bosco Youth Center offers music program for 80 youth
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Youth Center, located in the Nkol’Afeme community in Yaoundé, Cameroon, offers programs for youth in the region. Due to instability in the western part of the country, the population near the center has grown considerably through migration. As a result, the center provides programs for 400 to 500 youth each weekend. The center is a place where youth can access a positive environment that supports spiritual, intellectual and social growth.
The center offers sports including soccer, basketball and volleyball. There are music lessons for piano, guitar, drums and brass band instruments. Youth can also take programs in dance and art, and play board games.
Salesians have noted that even though music is a focus, there is a lack of instruments for youth who take part in the program. There is also a need for musical training so students can learn how to play a broad range of musical instruments. There are about 80 youth currently involved in music at the center who are supervised by a team of five staff members.
One Salesian noted the many benefits of music. “It stimulates the brain and increases the capacity of the memory, as well as sharpens concentration. It has also been shown that learning an instrument helps to develop mathematical ability, due to the need to calculate note lengths and rhythms as you play. Reading and comprehension skills can also be improved by learning to read music.”
He added, “Music can help people enhance their social skills and develop new friendships. Being a member of an orchestra or band, or even doing a duet with just one other person, provides opportunities to improve team skills, as the musicians need to listen to each other and work together.”
More than 30% of Cameroon’s population lives below the poverty line and human development indicators remain low, according to the World Food Programme. Poverty is the highest in the Far North, North, Adamawa and East regions. In northern regions, people are often affected by natural disasters and below-average harvests which contribute to a continuing cycle of poverty and hunger.
Salesian missionaries in Cameroon provide education and social development services to poor youth so they are able to gain the training needed to find and retain long-term employment. They in turn are able to give back to their families and communities.
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