Each year, our International Sponsorship Fund provides financial assistance to a range of organisations outside the UK and Ireland that provide musical training, performance or teacher development opportunities. We'll soon be announcing the recipients of the 2019 International Sponsorship Fund. Before that, we look back at one of the organisations we supported last year.
Early in 2018, we awarded one of our grants to the Santa Maria Foundation in Colombia, a charity that works with orphaned girls with the aim of giving them a new start in life. The foundation currently supports the personal development of 165 girls aged 5 to 16, and its music education programme has a central part to play. The programme has two sides: giving the girls musical skills and introducing them to classical music – with all the benefits and enjoyment that brings – and also helping them to deal with any emotional problems and gain new aspirations, self-confidence and a sense of belonging.ABRSM’s grant supported the programme, which sees girls learning to play the violin, cello, viola, double bass, flute or piano and taking part in ensemble, orchestra and choir sessions, as well as performing in regular concerts. Our funding also meant that the foundation could invest in additional training for the music teachers who make all of this possible. It’s been amazing to receive some wonderful personal feedback from the girls involved with the foundation. We were even sent a hand-painted picture as a 'thank you', which you can see here with members of the International Sponsorship Fund team at our London office.One letter came from Laura, who's been living at the Santa Maria Foundation home for a few years. She writes: "I’m very happy because during this time I have learned a lot about myself … not just how to play the violin but also how to feel and understand it with my mind and heart. I feel more secure and confident in myself. Thank you to ABRSM for your support to our Santa Maria family."We’re delighted that music is making such a difference to the lives of these young people and that we’ve been able to play a small part in making this happen.
Find out more about our International Sponsorship Fund.