The Right to Play

Tuesday, day 23

Today Marqy and I got to work on preparing the information letter for the schools about our project. I wrote it in English, and he translated it into Tetum. Here’s an extract:

Arte Moris Afalyca, in partnership with Many Hands International, are developing a children’s music project for the dates 7-11 December as part of the International Human Rights Day celebrations, and we would like to invite ten children from your school to take part.

The children will be involved in making instruments, writing songs, and learning and inventing their own music. Workshops will take place over four consecutive days, culminating in a public performance that will be open to everyone. The project, The Right to Play, will be led by visiting international musician and educator Gillian Howell, and will explore themes of human rights, and children’s rights in particular.

The project is for children aged between 9 and 13 years of age. We would be grateful if you could choose ten children from your school who particularly enjoy music and arts learning. They will develop skills in listening, sharing, inventing and problem-solving, collaborating, and performing.

We also checked out some possible venues, and chose this one, known as Campo Alegria, in the local Catholic Primary School.

The priest there was very helpful. He let us know that the date we had set for the first day of the project is actually a Catholic feast day, so it would be better not to work on that day.

My last job for the evening was to get the information letters printed out which I did with Mana Lorensa’s help up at the local Uma Media (Media House). Mana Lorensa and I celebrated a full day’s work by having dinner at a local restaurant that she’d had mixed reports of, but that I’d heard good things about from Marqy. We went there and not only was the food great (we enjoyed an excellent meal of spicy baked fish with salad, chips and vegetables) but Mana Lorensa discovered that the proprietor was a woman she already knew. She had started up this restaurant business in the last year, and they were both happy to see each other again.


2 comments so far

  1. Ros on

    Gillian, your writings about your work in East Timor are profoundly moving. Your work combines the very best of educational outcomes – creativity, involvement of kids, practical music-making and more!

    We would love to have an article about this work in the April/May newsletter of ISME (the International Society for Music Education). Music educators around the world will be so inspired by what you are, already, achieving. Can’t wait to hear about the latest projects!

    • musicwork on

      Hi Ros, of course I would love to write something for you, and I’m flattered to be invited! I’ll contact you directly to find out more about the timeline.

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