Music project Lesbos

In Camp Moria,  on the Greek island of Lesbos, people from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories and Congo wait to begin a new future. Since 2015 this is where asylum seekers have been identified and registered.

Music project Lesbos

Akram – Refugee from Afghanistan:
I worked in the media, my job was my dream.
One day, there was a big surprise attack on our office.
That was very dangerous. 
Some people, they don’t want us to work.
To share what’s going on to the world.
They are Taliban.
Because they said: "you are a pagan, you are a devil, you are not good for Islam.”

Music teacher:
Are you ready? 

Music students:

Music teacher:
Perfect, perfect.
One, two, three, four.

*People are playing traditional music on guitar*

Akram – Refugee from Afghanistan:
For the first time since I crossed the border, I heard the guitar.
Oh my god, there is a guitar? I’m really excited, I want to see the guitar.
That was my dream, I want to play guitar, but I can’t, I couldn’t.

Adriaan Kok – founder Connect by Music: 
The idea to bring a music school to refugees in Greece just came out of the blue 
and we took action.
We took the plane two weeks later, going to Lesbos and permission was granted and I think two-three months after that moment we were up and running.

Screen text: Lesbos counts more than 11,000 refugees. 
Akram is one of them, since early spring. 
The 22-year young Afghan left everything and everybody behind… 

Akram – Refugee from Afghanistan:
When I went to see my mom, she hugged me and said: “okay, you do what you want, 
just be careful, god bless you.”
When I saw the water and the waves, very high waves, that was very dangerous for us and when I saw the face of the women and children I was really crying.
I said to myself we are not alone.
Don’t think about yourself, they are also here.
You have to be patient; you have to tell them not to worry and to calm down.
We will cross these waves.
It is not a nice place, sometimes, some people, some nationalities fight each other.
For what? 
For food.
For what? Because someone looks a specific way at them.
This is the reason.

*People are playing music on the guitar.*
People are playing guitar by the beach. 

Screen text: What started as a project to give refugees something to do, has turned into much more than that.
As founder Adriaan Kok learned from a young woman. 

Adriaan Kok – founder Connect by Music: 
She showed her arms and her arms, on the outside, were full of scars.
Showing self-harm, auto mutilation and the inside of her arms were also full of scars showing that she tried to commit suicide.
And what she told us, smiling, she told us: “I feel so good and it is because I joined 
this music program and it make me feel at ease.
I don’t experience my depression that strongly anymore.”

*People are playing music on the guitar.*

Screen text: Connect by Music has renewed its program: with a conservatory music therapist and neuro psychologist. 
The seven music schools on Lesbos – in which 2600 refugees participated – give concerts inside and outside the camps. 

people are taking the bus to the music school. 

*children cheering*

Music teacher:
We’re here just to show to you that music connects.

*People are playing music on the guitar and singing with the crowd.*

The crowd is watching the students perform. 

Akram – Refugee from Afghanistan:
Tonight was perfect, it was amazing.
I don’t know how to explain it, how to explain my feelings.
This was amazing for me.

*People are playing music on the guitar.*

The crowd is having a great time. 

Logo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands appears on screen. 

Screen text: The International Conference on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Crisis Situations will be hosted by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs and takes place on October 7&8 in Amsterdam.
Most of the pictures in this video are from the documentary “Vluchten in Muziek”.
Produced by the Dutch broadcaster “Omroep Max”.
We are grateful for their permission to use these images.
Screen fades to black and video is finished.