VPA’s Drumming for Peace Project gets boost with donation from MultiCare Youth Foundation
The MultiCare Youth Foundation has donated 15 drums to the Violence Prevention Alliance’s (VPA) Drumming for Peace Project.
The donation was made recently at the offices of The MultiCare Youth Foundation on Harbour Street in Kingston.
Alicia Glasgow Gentles, executive director of The MultiCare Youth Foundation, said the donation was in support of the VPA’s critical work in providing drumming therapy to marginalised young Jamaicans.
“The drums are assets from our legacy programme in music, and we are happy that they will continue to benefit children and youth, as we believe that the arts serve as important catalysts for positive change in our society,” she said.
Dr Elizabeth Ward, chair of the VPA, expressed gratitude for receiving the drums and said that the donation will assist in the expansion of the project.
“The drums you provided will not only serve as a source of joy and inspiration, but also to bring people together. Your contribution has enriched our programmes and activities, allowing us to create a more vibrant and inclusive environment especially for educational target institutions,” she said.
“It is through the generosity of individuals and organisations like yours that we can continue our mission and make a positive difference in the lives of those in need. Your commitment to fostering creativity and community is truly commendable, and we are honoured to have you as a partner in our efforts,” she added.
The project, which is being funded by the American Friends of Jamaica and the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation, entailed building on the existing methodology of the Drum Therapy Project, currently ongoing in schools, community groups and childcare facilities.
Since 2020, the Drum Therapy Project has been piloted in six child-care facilities, under the mandate of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA). The intervention has expanded to cover an additional seven in 2021. The reach has expanded to 22 institutions since the inception to incorporate into their programming.
With the observed impact of the intervention, it allowed partnering organisations to reach further. CPFSA identified nine other institutions where caregivers are currently being trained, and the Rose Town Foundation expressed interest in the methodology, facilitated by VPA, and has incorporated the same into their educational programmes.
Ward said that research has shown that drumming boosts the immune system. In addition, specific studies conducted by professionals in the fields of music therapy and mental health show that drumming reduces tension, anxiety, and stress.
As preliminary study of music therapy on COVID-19 patients in Italy found that this form of intervention produced dopamine, which induced pleasure, relaxation, lowered stress levels, and reduced overall distress. In children, they found it improved their overall mood, performance, attention, and concentration.