Refugee Children Play Music for Integration

As a prelude to World Refugee Day in Sweden, UNHCR organized a pop-up philharmonic concert for passers-by in central Stockholm. The concert was performed by child refugees and asylum-seekers from El Sistema Sweden Dream Orchestra.

Refugee and asylum-seeking children perform a pop-up philharmonic concert in central Stockholm on the occasion of World Refugee Day. Photo: © UNHCR/Caroline Bach

Refugee and asylum-seeking children perform a pop-up philharmonic concert in central Stockholm. Ron Davis Alvarez from Venezuela is their artistic leader. Photo: © UNHCR/Caroline Bach

 

On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2017, UNHCR Northern Europe organized a pop-up philharmonic concert for passers-by in central Stockholm. The concert was performed by refugee and asylum seeking children from El Sistema Sweden Dream Orchestra in Gothenburg.

Refugee and asylum-seeking children play a philharmonic concert on Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: © UNHCR/Caroline Bach

 

El Sistema is a global organisation from Venezuela that works with vulnerable children and music – in Gothenburg they have formed the Dream Orchestra, and focus on working with newly arrived asylum seeking and refugee children. The El Sistema model uses music as a tool for development – and for the children in the dream orchestra it has become a way for the children to integrate into the Swedish society. The children in El Sistema Dream Orchestra are from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sweden and Albania, and most of them had never played an instrument before joining the band.

Ameer, 15, came to Sweden as a refugee from Syria – he plays the trumpet with El Sistema Dream Orchestra. Photo: © UNHCR/Caroline Bach

 

Fatima came to Sweden from Afghanistan 1.5 years ago as an unaccompanied asylum seeker. “In my country, I never played music before. When I started playing, my life changed. I never knew how much music would affect my life.” she said. She now plays the violin in the Dream Orchestra and believes that the experience of being part of the group has been key to improving her Swedish skills and her social life in Sweden. “We play in a group. We practice together, we study together. We are happy together, we are sad together. We are like a family.” she said.

Fatima Moradi came to Sweden from Afghanistan 1.5 years ago. She is already fluent in Swedish. Photo: © UNHCR/Caroline Bach

 

Watch the video from the event on Sergels Torg below: