“This programme has made me happy again” – Olena, choir participant
Over the last year, the Song Seeking Programme has invited people living in temporary accommodation to join singing groups as a way of integrating into Irish society.
“When people are singing in a group, they are automatically connected to one another. Music is a gateway to working with different communities because it is universal”, shares Jenny who leads the Song Seeking programme at Sing Ireland.
The Song Seeking programme has seen great success and has become an important factor for many of the participants to feel at home in their new country. The Song Seeking Programme choirs have had opportunities to sing with other community choirs and connect with local people that way.
“It has been amazing to see the mix of nationalities and generations. At one of our recent events, we had participants between 6 – 78 years old!”, says Jenny.
The programme is about singing, but also about letting people make connections with others, and instilling a sense of belonging.
“For our participants from Ukraine, it has also been a place where they can meet other fellow Ukrainians and sing the songs that they miss from their home country. It’s been quite emotional to see them connect over these songs and also to share their stories with one another”, says Jenny.
Jenny talks passionately about the programme and how it also has impacted her personally.
“I have felt so privileged working with these people. It has given me a greater understanding of the complexity of fleeing from war and coming to a new country, and how important it is for us as a country and organization to welcome them.”
The Song Seeking programme is run by Sing Ireland and is supported by Rethink Ireland through the Impact Fund for Munster.
“We are so thankful for all the people working at Rethink Ireland, The Song Seeking Programme wouldn’t have been possible without your support”, says Jenny.
Sing Ireland and Rethink Ireland were shortlisted for a 2023 Business to Arts Award in the category of Best Philanthropic Support to the Arts supported by the Arts Council for the Song Seeking programme.