Music brings creative freedom to the Kinsale Road centre

Music brings creative freedom to the Kinsale Road centre

Norbert Nkengurutse from Burundi performing with a donated guitar. Picture: Mustak Ahmed

A YEAR after Roos Demol and her friend Norbert Nkenguruste came up with the idea of getting instruments for those in direct provision, the project has brought joy to many in the Kinsale Road centre.

They are now planning an afternoon of musical celebration at the Bull McCabes bar.

Roos Demol, a musician who has spent a lot of time working with asylum seekers, thought bringing music into their lives would be a way to help those stuck in direct provision centres.

“When you are with your instrument it is likely you have a relationship with it and you forget all the rest, so I thought it would be good for them,” she said.

“We started on Facebook looking for guitars and then we had guitar teachers offering to give us free lessons. It was really nice.

“Since then we have collected about 13 guitars, three keyboards, some drums and a flute. We have one teacher who comes every week and other teachers come during the summer.”

She said the project has had a real impact on the lives of those who have gotten involved.

“It is really successful and it is so nice to see people take the guitars in their room and practise,” she said.

“There was one man there who wouldn’t speak to anyone, he was really depressed. He took one of the keyboards and after a while, he came to the lessons. Then he just started talking, everyone was shocked! It is strange what an effect it can have.”

Roos and her friend Norbert, who is from Burundi and lives in the Kinsale Road centre, hope that the Bull McCabe event, which takes place on Sunday, August 5, from 3pm, will bring more attention to their work.

“We want to raise to do repairs on the guitars we get, buy new strings, etc,” Roos said. “We also want to raise awareness of the project, people can bring guitars if they have one lying around at home. We will have music from Russia, Ethiopia, Ukraine and other places.”

If the event is a success they would also like to help Norbert’s home country. “Burundi is in a bad state, with a lot of street children,” Roos said. “At Christmas, we raised some funds and sent them over. If we get enough, we would like to do more for the children”

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