Amani Project supports local organizations around the world to provide opportunities for young people to embrace music-making and social and emotional learning as a way to explore emotional health, connectedness, and community engagement.
We build robust programming that is adaptable for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and their communities. We do this by focusing on Creative Youth Development (CYD) while also weaving together the expertise of local stakeholders across profession, role, gender, and age. We continue to build capacity with our partners and community members to ensure the longevity of our collective impact.
We believe the combined power of music-making and emotional learning has the ability to help young people understand and effectively communicate their emotions, and develop the resilience and the skills needed to become action-takers and decision-makers in their communities.
A world where young people use music to amplify the power of their emotions to feel connected with one another. Amani means “Harmony” in Swahili; and while that is a musical term, we also think about harmony as what it can be like to live in a community where everyone has access to what they need to thrive.
Alongside our partners, we trust, celebrate, and amplify the voices and experiences of our partner communities.
Amani Project promotes a strengths-based approach by focusing on the resourcefulness and resilience of individuals and communities.
We believe locally-led organizations are the experts on how to make the strongest impact in their communities and that they hold the solutions to challenges they are facing. This also means understanding that local artists know how to connect with audiences and that every community makes music in a way that is unique to their own experiences.
We understand that people within communities hold many different experiences and perspectives and that communities are not defined by a single narrative.
We honor the complexity and richness of each community’s past and present.
We honor all participants, regardless of musical competence or prior exposure to emotional intelligence programs.
We encourage and value all musical and emotional growth. Participant growth is based on the group or individual’s willingness to enter the shared musical and emotional space and move creatively within it.
Build on evidence
Where possible, we use data to inform and validate decisions always prioritizing local needs and challenges.
We will add to the growing body of Creative Youth Development literature discussing the combined power and role of expressive arts and emotional intelligence in youth development.
Making music as a part of a group is a proven way of building connections among people.
Bringing together participants from across social groups to explore new ideas and learn about challenges others are facing by creating art and music is a core part of social and emotional health.
Goal 1: Young people with stronger resilience
The ability to effectively manage and express emotions when facing adversity is an important indicator of resilience, which is at the core of developing and navigating healthy relationships and social dynamics at every stage of life.
Goal 2: Young people with a greater sense of belonging in their communities
When people feel a sense of belonging within a community or peer group, they are increasingly likely to experience more positive health, wellness, and self-esteem outcomes. In addition, young people who feel they belong can be more inclined to participate and take action within their community.
Goal 3: Young people active in promoting equity in their communities.
Making music together creates a space to develop trust, explore emotions, and discover connections with others. In this space, empathy can grow. When young people are more resilient, connected, and empathetic, they are more likely to advocate for a community where everyone has access to what is needed to thrive.
Goal 4: A program driven by young people
As participants progress through the self-directed curriculum, they shape their own experience, practice mentoring others, and take greater responsibility for ensuring the ongoing success of the program. After graduating, they have the opportunity to become mentors for younger participants. This cyclical engagement encourages the development of critical life-skills while ensuring the program is continuously guided by young people.
Goal 5: Our partners become the lead operators
Working with community-based organizations (CBOs), we are striving to invest in a network of CBOs and mentors who can operate programs independently and enhance the dynamic work already taking place in local communities.