El Sistema-Blossom Hill Orchestra
Dimitra Raftopoulou (Greece)
When Dimitra Raftopoulou witnessed first hand the neglect and loneliness of the refugees living in Greece, she knew she had to address it. As a manager of El Sistema Greece, an educational program that uses music for social change, Dimitra is now opening a beginner’s orchestra to promote the social inclusion of refugee children in Greek/European society. By teaching them music, they are not only inspired to strive for a better future, but music provides the platform for dialogue and togetherness across diverse communities.
“I feel good when I go to the concert. Now I am here for the concert and it’s good. When I sing, I feel better. I feel like something .. eeh, nice!”
“I like the music, I like the violin, the piano. I like many many… singing!! Yeah, I learn English, I learn many languages with the music”.
"I am so happy that I cannot sleep."
We fund programs, projects and products that aim to positively impact the lives of communities (children, youth, families, etc.) affected by conflict and war in the Middle East.
Refugee children live under unusual and difficult conditions with little or no access to technology that can improve their lives. With our innovative programs, we are reaching a wide range of children with groundbreaking technology that teach them literacy skills and improve their access to higher education.
Millions of refugee children are missing out on an education. Without an opportunity to learn, they risk becoming a lost generation with little chance for a better future. Through sustainable programs, our Fellows are working to ensure refugees can learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in life.
The development of the "whole child" from early childhood through adolescence is critical to long-term development and success of all children. Blossom Hill is committed to providing innovative initiatives for refugee children that will not only prepare them for learning and academic success, but empower them with life skills as they continue to live under difficult conditions.
For refugee youth whose education has been interrupted and ability to earn a livelihood undermined by war and conflict, the future is bleak. We are dedicated to empowering these youth to break from the cycle of poverty by offering innovative vocational training in computer skills, business entrepreneurship and language instruction.