Musequality World Busk Helps Rebuild Schools in Haiti

Musicians take to streets to raise money for music projects

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The second Musequality World Busk will take place from 7 to 13 June, 2010 when musicians throughout the world will take to the streets to raise money for music projects in developing countries. Musicians in North, Central and South America will raise $50,000 to help reconstruct music schools in Haiti destroyed by the country’s worst earthquake for 200 years.

The devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January killed more than 200,000 people and left an estimated 1.2 million homeless. In Léogâne, close to the epicentre, 90% of all buildings were destroyed, while in Port au Prince, the shock reduced homes, hospitals, schools and government buildings to rubble. Before the quake, Haiti had a flourishing music education system but the Holy Trinity Music School, Haiti's premier conservatoire, was among several music schools destroyed in what was already the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Tragically, some teachers and students died and those who survived now need help to rebuild their schools.

All contributions to Musequality’s US donations site between 1 May and 31 July will go towards the rebuilding programme. The first $50,000 will be shared between Instrumental Change and the Holy Trinity Music School reconstruction fund. “Should we raise more than $50,000 Musequality will establish a team to ensure that the extra money is used in the most effective manner,” said violinist David Juritz, who who launched Musequality in 2007 by busking around the world.

The first Musequality World Busk in 2009 raised nearly £15,000 and involved musicians on every continent including Antarctica. On Sunday 14 June, 483 musicians around the globe struck up at 12 noon local time to set a record for the largest co-ordinated busk the world as ever seen..

“As well as raising a substantial amount of money, the World Busk is enormous fun,” said Juritz. “This year we are asking musicians throughout the Americas to help rebuild and restore music schools in Haiti. It’s a cause we’re passionately committed to and we’re confident of their generous effort and support”

Participants elsewhere will be raising money to support Musequality’s other projects in the developing world such as the Elgon Youth Brass Band in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, which cares for 60 orphaned children. “Just over a year ago a young man sent us an application for funding. Fredrick Kyewalyanga was determined to set up a group and had clearly thought through how he was going to go about it. He couldn’t afford to post the letter but found someone to deliver it to us by hand,” said Juritz. Thanks to Frederick’s effort and support from one of London’s livery companies, the Girdlers’ Company, “we have been able to buy instruments for the Elgon Youth Brass Band, find a home for the band, buy bunk beds and mattresses, pay teachers’ salaries and provide food.”

Juritz added: “Music not only unites the world, crossing cultures and divides, but also creates opportunities around the world. Our main aim is not to produce professional musicians, but young people with the self-confidence and ambition to become the scientists, teachers, doctors and community leaders who will help shape their own societies’ future. We believe that, particularly in troubled communities, where power is all too often achieved through coercion and exploitation, music education offers a powerful alternative philosophy of leadership through responsibility and sharing. While the educational benefits of music education are well demonstrated by many studies, research on the social benefits of childhood involvement in music programmes shows equally striking results. And that’s why we believe that funding music education is a great investment in the futures both of children and of communities.

“We’ve launched this annual world busk specifically to raise funds to expand our existing communal music-making projects and to set up new projects for disadvantaged children in developing countries. We are not asking anyone to give more than they can afford. But if they can toss a coin or two into a Musequality busker’s music case, and listen for a few moments, they will be helping us turn round the lives of children who might otherwise only ever be seen as a problem. If you can’t donate to a busker, of if you would like your donation to go further by Gift Aiding it in the UK, please donate at

May 31, 2010