08/29/08

“Drumming Helps You Find Your Hope”

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Last November, 2007, Rex Foundation funded music therapist Christine Stevens of UpBeat Drum Circles in a pioneering program to bring drum circles to northern Iraq for conflict-resolution, peace-making, youth empowerment, and rehabilitation (Drums for Peace). During the five-day training, thirty-eight participants from seven governances across Iraq, speaking Arabic and Kurdish, came together and made music. Speaking the universal language, these individuals who could be enemies became a powerful community, sharing their hearts and souls through the rhythms of the drum.

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Outcomes of surveys taken before and after the training program indicated the following phenomenal results;

92% overall satisfaction rating for the five-day training program
80% level of skill in drum circle leadership after training program.

“The ripple effect has been powerful. Weeks after the training program, individuals trained in drum circle facilitation began programs in orphanages, rehabilitation centers, activity centers, universities, and women’s prisons. One year later, based on the success of the drum circles, Kurdistan Save the Children invited Stevens’ team to return and help extend the drum circles to all seven Youth Activity Centers across northern Iraq. The return trip is scheduled for October, 2008. Drum circles will offer positive creative activities to prevent youth from recruitment into terrorist groups.” – Christine Stevens