In the various stages of its evolution, Music for Hope International Federation (Fédération Internationale Musique Espérance - FIME) has always sought to put into practice the following fundamental principles through its actions:
- strengthening a culture of peace and nonviolence;
- developing artistic practice in discriminated places to reach better integration by rejecting any form of discrimination;
- putting an emphasis on children and youth;
- refusing poverty and destitution by working within integrated development programs and by stimulating North-South exchanges;
- undertaking concerted actions with other NGOs through a continued dialogue.
1) Music and Peace, a Treasure of Humanity: strengthening a culture of peace and nonviolence
- The Voice of the Speechless is a program conceived in 1991 by Music for Hope President-founder, Miguel Ángel Estrella, at the request of writer Jorge Semprun, then Minister of Culture in the Spanish government, for the 500th anniversary of 1492. The Voice of the Speechless aims at giving visibility to the various cultural regions - especially pre-Colombian - which served as a link between Latin American countries and the Caribbean.
This Music for Hope program was passed by UNESCO in 2004. In July 2005, UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsura, went to Argentina to present the first "Mostra of Mercosur" (Muestra Mercosureña) at the Buenos Aires Colón Theater.
Since this date, 18 Mostras have been presented. Performances also include Latin America's black population and popular expressions of music, dances and rituals. Numerous documentary films about these "Mostras" are regularly shown in Argentina and South American other countries.
Website (in Spanish):
- The Orchestra for Peace
In 1988, while on a tour in the Middle East, Miguel Ángel Estrella felt that musicians needed to go beyond fratricidal hatred through music. He worked for this project for ten years, and the Orchestra for Peace was born in 2002 thanks to his will and tenacity.
This orchestra gathers about forty young professional musicians from the Arab world and Israel with different backgrounds and nationalities. Essentially at the service of divided communities in the Middle East, the orchestra also opens up to all other communities. It performs in various places in France and abroad and plays all types of music: classical, traditional, contemporary.
Since its creation, the Orchestra for Peace has given more than thirty concerts (Belgium, France, Jordan, Luxembourg...) to share its message of peace and tolerance with the largest number of people.
- The Quartet for Peace was created in 2010 with members from the Orchestra for Peace. It performs more particularly in schools or universities for young audiences of schoolchildren, high school or university students. On these encounters, a musical discovery program is proposed: classical music, jazz, tango, oriental music. After the concert, some time is devoted for the musicians and the audience to exchange about "music serving solidarity and communication between people".
In France, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, four concerts gathered more than 400 schoolchildren and high school students in 2011/2012, and two other concerts are scheduled.
2) Artistic practice in discriminated places:
Wherever affiliate associations are present (Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland...), Music for Hope implements musical workshops and organizes musical encounters for solidarity to fight against any form of discrimination and to promote better integration.
3) Artistic practice in prisons:
Music for Hope has been active in prisons since 1984. In Argentina, Belgium, France, Portugal, concerts are organized to initiate a dialogue with prisoners. Thanks to the work done by Music for Hope volunteers, coordination actions have been launched on literacy, reading and artistic practice.
4) Training "social musicians":
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, following an agreement between the Escuela de Artes of University of Plata, The Mothers of the Plaza del Mayo's association and Music for Hope Argentina, a higher education diploma for "social musicians" has just been created. This three-year course is to provide music students with the social tools necessary to work in difficult places such as prisons, shanty towns, mental institutions.... Since June 2011, 80 students have been enrolled. Training takes place in the Center for Memory and Human Rights (a former illegal detention center under the dictatorship).
5) Cooperation and exchanges:
- With the association One Child, One Promise, a program has been set up to ensure the education of children in Palestinian refugee camps. Numerous concerts by Miguel Ángel Estrella, President of FIME, in United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Palestinian Territories, give life to this program created five years ago.
- Music for Hope participated in both Fraternity Cup events, organized in 2010 and 2011 in Paris by The Voice of Children. A hundred 11-to-13-year-old children from discriminated and conflicting places in America, Europe, Asia and Africa are given the opportunity to take part in sports and artistic events for a week.
6) "Musical Literacy" in partnership with other NGOs:
- In partnership with ATD Quart Monde, solidarity concerts are given by FIME President in discriminated districts, like in Poland in 2011, when profits went to the street libraries developed in those districts by the NGO.
- France Terre d'Asile and FIME President are developing a common project to create music workshops for young refugees. In these workshops, children will work on music from their home country as well as traditional French music. The objective is to preserve their culture and facilitate their integration into the host country.
In 2010, FIME and France Terre d'Asile were jointly awarded an Honourable Mention of the UNESCO / BILBAO Prize for their common work on the "Music, a bridge between here and there" project.