WHO WE ARE
The Liberian Youth Orchestra is a registered 501c(3) nonprofit organization that exists to teach and equip
students in string music education, to provide spiritual mentorship, and to share the hope of the Gospel.
The vision for the Liberian Youth Orchestra is to see Liberian children from every county learning these instruments, gaining
confidence in their skills, and being given new opportunities for careers in the musical field.
The Reality For Youth In Liberia...
The Liberian Youth Orchestra is currently the only String Program here in the nation of Liberia. More than 2 million children under the age of 18 live in Liberia. Similar to other post-conflict countries, the after-effects of the years of civil war are still being felt to this day. During the conflict, schools were destroyed, families relocated, teachers became refugees in other countries or were killed in the war. As a result, only 41% of school age children attend school. Additionally, the recent Ebola crisis, which closed schools for an entire school year, has also contributed to many students being behind in their education. A 2015 study showed that 82% of twelfth graders drop out of school. We want to do our part to change this reality for the youth of Liberia.
WHAT WE DO
Students are taught music education with an emphasis on the violin or cello. Our Director, Julie McGhee travels to Liberia 3-4 times a year spending an average of 3 weeks at a time in-person with the students. In between the in-person classroom instruction, Julie teaches students daily via Distance Learning technology. This method has proven to be successful and is the first program of its kind in Liberia.
The Liberian Youth Orchestra project encourages students to stay in school by:
providing strong mentorship
providing a meal for each student before orchestra class (for some, it is the only meal they will have all day)
providing opportunities to develop leadership skills
providing an environment of excellence in music
providing a community of support.