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Pajaritos Urbanos / Urban Birds

Harmonic alternatives for the begging 

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Back to music Equinox, the Peacekeeper


The Project:

Handing out harmonicas to people who are begging on the streets of Bogotá (Colombia), providing them with the means and knowledge to contribute some beauty. 

 In this picture: Fernando, playing his new instrument (to see more pictures and videos of the ones who recieved a harmonica look in the blog below)

The Idea:

Changing the way of earning an income from begging for money to playing music. This is an advantage for both the person begging and the passer-by. The person playing will most likely gain more money than he did begging. More importantly though: he gains in self-respect. Self-respect and respect from the other because now, instead of just asking for money without returning anything, he's working for pay, contributing to society and trading mere survival for creation. The passer-by will get something in return for the money he gives and city-life becomes a little more sweet when there's a harmonious melody breaking through the smog. 



Practical Workings and Further Development:

The project has just started. It gained form in March 2010 and is now put into action. Practically it works like this: I find people begging on the streets of Bogotá and talk to them to see if they are interested in changing their way of earning a living. If they appear sincere in their readiness to learn the harmonica and using it to improve their life (and not to trade it for beer or crack), I hand them the instrument and teach them some basic skills on the spot. Also I'm creating little starter's manuals, so the new musician can find his initial way with the harmonica and learn from there. I also keep in contact with them to see how it's working and to evaluate the results (money-wise and happiness-wise). The project will expand and encompass more activities in the future. Other cheap and not too difficult instruments such as the pan flute (zampoña), jew's harp etc will be handed out. 


These are the harmonicas currently used for the project. They sound decent, are good as beginner's harmonicas and only cost 13.000 Pesos in the local store.


Donate a Harmonica:

The donation of 5,5 Euro (= 13.000 Col. Pesos / 6,7 US Dollars + 0,50 euro paypal costs) will go entirely to the purchase of a harmonica which will be donated to a person begging on the streets of Bogotá. With every harmonica donated a picture will be posted in the blog bellow of the person who recieved it, so donators will get to know the aspiring new musician they just helped.

people who have paypal use this button:

For people without paypall:

send a mail with as subject 'donate harmonica' to urbanbirds@equinoxthepeacekeeper.be and we'll send back the details for donation.


View pictureblog of persons who recieved a harmonica







back to my music: http://www.equinoxthepeacekeeper.be



...music to remind the passer-by of the possibility of beauty: the flower breaking through the concrete, the bird singing above traffic noise.

Music quenches the soul’s thirst. Nothing more effective to colour the greyness of strenuous city-life than music to uplift the spirit...

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