The Jörg Wolff Foundation has been supporting musical education programmes in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Cameroon for many years. These efforts include the provision of musical instruments, such as blow-organs and keyboards as well as the funding of lessons.
The story of Moses Lamin, a priest in Sierra Leone, demonstrates compellingly how fostering musical education can make a valuable contribution to the improvement of lives in even the most devastated countries. In extreme cases, it may prove to be a lifesaver.
During the civil war in Sierra Leone, Moses Lamin, the priest, was caught between enemy front lines. The rebels accused him of having collaborated with the government troops.
Moses Lamin pleaded with them, claiming that as a priest and leader of a choir, he was a neutral party and the head of his parish. “Anyone can make such claims. If you cannot prove what you are saying, we will shoot you,” the rebels told him. In his despair, Moses unwrapped his blow-organ and played a hymn for them. As a result, the rebels allowed him to go on his way in peace.
Promotion of Young Musicians in Nigeria:
On account of the social situation and the problematic infrastructure, opportunities for musicians are very limited. Regulated processes and reliable continuity are unknown to most people. Fundamental requirements for a musical life such as musical instruments and music schools are a rarity.
With the resources provided by the Jörg Wolff Foundation, the choral work was able to be stabilised and improved. In seminars spread across several days, young participants from all different areas in Nigeria were trained as tutors and propagators for conducting schools. Along with learning how to read music, basic knowledge about songs and conducting techniques, the seminars imparted the important requirements for rehearsals.
A large and powerful choir has been established, which can sing even the most challenging of songs impressively well.