AIDs, armed conflict, poverty and other causes have resulted in hundreds of millions of orphaned and neglected children around the world. According to UNICEF, there are approximately 163 million orphaned children globally and hundreds of millions of children living on the streets.
In Zimbabwe alone, a country of 12.75 million people, almost a million children have lost one or both parents to AIDs. In Iraq, 5 million children have been left without parents. In Afghanistan, 2 million children are orphans and over 600,000 children sleep on the streets. In the United States, there are 1.7 million homeless teens and over 400,000 children live in foster care - 60,000 of that population live in institutions or group homes.
Many children who grow up as orphans or are living on the streets are vulnerable to violence, malnutrition, alcohol and drugs, criminal activity, extremism and labor and sex trafficking. They suffer emotional, psychological, economic and social consequences that have negative effects throughout the course of their lives
In many countries, these children are isolated from and invisible to the rest of society. They are part of the marginalized population that is overlooked or unreached by many education and employment opportunities. They have little or no access to technology and the Internet, which puts them at a greater disadvantage as the world continues to embrace technology as a primary tool for communication. They are voiceless in their local communities as well as in the growing global conversation taking place through social media and technology.
HEARME believes that the best people to help the hundreds of millions of disadvantaged youth in our world are the youth themselves.
HEARME is creating an international music creation network with music studios around the globe.
We provide computers, music software, instruction in music creation,
and an online collaborative studio and classroom to provide instruction, connect the students to their worldwide network.
The HEARME Hub is a physical studio made from ecological and recycled materials where young artists learn to write, produce and distribute their own music.
HEARME uses a combination of computer-based classes and local teachers to provide classes in music creation and indigenous music,
and give the young artists inspiration and support.
The online collaborative studio – the “HEARME Collaboration Station” - allows young artists in HEARME Hubs around the world to collaborate with each other and with professional musicians to produce music.
During filming of "The Imagine Project" (make this a link to the About Us page) we saw such clear evidence of the transformative power of having access to these tools for expression: a child who was acting violently toward other children and was to be sent to a children’s prison began creating tracks and became calm and collaborative; children in Iraq whose parents had been killed in front of them hugging each other in pride and joy in awe of their own voices; the children of Puerto Rico crying alongside their teachers while watching the video that we all had created, knowing they were being heard so far away.
As a result of this experience, HEARME is dedicated to bringing the power of sharing music to orphans around the world.
HEARME’s mission is to provide orphaned, homeless, and disadvantaged young people the opportunity to develop a powerful international community through music creation. Through iPads placed in youth facilities worldwide and an online collaborative music network, these neglected children will be empowered by their creative voices and their collaboration with others. They will be able to rise out of their isolation and enhance their futures with transferable skills, expanded awareness of their world, and the acknowledgement that their creative voice matters.