Music in the mountains: creating sustainable therapy programs from short-term missions
This field report describes the experiences of a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) living, working, and musicking during a short-term health mission to Northern India. Using a sustainability approach, collaboration with several local and global health organisations resulted in the development of a therapeutic music program for children with disabilities.
Disability is a complex phenomenon, and in rural areas of India disability is viewed as a foundation for shame and exclusion. Community-based project Samvedna oversees the therapy, healthcare and education of over 100 children with a disability in remote villages, and is heavily involved in disability advocacy in the area.
Sustainable programs are more effective for individuals and communities in both the short and long term. RMTs and other health professionals can be instrumental in setting up sustainable programs, such as teaching specific skills and knowledge to local teams, provided there is thorough preparation and ongoing collaboration to determine the priorities and expectations of the program.
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