Orchestras of the Americas for Social Inclusion-Organization of American States
The OAS Orchestra Program in the Caribbean, also known as OASIS Caribbean, is geared towards contributing to the reduction of risk factors that result in violent behavior among youths.
The Program redirects children and youths’ spare time to an activity that takes advantage of their inherent strengths and talents via a systematic orchestral and choral training program.
Music has the power to empower and transform. This is the rationale behind the Marchand Youth Orchestra initiative, the result of a partnership between the St Lucia Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Social Transformation and the Saint Lucia School of Music. The programme, managed by the Saint Lucia School of Music was launched in 2009 with the support of The Saint Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (LUCELEC) who have pledged a three year commitment to the initiative. The objective of the programme is to enlist young people who are at risk for delinquency and to channel their energies into the study and performance of music in accordance with the mission of the OAS OASIS. The Youth Orchestra Project has been met with acclaim in Saint Lucia, as well as in Haiti and Jamaica where similar programmes have been implemented. Music education is a proven tool in countering youth violence and in reducing school drop-out rates but what is even more rewarding is the programme’s role in drawing out latent talents, and generating a sense of pride and ownership in its participants with positive ripple effects throughout the community.