Project TIM (Together In Music)
World’s first project- TIM (together in music) to support mental health in migrant children
Introduction Migrant children of the world have always been ignored with respect to mental well being, nutrition and education. In Spite of the various challenges faced by the migrant children, very few organizations or government policies have seriously looked into finding solutions to their challenges. Another big difficulty is the lack of data to talk about this issue. Ilight global is one such organization which has been working with migrant children of India for the last 3 years. Various programs have been created to support the Mental Health of these children. Project TIM which means together in music has been particularly successful in providing not only joy and happiness to these children but also educational integration.
Project TIM project has been initiated by Dr Rajeev Nagpal and Tim Seston, a musician from Boston. In this project Tim reaches out to children with his free zoom sessions using his lyrics and music to support children in learning basic English education. Not only he shares music but also his personal life stories with children of india. His lyrics are carefully crafted to include rhyming words with colorful videos. He has trained two musicians in India Mr Karan Pardesi from Himachal Pradesh and Mr Das from Bengaluru to start in person free music classes to the underprivileged children. Mr Karan Pardesi has 35 children under his wing in the remote Mt Everest village of Himachal Pradesh. Mr Das has reached 25 students in Kolar gold fields who get his free guitar lessons. Tim also has introduced musicians from Canada and other colleagues from the USA to support his project.
Impact Initial difficulty of language has been overcome by using body language, online chatting and specially made videos. It has already encouraged many migrant children to look forward to engaging with Tim and understand melody by singing easy couplets. For example, join my band and watch graphic videos full of animation and color. Pooja who joined from kolkata was excited to give her introduction in english whereas Manas and Aarti from gurugram have learned the technique of online chatting during the class. Tim uses few hindi words and cultural context like festivals of India and the USA. As children shared the joy of diwali to him, he shared the context of halloween festival to them. Many volunteers like Rekha, Sudesh and Aryan chawla have assisted in translation of english to hindi and vice versa. Attendance has steadily grown with more than 20 participants in each session. Children are already excited to meet other musicians from Canada and the USA.
Future Project TIM has a great potential to reach other centers of Ilight global in Cambodia, Bangkok, Canada and other neighboring states in India or USA. As it is a free online program it just needs the support of musicians, community workers and guardians of migrant children. Although, much research needs to be done to see the full impact of Mental health advantages to these children- however it is very clear by looking at the energy and enthusiasm of these children that this project has already become a rage. Invitations to more musicians and teachers can create a sustainable and free project to integrate out of school children back to educational systems.