I was really pleased this week to learn of the efforts of two years fundraising work by members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. has resulted in unwanted percussion instruments being sent to schools and youth groups in Patagonia.
The Patagonia Instrument Project has been granted the right by the Argentine Consulate and foreign ministry to send its collection of donated musical instruments to Patagonia. The instruments left Cardiff on Friday 9th and will arrive in Puerto Madryn in April. The Education ministry in Chubut will distribute them across the region.
The charity was formed in 2016, on the back of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’ tour of the Chubut region of Patagonia in 2015 celebrating the 150th anniversary of Y Waldfa, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. The charity is run independently from the BBC, obvs.
The hope is that the musical instruments will help support music education and appreciation amongst staff and pupils in Patagonia.
I really like the idea behind the charity. There’s a pleasingly reassuring aspect to it – the idea that this is a charitable endeavour, with direct action and a tangible outcome. Importantly, connecting up with communities and contributing something which is both meaningful and lasting.
It also reminds me of one of the points that was made at the ABO Conference a while back. Specifically how there are a growing number of opportunities like this for Wales to reach out directly with people and organisations outside of the usual territories, and how valuable it to promote the Wales brand now and in a post-Brexit world.
More information is available via the Patagonia Instrument Project website.