Monday 9 December 2019

'A form of therapy' - Charity giving music lessons to children in direct provision to help them fight trauma

St Vincent de Paul is providing music lessons for children in direct provision. Stock image
St Vincent de Paul is providing music lessons for children in direct provision. Stock image

Gabija Gataveckaite

Music lessons for children in direct provision can be a form of therapy to combat trauma they have experienced, according to St Vincent de Paul (SVP).

The charity provides music and choir lessons for children in direct provision centres in Kerry and Cork and says the lessons can have therapeutic benefits.

"We help kids in primary school with trips, as parents can't pay," said Paddy O'Flynn, vice-president for the charity in the south-west region.

"We also subsidise support for music and choir practice, as a few children find that music works as a form of therapy."

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As well as music lessons and school tours, a volunteer from the local conference or branch will meet the direct provision centre manager every few weeks to liaise with them over what is needed within the centre.

The charity works closely with 10 direct provision centres in the south-west of the country and provides help to 1,100 people, including about 200 families.

"We help with one-off expenses. For example, one centre needed musical instruments, lamps and blankets," Mr O'Flynn said.

The charity will also be setting up English lessons with volunteer teachers next year, to help with legal language and appeals.

To donate to the St Vincent de Paul annual Christmas Appeal visit www.svp.ie/donate or call 01 8848200 or donate locally.

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