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Bortopra Talanta Academy

After being forced to flee his home country of Congo, Eric Museveni sought refuge in Kenya where he was able to find a stable job in construction and build a new life in his host country. He quickly realized that the intense labor of being a construction worker was not something he enjoyed, so he decided to follow his passion: music. Even though he had never take formal music lessons, Eric got a job singing in a church choir in Kenya and improved rapidly. However, the wages from singing was not enough to keep him afloat, so he took his journey with music one step further and started a music school! As Museveni states in the original UNHCR article, "If you are not ready to take risks, you will not get where you want to be."

After working with famous Kenyan musician Octopizzo, Eric drafted and submitted a grant proposal for his school, for which he received 500 US dollars. It only bought him one set of drums, but that didn't slow him down; by 2017, Eric had trained 45 refugee students and 3 native Kenyan students. Using the fees from students who can afford to pay (students who can't afford it have their fees waived) and donations from the community, Bortopra Talanta Academy received a keyboard and a guitar as well.

Now, Eric Museveni has opened another branch of the academy in Narok, about 90 miles from Nairobi, where the original academy is located. He continues to bring music into the lives of both refugees and Kenyans, empowering each student to follow their dreams, whether that be in piano, guitar, or drums. He said is goal is to make sure "refugees don't have to keep borrowing... so that they do not waste their talents and become idle."

Link to article: https://www.unhcr.org/ke/12535-congolese-asylum-seeker-kenya-changing-lives-music-school-despite-odds.html


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