Inspiration: The earthquake
Hope on a String was born from the call to action prompted by the massive earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince in January 2010. Our founders, Bennett and Pierre, met by chance on a trip to witness the disaster's aftermath in June 2010. After seeing the destruction and human suffering brought about by the earthquake, they pledged to find a way to contribute to Haiti's rebirth. Although the inspiration began with the earthquake's destruction, Pierre and Bennett agreed that they wanted to do more than just react to the current crisis -- they wanted to tackle some of the more deep-seated issues at work throughout Haiti's history.
Focus: The music
Having grown up in Haiti, Pierre knew that music was an integral part of Haitian life - and most importantly, Haitian community. Bennett quickly came to the same realization over the course of their trip, as they repeatedly witnessed music bringing joy, healing, suffering, and giving a voice to the disenfranchised. With these powerful images etched in their minds, they returned to the U.S. and resolved to focus on music as a unique and extraordinarily powerful vehicle for change in Haiti.
Birth of the Concept: Hope on a String
Committed to taking action, Pierre and Bennett brought together a team of like-minded individuals to begin honing the Hope on a String concept: utilizing music to galvanize community building and community-driven solutions to development issues. Our team spent countless hours brainstorming, debating, designing and re-designing. We committed to close collaboration with the community and returned to Haiti to engage people in our idea. Finally, convinced that we had a chance to help create opportunities for Haitians to take hold of the future of their country, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work implementing our vision.
Where we are now
As of spring 2013, we maintain a robust music program consisting of basic music theory, instrument-specific classes (guitar, keyboards, drums, wind instruments, strings), Haitian dance, and improvisational groups. We also offer a variety of capacity and skill building classes such as English language, public speaking, adult literacy, and leadership. Hope on a String hosts community discussion forums, volunteer activities, and showcase music performances in our community center on a regular basis. We constantly seek to empower and partner with our community stakeholders and local organizations to improve the prospects of the region in which we work. Our mission begins through the ability of music to build and unify strong communities at the grassroots level.