|Mehmet Selim Baki (Season 01 - Episode 17)|
This Week's Changemaker; Mehmet Selim Baki Brings Music Education for Children in the Inner City
On January 2010 Sabanci Foundation's "Turkey's Changemakers" program hosts Mehmet Selim Baki who started the ''Peace for Music'' project to provide with music education for children.
Mehmet Selim Baki worked as an architect in Germany and Turkey for years. Seven years ago, he started working with children voluntarily. He started the Peace for Music Project in 2005 with his personal efforts. Children aged 7-14, living in Edirnekapi, one of Istanbul's most underprivileged inner-city neighborhoods, receive music education. Baki spreads the sound of peace with the power of music and provides music education to as many children as possible. Music for Peace started in an elementary school in Edirnekapi, and provides an atmosphere for children with essential musical instruments, and recruits teachers for music classes. Baki personally finances all the project expenses.
To this day, 250 children have received basic music education from the Peace for Music Project. The project aims to increase the number of children who take regular music classes in three schools and centers to 200 in the academic year 2009-2010. Last year 2 children passed the conservatory exam of a well-known public university. It is also reported that the rate of violence among participant children decreased and their self-esteem increased, allowing them to perform in front of a larger audience. Music for Peace received the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award in November 2009. Urban Age Award is known worldwide and organized annually to encourage people to take responsibility for the cities they live in. The French Culture Center in Istanbul and Cem Mansur, the chief of the Akbank Chamber Orchestra, are some of the supporters of Peace for Music.