In 2020 and 2021, the online HiFi stereo retailer The Music Room has provided financial support to PFCF Program Joudour Sahara to address critical music instrument needs at the program. Here is a testimony from The Music Room about their decision to support PFCF and music education efforts at Joudour Sahara:
The Music Room is the world’s largest online seller of pre-owned HiFi equipment. It started as a little eBay business in a one-car garage 10 years ago and has been steadily growing ever since.
Going into our 10th year in business, we took some time to reflect on the journey that got us here and how blessed and privileged we are to have achieved some level of success and to have such a tight-knit, passionate group of employees on our team. We’re also fortunate to have a great number of very loyal customers within a thriving industry. The one thing that unites our team and also gives us common ground with our customers is a love and passion for music.
Our business is all about the reproduction of recorded music - through the fabricated lens of HiFi - wooden speaker boxes, intricately woven cables, over-engineered electronics etc. It is a never-ending pursuit of attempting to make recorded music as “real” as possible within the constraints of a home listening environment. Technology has come a long way, and nearly magical levels of sound quality are possible. But the truth is that no matter how much money you spend on a state-of-the-art audio system, you are still only experiencing a mirror image of what is truly real.
We recognized the enormous place of privilege that we operate in every day, and we wanted to find a way to give back to a cause that would align with our values and our passion for music. We also wanted to promote music in a way that would be as “real” and true and honest as possible. Of course, we also wanted to be sure that we partnered with a charity that has a reputation for competence and integrity. We found all of these elements in the Playing for Change Foundation, and we couldn’t have been more excited about discovering this wonderful organization.
Now, at the end of every quarter here at TMR as we review our business performance and tally our profits, we also know that a portion of those profits are going to further music around the world and enrich many lives in the process. It has really added another dimension of fulfillment and meaning to our everyday work environment, and it’s evident that every one of our employees takes a personal interest in the program. To make our involvement as meaningful and personal possible, we allowed our employees to vote on which program we would support.
The Joudour Sahara music program in M'hamid el Ghizlane, Morocco was the favorite with our staff. Our hearts resonated with its ambitious goal of preserving the rich ancestral traditions of this remote community while providing musical education and instruments to its youth.
We are grateful to be going to work every day with the knowledge that our efforts aren’t just measured in dollars on a paystub, but in real guitars, keyboards and djembes in the hands of young people on the other side of the globe. Getting the progress reports and seeing images of instruments in the hands of these young creators is not only inspiring but also serves as a daily reminder of the power of music to change lives.
Funds from The Music Room purchased more than 15 music instruments, including guitars, djembes, bass guitars, amplifiers, and traditional percussion instruments called tabal and darbuka. With further support from Playing For Change Foundation, a full-time modern music teacher was hired, who now engages more than 30 youth with this new equipment each week, in addition to more than 70 youth we engage through traditional music. Rachid Berazougui, the newly hired modern music teacher, states, “These instruments have made a real difference. Previously we just had a couple guitars and one djembe for 20 students to share. Now we have guitar lessons and djembe lessons with all the equipment for everyone to play an instrument. Our students can learn songs and write their own ensemble, and we even have some older youth teaching to younger students.” There have been zero coronavirus cases in M’hamid el Ghizlane where Joudour Sahara is located, and in-person learning has resumed since late 2020.
Photos by Carl Biörsmark. If your organization would like to support Playing For Change Foundation with a recurring donation, contact Development and Marketing Director Jessica Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 929.373.4169.