As many of you know, one of my core beliefs is that travel has the potential to do incredible good. I set up AMADI in order to put this belief into practice; to help create impact that is felt across natural environments, ecosystems, peoples and cultures. For this reason, AMADI works closely with several impact partners, a selection of like-minded organisations doing impactful work across the African continent.
One of these is Bridges for Music, a Cape Town-based non-profit organisation that empowers young creatives from underserved communities through programs focused on creative entrepreneurship, well-being and music. They believe in the transformative power of music education and the potential it holds to break barriers, inspire creativity and shape the lives of individuals.
By providing accessible education programs, mentorship opportunities and access to music technology, Bridges for Music serves aspiring artists, opening doors to career possibilities and platforms for self-expression. By facilitating initiatives such as artist exchanges, workshops and masterclasses, they nurture talent and create sustainable pathways for both self-expression and economic empowerment. You can learn more about Bridges for Music by watching this video.
What made me want to work alongside Bridges is their refreshing and empowering approach. By focusing on mindfulness and developing a strong sense of community, Bridges have created a safe space within a challenging environment. This environment fully supports the students they work with, allowing them to fully unleash their creativity in the process.
The organisation is also incredibly cool, something that is overlooked in the non-profit world. This factor helps attract, and keep, young people interested and engaged – and, most importantly, gives them pride. This edginess and spirit has attracted the attention of top talent around the world – and continues to do so – which results in interactions that are authentic, non-patronising and meaningful.
Having travelled across Africa for close to 20 years, I also know personally how much not-for-profit organisations in urban centres are in need of help. South Africa suffers from incredibly high levels of unemployment, with the majority living in low-income, high-density urban areas. These are the people that need to feel empowered – especially at the ages where it is most impactful for their communities.
So what do we do to help? In addition to financial contributions, the main way in which we contribute is by introducing AMADI guests to Bridges For Music, in person, on their campus in Langa, when passing through Cape Town.
By bringing AMADI guests to Langa we hope to play a small part in raising awareness and planting seeds that then can flower in their own way, person to person. We know that philanthropy is personal, and there is no way better to become informed – and to care – than to experience. We want to harness the power of tourism by bringing the right people to the right places.
Bridges for Music’s Founder, Valentino, has this to say about tourism being a source for good:
“Ethical and responsible tourism can act as a force for good in any developing country. It’s all about the way it is approached, the ethics around it and the ultimate intention. When I first landed in South Africa from Spain I visited the townships with Siviwe, a local guide passionate to solve some of the problems of his community.
On that visit, I was deeply inspired by the incredible music I heard and at the same time saddened by the lack of access local talent had and the separation from the most privileged areas in the city. That inspired me to start a non-profit organisation called Bridges for Music that has, for the past ten years, built bridges for young creatives to earn an income and gain new opportunities in life.”
If you would like to learn more about Bridges for Music or have any questions regarding AMADI’s impact partners, please do not hesitate to contact me on [email protected].