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The School of Music and the Arts changes its model to finance classes

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After long sessions of work during the summer of 2020, the parents/sponsors, together with founders, teachers, specialists and Toki’s management team constructed a new model of co-financing to assure the long-term sustainability of the School.

Toki’s School of Music and the Arts on Rapa Nui celebrated its eight anniversary in 2020. Since that sunny day in April 2012 when it shared that first class, it hasn’t stopped growing.

It was a natural interest on the part of children to learn music, to take up instruments that had rarely been seen on the island and that drew increasing numbers each year.  Giving them a quality musical education and environment motivated us to give every child access to it regardless of social-economic condition because free classes were a pillar of our project year after year.

Unfortunately, this situation became more and more precarious as more children demanded classes. The private and public funding we received was insufficient to maintain free lessons at the School. Our own efforts to achieve self-sustainability were insufficient: Neither the agro ecological gardens nor tours of the Earthship School and sale of merchandising and ukeleles, generated sufficient income and in December 2019 we faced our reality and growing debt.

We opened this theme up to our community, our parents, and advisors and we realized that to achieve long-term sustainability it was imperative to have a commitment and dialogue with everyone involved.

We finally understood that free classes made sense in the beginning, very few children knew the classical instruments and nobody yet understood the long term benefits of music in their lives. At this moment we need everyone’s help to assure the School’s stability. This year we have asked that parents, institutions and Toki school share expenses and we will give scholarships where necessary. This school is not only focused on bringing forth the talents of children, but also of providing them with tools that will change their lives forever. And that possibility cannot be limited by the family income.

Like many NGOs we live day to day and when the reality of COVID-19 fell on our heads, we had to take measures not to default. This new reality, although complex, has permitted us to think more clearly about the best way to handle financing.

Thanks to all of us who have given life to this project, with our hearts committed, and despite our setbacks, we know we will make it through.

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