Growing, healing and inspiring others through rap

23 August 2023|JRS Jordan

Lady of Nazareth School. Lujain (right) performs at JRS Festival of Encounter, as conclusion of the Rap Classes part of Music, Art & Sport Project part of MHPPS Program. Photo by Hussam Hasan for JRS

Lujain is a 14-year girl from Syria, living in Amman. She used to face social anxiety and struggled with public speaking. In 2023, she became a participant in the Music, Art & Sport Project of the JRS Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Program. The project offers music classes in rap, Sudanese drums, oud, Jordanian flute, and choir singing, provided by volunteers from refugee communities talented in music. The group of nearly 50 students created an intercultural orchestra by the end of the courses.

Salesians Center. Lujain and other adolescents attend a rap class with Mudhi and Yassin, AKA First Impression K-Bozy, in the Music, Art & Sport Project part of JRS MHPPS Program. Photo by Silvia Mazzocchin/JRS Communications and Advocacy Manger

Through music, the project aims to create a safe and nurturing environment for children and youth to heal, grow, and develop positive connections with their peers and mentors. The activities empower them with the tools they need to overcome challenges, embrace their potential, and thrive despite the adversities.

Lujain enrolled in the Rap classes, conducted by Yassin and Mudhi, two rappers from Sudan. Yassin and Mudhe, AKA First Impression K-Boyz, guided the students to understand what rap is, and showed them the power of rap as a channel to share messages of hope and solidarity. During the program, Lujain took part also in psychosocial support group session tailored for children and adolescents. During the sessions, she managed to open up about her challenges, and started to address gradually her concerns with the help of JRS psychologists facilitating the sessions.

When she performed at JRS Festival of Encounter (an intercultural festival in the occasion of World Refugee Day), she surprised everyone and confidently performed on stage in front of an audience of hundreds of people. She sang a rap song that was created under the guidance of her rap teachers, together with her classmates, talking about her life and challenges as an adolescent. Her performance showed the improvement in expressing herself, her improved psychological situation and strengthened self-esteem that let her express herself effectively in front of a public.

The lyrics to her song are as follows:

“Life is a school, and we learn from it. We walk on the sand and speak up while doing so.

We work our way up the educational ladder one step at a time. We start in kindergarten, then go to school, then university, until we eventually graduate.

We begin the process of change and destiny determination.

You dream of becoming a minister, you dream of becoming an engineer.

You dream of becoming a teacher, you dream of establishing a family and completing, having your faith and get married.

Your choice is unique to you and belongs to you only. Face your fears and never let it crush you. In every step learn and focus, comprehend your learnings

Be always a role model and let the success follow you in every step”

In this life, we draw the lines of our journey and fly.