Youth Orchestras of Namibia

is inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema (which has been activating social change through music since 1975).

Our Vision: Social transformation through music
Our Mission: Using music and the orchestra as a tool to foster social transformation; creating unity within diversity, and to develop children academically, socially and personally

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Who we are

What is YONA?

Youth Orchestras of Namibia (YONA) is inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema (which has been activating social change through music since 1975).

Youth Orchestras of Namibia (YONA) is a movement with the vision to transform the lives of youth through music. YONA’s mission is to provide an intensive music program that develops a sense of belonging, teaches the importance of teamwork and a strong work ethic, and promotes self-confidence and good citizenship. The overarching principle is to advance children first and music second.

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What is YONA?

Learning Together

In classes, where all children are welcome, they learn so much more then just to strike the right note.

Our Inspiration

The World-Wide El Sistema Movement

Since its founding in 1975, Venezuela’s National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs, called “El Sistema” has used music education as a vehicle for social change.

It cultivates an ‘affluence of spirit’ which today brings hope, joy and positive social impact to 400,000 children and their families and communities throughout the country. Its founding principles include a team-based approach to collective, cooperative education characterized by trust, discipline, empathy, commitment, structure, and support for self-esteem.
This unprecedented success has inspired hundreds of similar programs which serve an estimated one million children in at least sixty countries around the world.

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The World-Wide El Sistema Movement

El Sistema Venezuela

Childen aged 8 to 12 of the Los Chorros núcleo in Northern Caracas perform Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9

The Parallels

Could a Venezuelan Movement Have Significance to Namibia?

Venezuela is a country of over 31 million people, with a population density of 33.75/km2. It is the most urbanised country in South America, and there is a large gap between rich and poor people.

Namibia, which has only 2.1 million people, has a population density of only 2.54/km2. Namibia also struggles with poverty, crime and domestic violence, and there is also here is a huge gap between rich and poor. It should therefore follow that Namibia could benefit tremendously by a movement like El Sistema.

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Could a Venezuelan Movement Have Significance to Namibia?

The Sound of Music

Passionate teachers like Gretel Coetzee give their best to carry their students away

Our heartfelt thanks to our sponsors and partners:

RMB, through the FNB Namibia Holdings Foundation Trust
The National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN)
Deutsch-Namibische Gesellschaft (DNG)
Individuals connected to Horizon Foundation, Aura-Media Kulturforum, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and others