New children’s choir at school in Neukölln
Buddhist order Shinnyo-En supports long-term project in Berlin
This project was founded to give hope and joy to children from underprivileged social backgrounds, offering an alternative to television and loitering on the street.
Shinnyo-En supports humanitarian, ecological, and cultural projects worldwide through foundations, cooperation, and voluntary work. In May of this year, this children’s choir was founded in cooperation with the Sonnen-Grundschule elementary school in the Neukölln district of Berlin. The young choir members meet once a week to take part in rehearsals.
Eighty percent of the children at Sonnen-Grundschule have an international cultural and religious background. The language barriers, especially, present challenges for their integration into German society and to provide educational services. The choir has 25 members, all children aged between 6 and 9. The project managed to obtain Stephanie Bugiel as choirmaster, the choirmaster of the renowned Gropiuslerchen children’s choir.
After the young choir rehearses, there are many opportunities for the children to spend their free time with each another. The goal of the project is to help the children have fun singing together and learn in an enjoyable way that people from different countries and religions can unite in friendship, have an enjoyable time, and bring pleasure to others through the power of music.
Andreas Fiol who works for Shinnyo-en in Germany along with Hideo Takano, says: “Shinnyo-En supports many social and cultural projects all over the world and in the process works with institutions such as the Red Cross and the United Nations, as well as with the Catholic church. We have also been active in Germany for a long time. It was important to us to support a project in a city like Berlin, precisely because there is a greater need for social commitment.”
Andreas Fiol: ““Harmony in diversity” plays a crucial role in Buddhism. Berlin, which 20 years ago stood at the centre of German reunification, is also a symbol for that ideal. This is why Shinnyo-En is making a strong social commitment to Berlin, just as we have done in other parts of the world. Providing help for Berlin children is at the heart of this commitment, as it is they who will shape the future. For this reason, there is no time limit on this project. We want to provide sustainable support.”