SOUNDS OF PEACE | Story & photos

This summer, as part of the celebration for its 15 years in existence, IMBEWU completed the first project of its kind Sounds of Peace. Built around three axes – culture, music and diversity – the project’s aim was to bring together young people from the Neuchatel region and Port Elisabeth South Africa to share a week of activities using music as a channel for exchange.

To summarise in a few lines the richness which emerged from each day of the project is impossible. For this reason, we have selected some highlights from what was an extremely successful project.


Sunday July 10th, host families and the participants meet to welcome the young South Africans and their group leaders at Neuchatel train station. Greeted with a welcome banner created before by the young Swiss, everybody met over a welcome snack and to meet their host family or his/her guest(s).


In order to introduce the Masifunde Youth Choir and to promote Friday evening’s final concert, the young South Africans, accompanied by the Swiss for some of the songs, staged a small concert in the centre of Neuchatel the afternoon of July 12th. This was an opportunity for all to discover the Neuchatel population’s enthusiasm for South African music and to develop a sense of pride and belonging for a project celebrating tolerance and friendship.


With the aim of bringing together the different participants of the project and to get to know the host families involved, an international evening was organized where everyone had the chance to bring a culinary speciality. This provided an occasion for each individual to share their first experiences of the Sounds of Peace be it either as a host family, a volunteer, a participant or organizer.


Friday July 14th, following the general concert rehearsal, everyone made his/her way by bus or cable car to Chaumont, where a grand Swiss sausage BBQ was waiting for them. After a meal in a relaxed atmosphere, the more courageous of the group climbed the Chaumont Tower to admire the view and stunning landscape of the region - an experience both stressful and memorable for the participants.


The climax of the project, Friday evening’s concert was the big moment to present the success of a week of work and exchange. In front of a full hall of more than 230 spectators, the young Swiss and South Africans performed the songs of here and beyond with energy and passion. Once the official concert was over, the performance moved outdoors to the rapturous applause of the general public and passers-by.


IMBEWU would like to congratulate the South African and Swiss participants, and warmly thank all the individuals and organisations who made this project possible.

Organisers and group leaders :

Camille Borer • Emmanuel Charmillot • Tarryn Mintoor • Sebastien Frochaux • Msikeleli Moli • Florence Chitacumbi • Fatima Klett • Tamara Southward • Sylvain Jaccard • Luc Aeschlimann • Anne Remond

Host families and volunteers :

Esther • Suzanne et François • Myriam • François • Anne-Marie • Hugues • François • Alice • Julia • Hannah • Héloïse • Morgane • Cloe • Viviane • Lyn • Sharon • Clementine • Noemie • Samuel • Manuela • Sule • Aurore • Elisa • Zoe

Partners :

Masifunde • Latitude 21 • Neuchatel conservatory of music • City of Neuchatel



See photos from the week below and on our Facebook page (here).


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