2010 Winner
Clareinch, Western Cape, South Africa
Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre
Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre
South Africa

This program earned a Silver award.


Numerous groups of adults and children across the country experience trauma from different sources, including crime and violence, abuse, HIV-infection, long-term hospitalization (eg. for HIV or TB), and those who care for those with HIV/TB. Many also have no outlet for this trauma, and battle to cope with everyday life, meaning those who care for them (eg. caregivers, educators at schools) also struggle. Music Therapy has been identified as a means of dealing with this trauma, and channeling it in a constructive manner. The Music Therapy Community Clinic (MTCC) was therefore developed in 2003 to provide music therapy services to underprivileged and previously disadvantaged communities.








MTCC runs three programmes: Trauma project; Siyaphila; and Music for Health. The Trauma project is run in Heideveld, and focuses on providing therapy for children and youth who have been abused, or are at risk of crime, violence or abuse. Siyaphila works with adults and children who are infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. It functions as both a music group, and a support group. The Music for Health project runs with patients who are in hospitals for extended periods (eg. those with HIV/AIDS or TB), and works with both adults and children. The aims of the project are to create safe musical spaces for people to deal with traumatic life experiences, to have a means of non-verbal expression of this trauma, to provide support, assist feelings of isolation, encourage feelings of self-worth, and to provide a protected group experience. The project runs in Nyanga, Heideveld, Khayelitsha, and Brooklyn (eg. the Brooklyn Chest TB Hospital). The project also coordinates a number of musical groups, including a choir, different bands (guitars, marimbas, etc), drumming circles, and dancing. An annual community concert is held in Heideveld, and different groups are encouraged to perform.








Innovation: MTCC is the only group providing music therapy in the Western Cape, and one of the few in the country. The project allows a form of non-verbal expression of trauma, which can have a profound impact on a person’s healing process.








Effectiveness: The Trauma Project has 163 children and youth (53% were/are at serious risk); Siyaphila has 95 participants (55% HIV affected, 21% orphaned, 21% fostered); and the Music for Health project has 181 beneficiaries (71% children; 82% TB patients).








Poverty Impact: The beneficiaries often get a sense of increased confidence; a sense of community; a positive change in mood and behaviour; and developed good relationships with others. By improving their ability to interact with others socially, the project enables beneficiaries to become more functional members of society, and increases their likelihood of finding employment in the future.








Sustainability: MTCC’s current annual budget is R1 874 798. This is raised through a number of different funders, listed below. There do not seem to be any problems with ongoing funding, although expansion is limited. However, MTCC also serves as a form of prac for students studying music therapy, meaning it has access to volunteers. Thus, it seems likely to continue into the future.








Replication: Because of a general dearth of music therapists in the country, it is unlikely that this project could be replicated very easily in other parts of the country. All the music therapists in the Western Cape already work for MTCC! However, the therapy seems to have a positive impact on the beneficiaries, meaning that it is a project that is worthy of replication. Now that there is a separate music therapy degree offered in South Africa, it is likely that more music therapists will be available, and this project could be replicated more easily. However, funding and resources (instruments, premises etc) would need to be sourced, and this may make it difficult to replicate this project.