[By Jeroen Janssen in Ledeberg, Belgium]

Ledeberg. Rehearsal space of the Ledebirds, on a sunny but icy Wednesday afternoon.

Today the garage door is of this squat is opened for all children of Ledeberg. Matthias, the chief of the band says: if one would put these signs on a sidewalk in Africa or Brazil, people would stand still and have a chat, children would enter and look what’s happening, maybe their fathers would come and play a tune themselves. But here in Belgium, people just walk by. When I ask to an African mother with children, if her children would like to play with us, she says: sorry, I have to go to work now, we have to be in time, an appointment here, the doctor there. Here in Belgium everything is organized, every minute is planned. Even African and Asian people here are integrated so much, they don’t have time anymore. 

Matthias and his volunteers welcome all the children of the neighborhood: Turkish, Pakistani, African and Flemish, to play percussion together and to make their own instruments. Sometimes they camp out together. Some children have never been outside town before.

To be continued, I’ll go back today, after school.

( … and as promised yesterday: )


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