Music for Refugees, the non-profit organisation devoted to sending music instruments to refugees and asylum seekers both in and out of detention, has been granted permission to send instruments to Nauru and Manus Island for the first time. The Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton has approved the request by founder of Music for Refugees Philip Feinstein, along with approving the delivery of soccer outfits and balls.

“We’re excited to be able to provide dozens of instruments to refugees in the northern offshore detention centres for the first time,” said Philip. “Refugees have enormous amounts of stress and we believe music is a great avenue to help relieve that stress. After a pilot delivery to Nauru 3 months ago, we have a fabulous collection of instruments donated by people all over Australia that we’re excited to distribute.”

The Australian government will transport the donated instruments, including guitars, keyboards, drum kits, bongos, clarinets, flutes and more, from Sydney to Nauru and Manus Island next week. The instruments are currently being collected in Sydney, with drop off points across the country.

As a volunteer music teacher, Philip established music classes for children and adults inside immigration detention centres, including Villawood, in 2009. The classes have proved so popular that he expanded the program to Christmas Island and now for the first time to Manus Island and Nauru. Instruments are needed to enable Philip to continue this program, and to expand it to Manus island and Nauru. Philip created another program for kids, Theatre Sports, and for adults he created a stop smoking program based on behaviour modification and personal growth.

Readers also enjoyed this story about local girl Sofia taking part in Shave For a Cure