Founder, The Elewana Music Project
Prior to the Sistema Fellows Program, Millie was employed by the Braeburn International School in Arusha, Tanzania, where she taught the British curriculum to children of all ages, led music clubs, choirs, coached singing and dancing for theatre productions, and managed other musical events. In particular, she enjoyed incorporating Kiswahili songs and traditional dancing and drumming into her curriculum.
Millie has been involved in development work in the Arusha community since 2010, and serves as a secretary and education advisor on the Board of Directors for the NGO Shining A Light. The project consists of an empowerment program for underprivileged women; teaching them leatherwork, beading and textiles, business skills, finance, healthcare, English, reading and writing.
Millie has returned to being an active member of the music community in Arusha, where she has managed events including a collaboration concert between Kenyan and Arusha choirs and workshops with traditional Tanzanian musicians. She is excited to use music education, particularly her experiences during the Fellowship, as a powerful tool for transforming communities, and she is passionate about seeing children experience their rich musical heritage and celebrate their musical identity.
The Elewana Music Project, founded by Millie in September 2014, will provide Tanzanian teachers with the tools to create and direct excellent ensembles where community members from different socio-economic backgrounds can regularly participate in musical ensembles that will feature traditional Tanzanian music and dance. Elewana means “harmony” in Swahili.
Photo: Gemma Saruni