To consolidate and promote the achievements of the 20 members of Juakali Drummers in the musical workshop launched in 2005 in Dagoretti (Nairobi) as part of the AMREF project Children in Need with support from the Dulcimer Fondation pour la Musique. To provide an opportunity for growth, both individually and as members of a community, by valorising their educational, social and artistic development through public performances and the exchange of experiences. To offer opportunities for qualified musical training and improvement through participation in the Berklee College of Music clinics and seminar led by two world-famous percussionists. To raise general awareness about the issue of street children.


20 members of the group Juakali Drummers and the audience at Umbria Jazz, which gained awareness on issues concerning street children and was transported by the energy and rhythm of the Juakali percussions.


In 2009 Fondation Alta Mane supported the Study Tour of Juakali Drummers to Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia from 10 to 19 July. The 20 former Nairobi street children that play instruments fashioned out of poor and recycled materials performed their show ‘Ngoma Mtaani’ (‘The rhythm from the slum’ in Swahili) on several occasions and, as ‘Artists in Residence’, also took part in musical specialisation courses at the clinics run by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, one of the most famous jazz schools. During the festival they also got to attend a special seminar led by the famous percussionists Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez and Giovanni Hidalgo.


AMREF Health Africa

AMREF Health Africa has for almost 60 years promoted health projects in the remotest parts of Africa and is now the largest African health organisation operating in the continent. Today AMREF operates in 26 countries with 172 health projects south of the Sahara.

AMREF has been present in Dagoretti – a vast area on the southern outskirts of Nairobi that includes numerous slums – since 2000 with Children in Need, a rehabilitation programme for street children. Its activities range from medical and nutritional assistance to basic education, from legal assistance to individual and family counselling, from the development of small microcredit projects to the cultivation of urban vegetable gardens, and the use of sport and art therapy as a tool for rehabilitation.

Juakali Drummers

Juakali Drummers was a musical group comprising 20 street children who used musical instruments made from recycled and waste material collected in the slums of the Kenyan capital. This ‘street orchestra’ grew out of the musical workshop launched in 2005 by AMREF Italia and the Dulcimer Fondation pour la Musique, under the auspices of the AMREF project Children in Need. Chosen by the group’s members, the name Juakali means ‘scorching sun, hard work’ in Swahili and is also the name of the largest market for recycled materials in Nairobi.

The group performed in the slums of Nairobi and surrounding villages and in numerous institutional contexts, as well as being an example for many other street children. It dissolved in 2011 and 14 original members established the cooperative Slum Drummers.


Fondation Alta Mane supported the Study Tour of Juakali Drummers to Umbria Jazz in 2009 and has supported the cooperative Slum Drummers since 2012, through GRT, in partnership with the Fondazione Alta Mane Italia.[/fusion_tab][/fusion_tabs]