‘The most miserable and tragic thing about poverty is not the lack of bread or roof, but the feeling of being no-one — the feeling of not being anyone, the lack of identification, the lack of public esteem’ – Mother Theresa

Youth Orchestras of Namibia (YONA) is part of the worldwide El Sistema Movement, which has impacted millions of lives through music. YONA wants to provide Namibian children the opportunity to learn an instrument by means of an orchestra programme which runs three times per week. YONA’s pilot program is at Suiderhof Primary School in Windhoek.This school has been chosen for its central location, good infrastructure and the availability of pianos and some percussion instruments.The student body is representative of most of the culture groups in Namibia.

This programme is open to any child, regardless of tribe, language, creed or financial means. Bursaries are available for students who are econmically and socially vulnerable. 

YONA’s mission

Provide an intensive music program that develops a sense of belonging, teaches the importance of teamwork and a stong work ethic, and promotes self-confidence and good citizenship. The overarching principle is to advance children first and music second.

The backbone of the program involves various orchestras for youth, from early childhood through to adolescence:

  • Early childhood: choirs, string, percussion and recorder orchestras.
  • Intermediate phase: string, woodwind and brass orchestras.
  • Advanced stage: symphony orchestra.

 YONA`s Program Structure includes the following:

NAWA NOTES (early childhood)  - 2017 onwards

Introduction to rhythm, melody and music notation

KEYNOTES (pre-teens and teens) – 2020 onwards

 More advanced musical education and theory of music

 YOUTH SYMPHONY (teens and young adults) – 2023 onwards

 A full symphony orchestra, comprising of Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion

 MULTIPLICATION – 2025 onwards

Continuing the program in other centres throughout Namibia, creating a teachable generation who will become responsible citizens due to the valuable life skills learnt as YONA musicians.

 Community Concerts

As the program develops, provision also needs to be made for individual lessons and mentorship. Part of the success of such a program is outreach into the community through frequent concerts.



Giving a tax-deductable gift to yona

YONA’s funds are administered by the Lithon Foundation, a registered welfare organization with the Namibian Ministry of Finance in terms of Section 17 (1) (S) of the income tax act of 1981.

The Lithon Foundation makes no deductions in the process; the full donation will be paid out to YONA trust.

For more information contact Marsia Reed (CEO Lithon Foundation): +264 81 242 5960 /marsia.reed@lithon.com

Let`s help YONA and inspire a generation of young artists



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