Hope Through Music

Between annual trips to Kenya, Robert continues regular online coaching with some of the more experienced cellists. In turn, they teach other residents of the slum — a thriving musical community amidst very meager resources. Recent funding cuts have imposed new challenges. Please help ensure they continue this valuable work!

Beyond Borders

Ghetto Classics is a thriving music education program in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 2009 by Elizabeth Njoroge, Ghetto Classics offers theory, lessons, and a full orchestra to over 300 students. Ghetto Classics provides a sense of opportunity to children who face formidable challenges. An escape from the harsh realities of slum life, Ghetto Classics builds community within the slum and opens doors to other walks of life- both in Kenya and around the world.

Bumping plastic waft over from the Dandora Landfill just across the fence; children rifle through the trash, looking for anything to resell. Running water, electricity and clean air are Intel… Grandmothers are raped a night in this place that can only seem like every woman for herself. Korcgocho is a world within another world.

Watch BBC News Clip


In the summer of 2019, I worked with musical groups all around Nairobi. I spent a couple of days with the Ghetto Classics string players in person and have continued regular online coaching with two more advanced cellists throughout the Covid pandemic. Stephen and David (above) have taught me so much. Undaunted by obstacles, Korogocho students are both open and determined. Unlike some more competitive American students, they want to share their enthusiasm and new skills with their friends.

Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, died during my 2019 visit. A major supporter of Ghetto Classics, funding has dried up in his absence. The Covid Pandemic added yet another blow. In spite of teaching dozens of students themselves, Stephen and David currently share one cello. Please help us raise money for much-needed instruments and supplies. Tune in, share with your friends, and donate!

– Robert Howard

How To Donate

Tax-deductible donations to Opus 1 Foundation, EIN 84-4029712

$50- new set of strings
$100- bow
$200- lessons for a term
$500- violin
$1000- cello

Checks payable to Opus 1 Foundation, marked for Ghetto Classics:
Opus 1 Foundation
60 Riverglen Drive
Thiells, New York 10984

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