International Day for Street Children

St Clement Danes students were honoured to take part in a song written by Vartan Melkonian to mark the International Day for Street Children, 12th April 2023. The day is designed to carry the message to every government around the world that 'children are too often denied the rights owed to them. Things that most of us take for granted such as healthcare, access to justice when harmed and freedom from harassment are denied to these children. This can and must change.' The song was supported by both the UN and the Consortium for Street Children. 
Vartan Melkonian refers to himself as the 'orphan boy who became a great conductor.' Melkonian has led a remarkable life: he was brought up in the 'Bird's Nest Orphanage' in Lebanon, then lived in the slums of Beirut, suffering with a severe speech impediment. Despite the odds against him, he became a conductor of classical music and has conducted for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and performed across the globe. Hallam Tennyson has said Melkonian 'has no formal education or any musical training. His life is nothing short of a miracle.' His biography can be found here for those who would like to know more: 
Our Head of Music, Anna Stevens, taught the song to the students involved and explored with the students the power of music to both connect us and the effect it can have on people's lives. The students then joined with children around the world in their performance, which has been shared worldwide. 
Vartan Melkonian wrote to the school to express his thanks for their contribution: "I write to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude, and that of the UN’s and the Consortium for Street Children’s, for letting the SCD’s children take part in the song, Swami Narayan, which was released worldwide on the International Day for Street Children, 12 April 2023." 
The school feels very privileged to have taken part in the song and we encourage you to share both the song and its message with friends and family.  


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