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This year’s Report to Society tells of the sometimes hard realities of our community lives. It also tells of how the Foundation responds to these, including through the PULSE! partnership with the Norwegian Band Federation, funded by FK Norway.

This programme works with a holistic understanding of community health. It allows the broader community development benefits of music to be more clearly identifiable to participants, helping them to develop relevant ways of operating at band level to greatest positive developmental effect in all facets of their lives.

PULSE! uses strong elements of knowledge-sharing in its approach. Participants from South Africa and Norway on the programme learn about and teach in each other’s communities, both benefitting from their own unique societal experiences in challenges of diversity, cross-cultural integration, working with disability, and related issues of social inclusion. The practical benefits of these learnings are taken in structured training to communities where Field Bands operate. PULSE! teams are currently living and working in Gauteng, Free State and Northern Cape communities of greatest challenge.

In the Free State, this work focuses on reducing barriers to inclusion for Field Band members living with disabilities (with Ponahalo De Beers making additional investments to enable these De Beers-linked Field Bands to support these members). Thus, of the Viljoenskroon Field Band’s 286 members, 25 are living with disabilities of varying type; while this applies to 55 children of the 173 Kroonstad Field Band members, and 45 members of the 260-strong Parys Field Band