Music app for autistic children
Today Jaap and Aaltje van Zweden of the Papageno Foundation and the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds launched a special music app for autistic children: TEAM Papageno. The launch took place in the main hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, in the presence of more than 40 autistic children and their parents. In addition, 40 volunteers from the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, were in attendance to help the families with the app and then to let them hear an interactive app concert. Through this digital addition to the existing music therapy of the Papageno Foundation, the two charities aim to bring children with autism in contact with one another, drawing them out of their isolation.
Before the children started using the app, tribute was paid to Jaap and Aaltje van Zweden, the founders of the Papageno Foundation. On this occasion Jaap, normally conducting on the rostrum, was on the stage to allow a composition to be played in the app, after which Aaltje made her own digital contribution to the piece of music. The program in the main hall of the Concertgebouw ended with a performance by Camerata RCO. Afterwards all the children got a hug from each of the volunteers, the so-called 'buddy'. The initiatives of the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds.
Collaboration between the Papageno Foundation and the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds
Aaltje van Zweden-van Buuren and her husband, conductor Jaap van Zweden, have an autistic son. In 1997 they set up the Papageno Foundation to help children and youngsters with autism through music therapy. “The app that we have developed in collaboration with the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds is a promising addition to the existing music therapy of the Papageno Foundation,” says Aaltje van Zweden. “Now we can bring more children with autism in contact with one another through music and thereby enlarge their social network.”
The fund was set up by KPN with the aim of encouraging social contact between people who currently lead lonely lives. For more than ten years, the fund has successfully brought people who lead a solitary life in contact with their environment or their peers. One of the best-known initiatives is KlasseContact. It emerges from a survey by Motivaction that the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds is one of the three most valued company-run funds in the Netherlands. “Social contact is a basic necessity of life, but it is not a given for everyone,” says Hans Koeleman, chairman of the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds. “The music app TEAM Papageno is a fine example of how the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds deploys people, resources and technology to combat loneliness. We expect initially to be able to help 150 children with autism through the app. The music therapy of the Papageno Foundation and the app we have launched today dovetail perfectly with the objectives of the fund.”